Mike makes a U-Bild Santa and reindeer lawn display from scratch — vintage plans still available today

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn SetReader Mike is wowing his neighborhood — he had a carpenter build and install this U-Bild Santa and reindeer lawn display on his front lawn. Mike used vintage plans he found on ebay, but guess what: We can still get these mid-century plans (and more like them) made new today by the same company — in business since 1948 — 66 years! This is over the top fantastic! 

Mike writes:

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn SetBackground:  We purchased our 1950 house from its original owner in the winter of 2010, and within a month of signing the contracts I bought a vintage U-Bild kit (Santa, sleigh, eight reindeer) on eBay for around $50.  I don’t really remember how I stumbled upon it or what what prompted the search; I just knew when I saw it that it was the kind of thing that very well may have stood on our front lawn at Christmas 60 years earlier.

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

U-Bild is still in business today, with many of their most popular vintage plans still available for purchase.

Where to buy these plans for DIY Santa displays and more: 

Mike’s story:

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn SetThe kit consisted of high quality paper posters (reindeer done in 5 pieces).  Each piece had to be cut out, glued to plywood, cut out with a scroll saw, assembled and varnished.

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

We had the Santa on our front porch when I was a kid, so it’s very nostalgic to now have the whole set on the front lawn of my own home.

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

Fast-forward 4 1/2 years, and I determined to find someone to finally assemble this for us.  I lucked out when young carpenter Kyle Reckman answered the ad I had placed on kijiji.com (similar to Craigslist).  He was establishing his own business and was looking for jobs, and he was willing to guarantee completion within two weeks.

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

Kyle was very enthusiastic about this unusual project, and he offered to complete every step of it himself: picking up the plans from me, purchasing the necessary construction materials, gluing the patterns onto the plywood, cutting all the pieces out carefully with a scroll saw, assembling everything with screws and wood glue, sealing the finished products with a protective coat of urethane, and delivering them and installing them on our front lawn.  The project ended up costing about twice what I had budgeted, but given its scope and Kyle’s terrific execution it was well worth it.

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

We set it up on the lawn with two strings of old-school C7 lights serving as reins, and two flood lights positioned on the lawn to illuminate it sufficiently at night.

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

Our neighbours are already raving about it! I plan to purchase one more reindeer kit so that we can add a Rudolph (complete with red lightbulb nose) to next year’s display!

1950s U-bild Santa Lawn Set

Jingle Bellzapalooza, this is amazing! We’re gonna guess: Not only are the neighbors all along your street jealous — everyone in Retro Renovation World is, too, today. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Mike — including another great new/old resource: U-Bild. We are already in touch with the company about doing a detailed profile.

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