Dec 10, 2013

diy simple + chic christmas nativity

i have been looking for a new nativity set for the last few years. i wanted one that was simple, preferably all white,  a little bigger than the one i have had for ages, and affordable. you would have thought i was looking for a unicorn! i have searched and searched, and found some very pretty ones that were all over $150, and found some very affordable ones that were not at all my style.
and so i decided to make one!

materials for this project:
*1 2 x 6 board, cut to fit your nativity. mine is 16" long
*nativity set. i bought mine at walmart
*long holiday picks. i used 11 for my board
*ivory/white spray paint
*stain for board
*drill/drill bit
*measuring tape
*wire cutters
(optional star--mine was bought last year on clearance from pier 1)

the first thing i did was figure out where to place the holes for my picks.

i placed my marks about 1.5 " apart, and staggered them--one in the middle, one closer to the front, and another closer to the back of the board. this staggering effect creates more dimension and allows more picks to be placed on the board.


i penciled in an X or O where i needed to drill.
after i drilled the holes, i lightly sanded them to remove any sharp edges.

the figures were all sprayed with white paint. i used fusion paint (good for plastic) since my figures are made of resin.

i bought some spray "stain/polyurethane in one", but it was a bust. the color was much lighter than promised, and it went on streaky. i had some stain leftover from when we tested colors for our hardwood floors, and so i used "dark walnut" from minwax.

the picks were cut down in order to fit into the drilled holes. sorry i didn't get a picture of me ACTUALLY cutting them. i kinda like my fingers and want them to stay attached to my body!
here's the aftermath:

and, the finished product!

you can see a little peek of my holiday decor in these pictures! i will be posting a holiday tour of my house later this week!


  1. No joke, I got that exact nativity set at a family white elephant exchange a couple of years ago! My brother-in-law had picked it up for his wife (as a real gift), she passed it along to me, and from there it went straight to Goodwill! If only we had your vision!

  2. I had the same problem finding a nativity scene as well. I have wanted one for years! Not sure why I never thought of spray paint... #genius

    1. thanks! its kinda amazing how great spray paint is! it solves so much ugliness!

  3. Love this…willing to share where you purchased the gold holiday picks?

    1. denise, half were purchased at walmart, and the other half at michaels.

  4. it's gorgeous! white spray paint can fix so many problems. and I love the gold "trees"...clever!

  5. Love the backdrop. I, too, spray painted my nativity a few years back as it was nearly impossible to find anything white. Your display looks lovely.

  6. Absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about this set!

  7. Wow! Really gorgeous! How creative to make your own Nativity set. I never would have thought to do that. It turned out wonderful.