Nativity Blocks

by Camille on November 10, 2009

The Nativity – a must-have in the Christmas decor.  But for some reason, all the Nativity sets I have ever seen are fragile and categorized in the “no touch” decorations.  My grandma had (has?) a gorgeous set made from a polished, white porcelain that was placed strategically on a bed of faux “snow”, a blanket of angel hair.  Two things I remember about this set: 1) constant reminders from my mom to not touch any figures! and that 2) the “angel hair” was made with fiberglass, so it would have cut our fingers anyway. 

willow_tree_nativity_2

 

The Nativity set that I have (from before I had kids) is somewhat similar: porcelain figurines, handcrafted and hand painted, not meant to be handled.

It wasn’t until the kiddos came along (constantly being overcome with some sort of magnetic force to the breakable statues) that I wished there were more of a “kid-friendly” Nativity set. 

Enter Super Saturday - where great and creative minds collaborate to provide simple ideas for the “not-so-crafty” (like me).  A woman in our ward (church group) offered her idea for a “hands on” Nativity scene made Especially for Kids!

Nativity scene

Connie Averett created these blocks and brought all the pieces needed for me to assemble. She had already pre-cut the wood, but as you can see, it is just a 2×4 chopped down to the height necessary. The hardest part about this project was the sanding (only because I did it by hand), but it made for a nice conversational opportunity with the other ladies sanding as well.

After all the pieces are sanded, apply a coat of wood stain – your choice of color – and allow for blocks to dry.

Nativity

Once the stain has dried, apply stickers (which came as a ”set” on the same sheet, and could probably be found at any scrap booking store).  In order for the stickers to adhere to the block, apply a layer of Mod Podge over the sticker and the face of the block.  As the Mod Podge dries, it will create a transparent and durable covering to protect the design.

And once that has dried, your Nativity blocks are ready for arranging!  And re-arranging.  This set screams “come play with me!”  Every participant in the Nativity scene, from the wise men to the shepherds will all have their chance to hold Baby Jesus.  And you won’t have to stress about having super glue on hand in case the angel is missing a wing the next day.

Baby Jesus

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 vanessa November 10, 2009 at 8:08 am

oooh I like this one!! Very cute

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2 Gigi November 10, 2009 at 8:18 am

Camille, this is just the cutest idea ever. I’m going to get a Nativity that the GRAND’s can use and arange how ever they wish :) Thank you.

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3 Kristina P. November 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

So cute! I’ve been collecting these tin figurines from Pier One. They finally got in Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus this year.

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4 Rebecca November 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I remember being confused at the slicing warnings from the angel hair. How could it cut my hand? It’ so soft!

These are really cute. If I had more motivation, I would make some. =)

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5 Sarah November 10, 2009 at 2:21 pm

My mom made a set out of chunky wood – i loved playing with it growing up and acting out the story as my dad read it from the scriptures. This is a great simple way to do that!

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6 Valerie November 10, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Very cute! I have a small, plastic nativity set that my mom passed on to me~ my kids have all loved playing with it! Although a couple of my boys have still snuck off with some of my nice, porcelain pieces…Who can resist Baby Jesus?

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7 Valerie M. November 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm

What a great idea. Thanks for posting. I’m not in your group of not-so-crafty women. I’m in the not-even-close-to-crafty group, but this looks like something I can do at home with my kids. And they can play with it. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing the idea with us.

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8 sandra November 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm

OH MY GOODNESS….I LOVE THIS! And little fingers can hold and touch!!!
Thanks for sharing. I’ll be looking for these cute-cute stickers.
Sandra

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9 Heffalump November 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Great idea!
I don’t even have a nativity set, although I have always wanted one. Every year I intend to buy a Little People one that my kids can handle, and every year the chance to do it comes and goes. Maybe I should go for blocks instead!

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10 Petit Elefant November 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

The best part? The kids can play and rearrange to their heart’s content.

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11 Evonne November 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I collect Nativity sets. I have a few that Van can play with it, but I have lots that are “untouchable”. I definitely need to make this for my collection.

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12 Steph November 12, 2009 at 10:54 am

Very cute. That might me a craft project even *I* can do.

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13 Tauna November 14, 2009 at 10:08 am

I need to know where or what brand the stickers are! I looked in Roberts and Michaels and couldn’t find anything. Now I’m looking for clip art that I could use. Any ideas????????

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14 tc November 16, 2009 at 11:39 am

I made one of these with felt & 2 4’s when my children were young. Does anyone have that pattern?

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15 Linda November 29, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Adorable. They are as cute as can be. I bet the girls love them. I sure do.

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16 katie November 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Hi this is wonderful idea and it looks great. I have one question for you:
is it possible to get those pictures somehow, where did you get it? many thanks
hopefully i will do some for my little son :)

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17 Crystal Wallace December 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I have been looking for these stickers so I can make this. Do you know where I can find them?

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18 Bonita December 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Just letting you know that I linked to this post on my page called Nativity Activities for Kids: http://www.zujava.com/nativity-activities-for-kids

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19 Jo Dopp December 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I want to buy these stickers so I can make this. Do you know where I can find them?

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20 Sheri Lieber December 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Please tell me where you found those adorable stickers! The brand name? Love this idea!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Sheri Lieber

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