How To Make Your Own Nativity Scene

If you’re looking for a new Christmas tradition, you could make your own nativity scene. When it comes to Christmas imagery the nativity scene is a must on your Christmas bucket list.

A symbol of the Christian holidays, the nativity shows the baby Jesus in a manger with Mary, Joseph, the wise men, a shepherd and an angel in a barn. It’s very simple to make your own nativity scene but we’ll help you figure out where to place it and the best place to buy the figures.

The History Of Nativity Scenes

Nativity scene illustration

The first reported nativity scene was in 1223. Created by Saint Francis of Assisi, an Italian monk who sought to give a visualisation of the birth of Jesus as described in the Gospel of Luke in the bible. Now you are likely to see a nativity set in churches and shops as you go around town at Christmas.

How Do I Arrange A Nativity Scene?

When arranging the scene there are a few rules to stick to. First of all, the baby Jesus should always be front and centre. Mary and Joseph should be next to the baby, but Mary should be closer to the manger to show her closer bond to the baby. To the sides of Mary and Joseph, you can place the wise men and the shepherd. There you have a basic nativity scene. You can also have an angel, some sheep and a star in your scene but that depends on the set of figurines you get for your scene.

When Should I Put Out My Nativity Scene?

nativity scene outside

When it comes to putting out your nativity scene you could put it out earlier in the holiday season. The display should be placed in a highly visible area of your home. For example, on the fireplace or on a bookshelf. However, when assembling your scene, you could not put baby Jesus into the scene until Christmas morning, to show how he was born on Christmas day.

How Long Should I Keep My Nativity Scene Out?

From the day you put out your scene, you can keep your scene displayed until the feast of Epiphany. This is a day in the Christian calendar which celebrates God in Jesus.  The feast of Epiphany is on the 6th of January.

Why Is The Nativity Scene Important?

When it comes to Christmas things you may be wondering, why is the nativity scene important? The scene is important to those who follow the bible. It’s a celebration of the birth of Jesus and having a visual really cements it for people as not just a story. It is a mindful reminder of the importance of Christ and God and the message of Christianity. 

Where Can I Get A Nativity Set?

Ok, so now that you know how to arrange a scene and where to put it when. You need to get buying the figures. Amazon has a large variety and many different style sets.

If you want some cute handmade sets, Etsy has a great range, from a make-your-own felt nativity kits to hand-painted sets you may find one that suits your home style.

How to make a nativity scene

To make a nativity scene at home this Christmas you will need:


Now get creative! Assemble all your nativity pieces in an arrangement that best depicts the moment of the nativity as you see it. Be inspired and enjoy!

nativity set

How to make your own nativity scene

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