I when I was young, my mom began collecting a nativity set made by Fontanini. We loved them because not only were they beautiful, they were made of rubber, so we could move the pieces around as we pleased without the worry of them breaking.
When we got married, I missed this nativity set, so I scoured Ebay and found a set (sans manger) for a steal of a deal. I had the intention of adding a new piece every year like my mom did, but because I started out with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, three wisemen, a shepherd, a sheep, and an angel, it has been sufficient. This year I will get one more shepherd, but I also wanted a stable. Fontanini stables are expensive, and though craft store stables aren't too bad, but I wanted to try and make one.
It was a fairly easy project if you have all the supplies and it only cost me $3.50 worth of moss and $0.50 worth of hot glue, because I had everything else.
Here is a tutorial:
- 1 box used to hold canned goods (my box held 12 cans of corn)
- 1 box used to hold produce (this box was extra sturdy, but you can double up layers of cardboard to get a similar effect
- Brown Kraft paper (or a couple of paper grocery bags)
- Stick and twigs
- Brown paint
- Duct tape
- Hot glue
- Modge Podge or simple Elmers glue
- Wood glue
- Sheet moss (I used ProFlora preserved sheet moss--Walmart)
- Utility knife
- Pruner shears to cut the sticks
- Hot glue gun
- Foam paintbrush
1. Create a curved base out of the produce box.
2. Cut off the corners of the canned goods box and add cardboard from the produce box for the roof. Attach with duct tape. Obviously you can make the roof asymmetrical or symmetrical.
3. Rip pieces of brown Kraft paper or paper bags. Using Modge Podge or Elmer's glue to attach pieces to the stable. Attach paper to sides, roof, back and inside of stable, but not the floor part of the stable.
4. Attach the stable to the base with duct tape. Cover the rest of the piece with torn Kraft paper.
5. Cut sticks and twigs at various length and attach to stable with wood glue (hot glue would be fine as well) as desired. I attached sticks along the roof line, in the corners and to the back of the stable.
6. Water down some brown paint. Paint the corners and edges of the paper. Blend together with water. This will add texture to the stable, as well as highlight the torn edges because they soak up the paint more than the parts of the paper that aren't torn.
7. Attach moss with hot glue. It helps to spread and tear the moss so you use less moss and the color isn't just solid green.