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Holiday lawn displays available since 1948 — 66 years — from U-Bild

retro christmas yard displayHere’s a gift we weren’t expecting this season: Another company — in business since the 1940s — still making its products from back in the day. Yes, U-Bild has been in business since 1948 — that’s 66 years — still making nine different versions of  their holiday lawn displays to build yourself. Images are kind of tiny on their website, so we asked, and yup, we show you the plans in larger-size view here.

retro christmas yard displayCurrently, U-Bild offers nine designs of DIY lawn displays, sold in sets and as singles, using the same vintage poster artwork sold by the company for decades. To create one of these holiday yard displays, you adhere the poster designs to plywood, then carefully cut each character out, then finish off with a clear sealer to protect against the weather. Time consuming — but oh-so-worth it when your yard is the envy of the neighborhood.

Prices for individual figures and sets range from $6.95 – $59.95.

About U-Bild from the company website:

About U-Bild Plans

America’s favorite woodworking plans since 1948, U-Bild plans are ideal for woodworkers and do-it-yourselfers of all skill levels….Each plan features detailed step-by-step instructions, full-size traceable patterns (where needed), in-progress photos, exploded diagrams and complete materials lists and cutting schedules.

Plan ahead/buy ahead

I spoke with Kevin Taylor from U-Bild, who told me that the nativity scene and the single reindeer from the Santa, sleigh and Mrs. Claus display are currently out of stock, but would be back in stock sometime over the summer. The toy soldier on their website (not pictured in this story) is out of stock and may be discontinued.

retro christmas yard displayReader Mike gets the credit for making us pay attention to this company. He made a U-Bild Santa and reindeer lawn display from scratch — vintage plans still available today. If you are still drooling over his set, check out U-Bild’s plan above –it’s $59.95 for the whole kit and kaboodle, kitten included.

retro-holiday-yard-decor

retro-holiday-yard-decorIf time or yard space is an issue, figures from the set can also be ordered separately. (Note: Kevin says the reindeer is out of stock for 2014 and will be back in stock over the summer).

U-Bild also offers another set featuring Santa’s Workshop and some of his helpers.

retro christmas yard display retro christmas yard displayAbove: Nativity is out of stock for 2014, but will be available again during the summer.

retro christmas yard displayThis group of carolers above has a slightly more 60s-70s look — great for making a holiday display out in front of your groove pad.

Mega thanks to Kevin from U-Bild for helping out with this story.

Too fun.

  1. Karin says:

    Jamie, I’m thrilled that you share my affection for all things creepy/cute and retro. I love that combination because the creepiness balances out the sweetness, sort of like sweet and sour. There must be a word for this somewhere.

  2. James says:

    I am so glad to see you all discussing U-Bild and their Christmas decoration plans! I myself bought and built a Santa and a reindeer plan 2 years ago and have put them in our yard at Christmas time since. Three Christmas’ and counting….along with our red C9’s I try to invoke a 1950’s feel for our 1957 ranch home. (Some green mini lights are incorporated in the display for a little “twinkle.”) I really want to try to make good memories for my little girl by putting these out every year. It’s great to read all the comments about these displays bringing back memories for some of you all. I hope they do the same for my Stella. If I can figure out how to post pictures here I’ll show you all our display! It’s no huge, crazy display the likes of which you can see on Planet Christmas but I like it…..
    Also, I hope to do the Nativity scene and complete Santa’s sleigh and reindeer team in sometime in the future. Those reindeer are quite a bit of work!

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    James, you’ve got the right idea. The decorations should be classic and durable enough to come out year after year and create memories. You could fill you yard this year with plastic inflatable Ice Princess figures, and next year little Stella (great name, by the way) will have outgrown them. Picture her coming home from college and helping you put them up. That’s what you want, right?

  4. James says:

    Mary Elizabeth-what a great thought-Stella helping with the yard decorations for years to come. I’m sitting here picturing it now (and what a great picture). She already wants to help and she’s just shy of her 4th birthday. Thanks for the kudos on the name BTW! Yeah I can’t stand the inflatables. Blow molds yes….inflatables, heck no.

  5. James says:

    And you hit it on the head Mary Elizabeth…Stella would probably LOVE to have a particular ice princess (or queen or whatever she is) in the yard as her whole world is currently centered around that character and movie!

  6. Sara says:

    I wonder if you couldn’t just re-decoupage them with a new poster – cut the images out first and then glue them onto the old shapes and seal again.

    In other news, that Santa needs to GET ON MY LAWN.

  7. Jodie says:

    Oh how refreshing! No deflated plastic barf on the lawn during daylight hours. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story — and the source!

  8. David says:

    Please don’t paint them!
    My folks had a set, and I remember Dad making them, the “posters” were always faded looking.
    We set them out every year til Dad passed.
    The original colors were already rather muted.
    The set was awesome, I wish I still had it.
    It got everyone’s attention every year.
    So glad to hear of someone still loving a set like this!

  9. Aaron says:

    A little late to the feed but enjoyed one of the Santa/Sleigh with Mrs.Claus sets growing up as a child from our neighbors and would love to keep the tradition going in my neighborhood. U-Bild no longer has the set online. Is it out of stock or no longer in production?

  10. pam kueber says:

    Hi Aaron, I don’t know the answer to your question. Perhaps if you contact U-Bild directly they can update you on the pattern’s availability. Also keep an eye on ebay etc. – sometimes these come up for sale.Good luck.

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