(Apologies: This posts is rather picture heavy)
I opted to alter trees as I had a few of the larger ones in my stash and tinsel twine doesn't fit with my final design concept (pretty high-falutin' way of describing how my brain works!). I dabbled around with several ideas, including frames, before I settled on a diorama base that could work within an existing "Christmas Village" set up that I have had since we lived in Houston, TX! Basically, the village was a collection of small white porcelain ornaments in the shape of various styles of houses, including a castle, a church and even a barn! I bought every one of the little houses I could find back in the 80s and removed their gold cord hangers (unfortunately that left holes in the roofs but, so far, the "residents" haven't complained!). I then arranged them on some quilt batting and scattered glitter, silver beads and even a few clear crystals around to give a wintery look (Once I even used spray snow but it didn't "work") . When we moved to Ohio a decade later, I found three little copper wire trees just the right size for my village at a jewelry consignment and snapped them up too. A study in white with a little bling:
We (husband and I) auditioned the church, the farm buildings and a castle and finally settled on the castle (they are always above villages, right? At least they were in Germany and Hungary and...).
Now, for the set-up. I cleared the glass shelf in the nook at the head of the stairs on the second floor and searched out a couple of small boxes to perch the plaque on (settled on an Avon gift box with a checkbook box in front of it to give a stair-step effect). Once placed on top of the Avon box, the apron of batting that I left untrimmed covered both boxes, allowing the castle and its gates to be placed, as well as some of those "crystals" to simulate the icy boulders strewn about the cliff face create by that now invisible Avon and checkbook box system!):
I then rearranged my Romanian folk musicians (and their Hungarian guard) on the shelf above and taped one of my Hawaiian souvenir woven wire stars to the shelf so it hung over the scene. (A silk Poinsettia arrangement, some ceramic figurines and my camel collection remained on the shelf below...)