DIY Nativity Set

I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I made this!  And.. To my wonder THIS HAS become the set that my kids a so excited to set up each year!  And how could I forget that the sheep was made from a Santa or that the baby Jesus head is a bouncy ball!  lol  THIS is one of the main reason I am so glad that I blog!  We have loved our simple set and… the only set we have added since then is the Little People Nativity set.  lol  They all love that one too!

Decorating the house for Christmas has always been on of my favorite traditions of the season.   I remember fighting over pieces of my mom’s nativity set with my sister.  Apparently we took turns putting up the baby Jesus….  seriously… how did we remember whose turn it was?    Every year we put up decorations with the kids I am reminded that yet again I forgot to purchase a set in the after Christmas sales.

When making a trip to the thrift store I spotted this!  It was only 6 bucks, but it was huge.  It needed a little work…  The baby Jesus was sitting behind his stand and poor Mary is being choked by the rope for her headdress!   I love the simplicity of the set.  Just sweet Joseph with this wife and the newborn baby.  But… we are planning on moving in a couple of months.  Military.  I would hate to just sell it or store it for a year.  But… the set reminded me of something I had back at my home!

 These mini fence posts were also purchased at the thrift store.  They are 14 inches tall here.  I paid 2.50 for them a while back because I’ve been wanting to learn to paint.  These came with patterns to create either an Angel, a Moose, or… a Snowman?  I don’t remember, but… I could easily create a little nativity set instead right?

First… 5 wasn’t enough to create everything I wanted so… out came my Dremel!  I cut 4 inches off each, but the last one I cut in half.

 I then sanded the tops of the pointy ones a little more.  The extra from the first two I glued together and rounded the top part of one.   I chucked the bottoms of the two right above the glue… Didn’t need them.  I also rounded two corners of the one I split in half.

 I purchased some 1 inch square wood blocks and glue 2 about 3 cm from the bottom of each piece.  The  one I cut in half I wanted laying lengthwise.  It’s going to be the manger.  The rounded, pieced together one is going to be a shepard.  This is actually going to be the front side of him.  I put a block about a half in up from the bottom and more towards the left side.

 I did find a little sheep cut-out at Micheals that would have work to glue here, but… the Santa cut out was .25 instead of a dollar.  I was still gunna have to paint the other one too so…  Here is a picture of “Santa”  before he becomes “Sheep”!

 I painted an oval shape area a skinish color.  I mixed some paints… didn’t want to buy skin color…

 I also painted a little bouncy ball I had around the house a flesh color.  I painted the tip of “Santa’s” hat black and the rest white!  The manger is grey with Crackle paint and then brown.

 I then cut some post-it notes to size and taped the over the face areas.

 Then I painted each person the color I wanted!  This is Joseph…

 Here is everybody painted, with touched up faces and a layer of Mod Podge.  Notice the Dark Green wiseman still has wet Mod Podge… I was just getting excited!  This might actually turn out cute!

Finishing my Shepard was easy.  I just tied twine around his waist to hide where I glued two pieces of wood together.  The batting cut to shape has transformed Santa into Sheep!

I then Hot Glued some gold ribbon around the Wisemen’s heads.  Their gifts are simply dowel finials I purchased for .23 each at the hardware store.  They are yellow with gold glitter T-Shirt paint and a Jewel on top!  I just hot glued them to the front.

 The hay in the manger stumped me or a few days, but I LOVE how it turned out!  I got some twine and made small bundles.  I tied a single cord tightly around each bundle.

I then folded the bundles in half and put a giant dot of hot glue where it would go on the manger.  Instead of sticking the twine to the manger I held the twine with the folded knot side up.  I then turned the manger onto the twine and blew and held till it dried pretty good.  This kept the hot glue from sneaking down the side of the manger and instead seeped it through out the bottom of the twine bundle.  It helped the twine stick up a bit.

Here they are all lined up!  Here I snipped the loops and….

Frayed the twine!  I also cut some thin batting to act as a blanket.  I hot glued it to my bounce ball at the top and then rolled the tip and tacked it down!

How to Mary, Joseph and Jesus look!  Perfect for me!  The star was .50 cents.  I painted it to match the finials on the Wisemen.  I simply hot glued it to a wire that I had spiraled around a pen.  I glue that to the back of Joseph’s head.

Here is everyone together.  The colors are really more earthy than jewel toned like the picture.  I suppose that some would think they need faces, but… I’m no painting expert.  I loved the simplicity of the original.  So… While this may not be the nativity set I have dream of my children fighting over….  It only cost me under 7 dollars because I used mostly things I found around my home!

Here is a list of the things I had to by to finish it!

Dowel Finials – .75

Star – .50

Santa – .25

Purple Paint- .59

1 Inch Wood blocks – 2.00

Mini Fence Posts – 2.50 (A while ago at the thrift store.)

This set has held up GREAT over the years!  I think the only thing I would have changed is perhaps I should have used a varnish instead of Mod Podge to seal everything.  If they sit to close together in storage they stick.  One day I will have a beautiful fancy Nativity set, but until I grow up enough to own one this has been perfect for us!

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