I know I’ve already done two kinds of nativities for our 31 days project so far (the nativity lightbox and the wooden nativity cutouts), but I have one more that would be a great addition to your decor this year. In our family, we have many Christmas philosophies – one of them being “You can never have too many Nativities”. That’s right. We love us some Baby Jesus, y’all.
To be serious for a second, the Nativity is such an important part of Christmas for us – the birth of our Savior means more to us than we could possibly fit in a single blog post, and it is important to us to keep that at the forefront of our Holiday season. So we make sure we talk about it with our kids at every opportunity, that we serve our community in His name, and that we try our dangdest to make sure Jesus remains the focus of Christmas for us. And we find that having approximately 20,000 adorable nativities throughout our home help.
If you’d like to come along with us on making our house the Mecca of Rustic Nativity Home Decor (and who are we kidding, we’ve already got you here), this will be our next stop. This is a simple, minimalist manger scene that’s really just the manger, star, and stable, built out of pallet wood for a very rustic look. You could also make it out of 1x4s for a more modern feel if you like. It only takes a few minutes to put together and just about anyone can do it!
1x4s or pallet slats
Hay or fake moss
Saw – in this case, any saw will do. Well, ok. Not any saw. A hacksaw isn’t going to get you far on this and a chainsaw is mega overkill. Just one that cuts wood is fine.
Hammer (for nails) or Drill (for screws) or Screwdriver (if you hate yourself and want to do way more work that you have to)
Put It Together
Cut your 1x4s or pallet slats down to 18″ – you’ll need 6.
Make a square with four of them. Just overlap them, then glue and nail them together. You can make a square, right? If you’re at least 6 you should be able to. If you’re under that, kudos for being able to read.
Take your last two pallet slats and place at a 90 degree angle, then glue and nail together.
Now glue and nail that onto the square to make a roof. Seriously guys, this is so easy.
Once that’s done, take a piece of scrap and cut the ends off at 45 degree angles to make a manger, then glue and nail it to the bottom of the stable:
You can call it done here if you want, but I think it needs a star. Take another piece of scrap and draw a star on it – I’m no artist, so I drew a geometric one.
This is where it might get tricky – you’ll probably need a jigsaw or scroll saw to cut this one out. Sorry, I couldn’t make it too easy, where’s the fun in that?
After cutting it out, attach it to the top of the stable.
The final touch is some hay in the manger. We used some spanish moss that you can get at a craft store (or even Wal-Mart) and hot glued it onto the manger. With that, it’s done!
If you want to customize it some, you could dry brush the manger any color you like. I think a cream or red rustic paint job would look great. If you made it out of new wood, any stain would make it look amazing too.
This piece is big enough that it would look great on a front porch at Christmastime, or even hung on a wall. And it only took about an hour to put together!
Overall this project cost us just a couple of dollars since we used pallet wood. It’s another fast and easy piece of unique Christmas decor that you can keep for yourself or gift to just about anyone…family, friends, coworkers, even the ministers at your church. And since it only costs a couple of dollars and needs very little expertise, you can save your self some big $$ by giving them as thoughtful, awesome gifts, instead of giving your hard earned cash to the big box stores who sell plastic, prepackaged junk that will break after the third use.