I have always wanted a special nativity set. My problem is, my tastes change and what I like this year, I may not like next year. There are so many different styles of nativity sets - natural, elegant, traditional, etc. I just haven't found one so far that speaks to me enough to spend the money. And, the ones at the thrift stores seem to always have a missing piece - like 2 kings instead of 3 or no baby Jesus!
This year, I decided to make my own nativity scene. I have mentioned the German glass glitter I purchased from Meyer Imports a while back. I've been using it a lot this Christmas. There really is a difference in this glitter from what you get at a craft store. Anyway, I decided I would make a simple silhouette nativity scene and make it shine with the German glass glitter. I found the silhouette images online and there are lots to choose from. I cut them from chip board so they would be sturdy and then sprayed each one with spray adhesive and covered them with the silver glass glitter.
I knew I wanted to include some kind of stable that was simple and rustic to contrast with the glittery scene. So, last Sunday, I decided to take a drive to our township yard waste recycling center. It's where you can drop off leaves, yard clippings, or even entire trees and the township makes garden compost and mulch from it for residents to use. It's a great source for branches! I hit the jackpot that day with lots of evergreens and some beautiful branches with red berries! And, way in the back, there were some birch branches that I thought would be perfect for my stable.
I wasn't really dressed appropriately to climb through the mountains of branches to get to the birch and didn't have anything with me to cut any of the branches into manageable pieces. So, I called hubby to come help me out with some pruning sheers. What he doesn't do for me!
I really wasn't sure how I would make the branches into a stable, but just started cutting and placing the pieces until I was happy with it. I used tiny nails to attach the main branches and then wrapped jute twine around those joints for extra support. Then I used my glue gun to attach some twiggy pieces to make it look more rustic.
I added some of the evergreens to my mantel, and then placed the stable in front of a framed chalkboard that used to be a vintage mirror (but that's another story!). Then I placed some of the extra birch branches randomly in front to act as stands for my glittered silhouette nativity characters. I just hot glued each piece to the branches where I wanted them. I've moved the pieces several times now and they seem pretty secure and sturdy.
So, that's my DIY Nativity for 2012. I may not like it next year, but that's okay - it was mostly an investment in time and I had so much fun putting it together!
I would love to hear if you have a special nativity that you put out each year!