Building a Nativity Creche

December 8, 2014

nativity creche finish

I love when our grandchildren see our Christmas Tree for the first time each year. No matter how old they are…it’s always a treat to see them dazzled by the ornaments and twinkling lights. Awww, who am I kidding? My husband and I are just as bedazzled by the tree the first time we step back and look at it. It’s just so pretty! I love seeing the tree for the first time and I love seeing the children see it for the first time, too!

But what I love even more is when they see my nativity scene and find baby Jesus. In hushed and awed tones they whisper, “Look. Baby Jesus.”  I’d like to have a nativity creche in every room.  I don’t ever want the true meaning of Christmas to be lost in all the festivities.   To me, a nativity scene conveys a silent message that permeates each room.

That’s what I hope for. That’s what I pray for.

Yes, and they are kind of a weakness for me….I found a large Nativity set at a yard sale this past Summer. It’s a nicer set with finer details than others I have and so I wanted a manger befitting a KING. This weekend my husband found time to make me one….and it’s perfect.

Building creche2

I suggested we use boards from a pallet,  but my carpenter  husband said “no.”  Which is exactly what he said every time I mentioned using a glue gun. (He has no idea how simple I could make his life….)

First, he found some old boards to use. Actually one old board was all it took.  He also used branches off of trees that had fallen in the yard. He, being the perfectionist that he is, pre-drilled all holes and then used wood screws to put it together. I’m sure it will last much longer and hold up much better than my plan to hot glue everything…. 😉

nativity old wood

I found more branches in a pile beside the road with really pretty lichen and fungus, for added interest. And to top it all,  I had a bag of sheet moss that I’ve had stored, for such a time as this, at least 12 years!  This is why I don’t believe in throwing things away…ha!

nativity old boards

Please don’t tell…but the little bitty short stick, in the photo below, leaning against the main support…I hot glued it!

Nativity lichen

We determined the creche size based on the table I planned to display it on and from the sizes of the figurines. We needed to be 30 inches wide and 12 inches tall in the center and 9 inches tall on each side.   Another dimension we had to decide on was the floor and roof.  We brought the flooring (a scrap of plywood)  14 inches (including ‘porch’), front to back, because there are so many ‘people and animals’ that need to have a place to stand.  The roof was 7 inches front to back. The whole thing could have been bigger….;)

I suggest you make your lowest roof line at least one inch higher than your tallest wise man. My tallest wise man is 8 inches. Therefore, we made the lowest side of the roof 9 inches high. Then we gradually formed the peak about 5 inches higher. This gave plenty of room to stand the wise man up, inside.

nativity creche finished

At this point, I added my sheet moss to the roof. Any moss will do for the top. I used hot glue and spray glue.

nativity adding moss

Mangers tend to be dark and we really wanted to showcase this one, so my husband drilled holes large enough to hold a row of Christmas lights along the top back near the ceiling. The extra lights on the string would be perfect to lay inside the manger.

nativity backlights

I used a 50 count strand of lights. After he finished his “masterpiece,” I spread the burlap over the flooring and cut to fit the sides. I didn’t glue it down, but you could. I used another beige fabric to cover the table, but if you had enough burlap you could use that.

nativity lights and burlap

See how pretty?  Then I arranged the remaining lights and covered them with a sheer shimmery fabric, so the lights could shine up on the faces.

nativity sheer fabric

I found a small wire star at The Salvation Army store for 49 cent a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to do with it but last night I decided it was perfect for my creche.

nativity star

Don’t you think?

nativity star tacked

I wanted to have an angel over the top and so we picked up a bracket for shelving and used it to attach the angel to the top.

nativity shelf bracket

nativity inserting bracket

The bracket was screwed into place, underneath the moss. And the Angel was placed over the bracket.

nativity creche complete

When God sent His Son to Earth,  it was a plan that had been in place since before the beginning of time, as we know it.  God always knew we would need a savior. He painted us a picture of His plan throughout all the ages, if only we could see and understand. His plan was spelled out in the sacrificial lambs that were offered as atonement for sin.

For thousands of years, this was God’s plan. Everybody knew it. And when it was time for God to send his son, the perfect Lamb of God, God  didn’t want us to make any mistake about it. His son, The Lamb of God,  was born exactly were lambs ought to be born, in a stable.  Where else?  Perfection.

nativity creche3

See how perfectly Jesus lights up with the extra lights? He is the Light of the World!

My prayer is that someplace, in each room of our home,  a silent creche speaks volumes simply by its presence.

“For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  AND THIS SHALL BE A SIGN!!!! unto you…You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Luke 2

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

Is a Nativity Creche a part of  your Christmas Decor?  I hope so. 🙂

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2 Comments

  • yaya

    this came out beautiful, thanx for sharing

    November 20, 2016 at 1:53 pm Reply
    • admin

      I’m so happy to hear that! We are about to build another one for our son! Have a blessed Christmas season!

      November 27, 2016 at 8:56 pm Reply

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