When I was a wee lad I started going to a ceramics studio with my grandmother. Every time I went it was so exciting to look through the molds to decide what I was going to make. One year I made a nativity set – being a young modernist, I painted all the figures white with a slight antique wash. My parents still use this nativity set today. The one thing lacking – the poor figurines have never had an actual structure over their heads. I figured mine are probably not alone in the lack of a home, so, here is my nativity set’s long overdue manger…
1/4 plywood (you could really make it from foam core as well)
1/4″ wood dowels
1″ wide craft wood
4″ wide craft wood
Attach the back wall and the sides to the base using small wood screws and glue.
Connect the dowels using twine.
If you want the structure to be super secure, drill two holes in the base that the archway can slide into. (Good idea if kids are going to be playing with it.) Otherwise, just glue them in place so the peak of the archway lines up with the peak of the back wall
Use more dowels to make a small balustrade the length of the right wall.
Glue it in place and add another piece of dowel connecting the archway to the side wall.
Use the 4″ craft wood to make a roof over the window and archway. (I actually used a combination of the 4″ and the 1″ for the archway area since I didn’t have quite enough wood.)
Use dowels and the 1″ craft wood to make a slatted roof to go over the right hand side.
Now that your structure is complete decorate it to fit your own nativity set. I painted mine white all over and then brushed on a light coat of brown for an antique wash (see, I haven’t changed at all) and then added some more dowels to the back to look like support beams. Also a little moss here and there for drama. For added effect, I coated the base in Mod Podge and then covered it in sand. If I waited this long to give my figurines a home, it might as well be as authentic as possible, right!