Here's a trick our Department 56 designer, Kristy, uses in her village displays - tiles from the hardware store! This is an easy way to camouflage your Styrofoam base and emphasizes the height variation of different levels in your village, as well as adding color and texture. She has used three different tiles for different effects.
1. 1" Square tumbled marble tiles (she used a mix of colors). Leave them on the factor backing, and use floral u-shaped push pins to secure them to the side of your Styrofoam. The gaps between tiles are not large enough to worry about.
2. 1" Long x 1/2" wide tumble marble tiles (a color mix again). Pull out every other tile on alternating rows, and fill the gaps with artificial grass in tan or green. You can secure the tiles and the grass at the same time with more floral push pins.
3. Pre-set, octagonal and square tile patterns used as a base for a tree in the town square. You won't even have to think of a tile pattern if you grab a pleasing pattern, already laid out for you by the tile manufacturer. These white tiles are a beautiful contrast to the sparkling and eye-catching red tree - a wonderful focal point around which to group several buildings and additional accessories.