Simple steps to make a rustic nativity.

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diy rustic nativity by NellieBellie. An easy tutorial for this darling project.

I’ve never owned a nativity set before.  I just generally don’t like them.  I find them chinzy, or fake, or overly elaborate, or a hundred other negative things.  They all just seem a bit ridiculous to me.  But I also don’t want to be a scrooge.  I love Christmas, and a cute little nativity set seems the perfect addition to most decorations.  So I set about making this rustic nativity set that seemed real and fun and perfect for me and my family.

This is an easy project that requires little in the way of supplies.  That’s how we roll around here:  easy and cheap.




blocks of wood.
white paint.
sharpie (or black paint)
sand paper.
glitter (I put a light bit on…glitter makes everything better )

Instructions for Rustic Nativity:

1. Sand the edges of your blocks to give them a bit of a worn look.

2. Slather the blocks in white paint.

3. Sand off the edges to “distress” it a bit.

4. rub in black paint on the distressed bits…rub off. Repeat until you get the look you want.

5. pencil in your nativity scene you are using. I did this freehand from a picture I found on Google.

6. fill in with a Sharpie or black paint.

7. after sufficient drying, sand a bit to rough it up.

8. I recommend gluing another block of wood to the backs if needed so they stand properly. My big block needed the extra support…the little one didn’t.

I put my baby Jesus in a wood crate with raffia around and placed the star on top. I love the simple look…it’s so effective!!  And I now have a nativity set that I like, that doesn’t seem excessive or cheap.

DIY rustic nativity: NellieBellie

If you like this simple Christmas craft, you might also like:

Sharpie ornaments, forest animals
Sharpie ornaments, winter
snowglobe ornament
driftwood and ornament centerpiece
reindeer rootbeer
Christmas placemat
Santa’s Key

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.

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