DIY Nativity Stable

This DIY Nativity Stable is so easy to put together with bits and pieces of scrap wood and will work with almost any kind of nativity set you might have.

Willow Tree Nativity

Weeks ago, I had mentioned to my husband that I’d like to have the Willow Tree Nativity Set and Three Wisemen for my birthday.

I suspected that he had bought them, and because of everything our family has been going through lately, I asked him if I could open them early.

I just needed something that would bring me a source of comfort and help me try to calm my anxiety-ridden heart.

There are many more pieces to the Willow Tree Set, that I hope to add over the years to come, including the creche. However, as much as I love the Willow Tree Creche, at $166, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that.

I can’t make the figurines themselves, but in looking at the simple lines of the stable, I figured I could manage to make my own similar version. Especially since I still have a lot of my dad’s oak scrap wood in my garage, which would make the creche even more personal and unique.

DIY Nativity Stable Creche for Willow Tree Nativity set
Willow Tree Nativity Creche

Even this knock-off version on Amazon is close to 90 bucks. My DIY Nativity Stable cost next to nothing, and looks almost exactly like it.

I am partnering with the Dixie Belle Paint Company for this post. Paint, stain, and supplies were generously provided to me by Dixie Belle, but all ideas and creations are my own.

How to Make a DIY Nativity Stable

Cutting

I gathered several pieces of scrap oak that were leftover from my parents’ kitchen renovation from many years ago. I saved them from the top of their garage before we settled their estate and sold the home.

Using some of this sentimental wood for this project made it even more special.

I needed a thin piece of wood for the back of the stable, so I used a piece of leftover beadboard from our cabinet makeover.

We used a miter saw to cut the angles for the roof, and the side supports.

Assembling

We attached all the pieces with our Ryobi brad nailer, but you could also do this with a hammer and small finishing nails. If you are using a hardwood like oak, you might need to drill some pilot holes first.

We left the back piece of beadboard just slightly longer than the side supports, to give us something to attach to the base on the back.

I used a stainable wood filler to fill in the little gaps along the roofline and give it a more finished look.

Staining

I used my Dixie Belle sanding sponge to smooth the wood filler and any rough edges on the wood in preparation for staining, then wiped it all down with a tack cloth to make sure there was no dust or debris.

I started with the largest piece of the base, which we cut to be approximately 20″x11″, similar to the Willow Tree Creche.

I used Dixie Belle’s Voodoo Gel Stain in the gray shade, which is called Up In Smoke, to create a weathered wood look.

Because the Voodoo Gel Stain comes in a squeeze bottle, it’s easy to apply. I squeezed some directly onto my oak base, spread it with a chip brush, and then wiped it back with a paper towel.

This method allowed the wood grain to show through, but gave the wood an aged gray tone.

I used this same method on the DIY Nativity Stable portion as well.

To finish it off, I used another small piece of oak scrapwood to add a crossbar detail, similar to the Willow Tree version, and a star to the top of the stable.

The star came from the Christmas craft section at Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t crazy about the silver color, so I smoothed on a little bit of Amber Gemstone Mousse to give it almost a coppery sheen.

Display

I let the stain and mousse dry for 24 hours before setting up my DIY Nativity Stable with my Willow Tree figurines.

I decided to place it on the antique buffet I bought a couple of months ago (that is still waiting for its makeover) in our bedroom.

I wanted some lights to accent the display, so I wrapped these two architectural brackets in a string of my favorite fairy lights and placed them behind the stable for backlighting.

Inside the stable, behind Mary and Joseph, I placed two battery-operated tea light candles that are on a timer.

I like the warm glow it gives off at night in this room, which is where we often choose to snuggle in and watch TV at the very end of a long day.

We didn’t get our big tree put up this year, because of the circumstances, so this little bit of Christmas spirit is giving me some comfort right now. I may just leave it up indefinitely.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Shop for Willow Tree Nativity

13 thoughts on “DIY Nativity Stable

  1. I love the crêche you’ve made for your birthday Nativity!! I’m sorry again about all that is happening but I hope Evie is improving. Praying for her healing, your family’s comfort and strength, and God’s wisdom for the doctors and staff to know best how to help her now and in the future.

    I shared your Nativity Stable this week at Share Your Style #330 for you. I love it’s simplicity and the way you canted the sides a bit. I have just a few things from my own father and father-in-law, including the old shelf that I put together last year after we drove back from California and his funeral (FIL). Treasures!

    If Evie can see, or even if she can’t but she can feel with her hands, put the Nativity pieces into her hands and have her feel them. Tell her about Baby Jesus (which I am sure you all already have!) and how he healed people. God still performs miracles and we know this… She would enjoy seeing them. <3 And I bet you COULD carve some wooden pieces for her. You just need time. <3 Maybe a cute Noah's Ark set… You are really good at wood working, Niky! God has given you that gift…

    Much love to you all,
    Barb <3

  2. Hi Niky,
    I love your crèche and the brackets really are the finishing touch!
    I haven’t been keeping up with my favorite blogs and just saw that your sweet grand baby is scheduled for surgery today. I’m praying for her recovery and for strength and peace for her parents and the family that loves them. God Bless

    1. Thank you so much, Laura. I cannot even fully express how much your prayers mean to us.❤️ I want my daughter and son-in-law to know they have SO MANY people praying for them, supporting them, and caring about little Evie. They truly need a village right now.

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