How to Make a Nativity Scene Out of Wood

Are you looking for a creative and unique way how to make a nativity scene out of wood? There’s no better way to bring the Christmas spirit into your home! You’ll be delighted by how much fun you have in creating such a beautiful piece – plus, it can become a treasured family heirloom that will last for many years.

How to Make a Nativity Scene Out of Wood

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced woodworker, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your nativity scene out of wood. Always use proper safety equipment when working with any power tool.

In this blog post, we will walk through every step from start to finish of constructing an impactful wooden nativity scene. Let’s get started crafting!

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, ensure you’ve gathered all the necessary materials. Here is a list of what you’ll need to make your wooden nativity scene:

  • Woodworking tools such as saws, routers, drill presses, and wood glue
  • A variety of quality hardwoods
  • Sandpaper or power sander
  • Finishing materials like clear coat sealer, wood stain, paint, and glitter
  • Various sizes of wooden dowels for assembling the figures to make a nativity scene

Once you have all your materials ready, it’s time to get building!

10 Easy Steps on How to Make a Nativity Scene Out of Wood

Step 1: Cut the Wood

Using your saw, cut out the basic shapes of each of the nativity scene figures. You can make them as detailed or as simple as you prefer. Use proper safety equipment and follow all instructions on operating your power tools safely. Once completed, smooth any rough edges with a router or wood sandpaper.

Step 2: Assemble the Figures

Using wood glue, assemble the figures of the nativity scene. Use wooden dowels for extra support when necessary. Let them dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Using Your Saw Cut Out the Basic Shapes

Step 3: Paint and Decorate

If desired, you can paint or decorate the figures with whatever colors and designs you’d like. Once completed, allow them to dry completely before continuing. You can also use a clear coat sealer for extra protection.

Step 4: Attach the Figures to the Base

Choose your preferred base material – such as wood, plastic, or Styrofoam – and attach each figure to it using wood glue. Let them dry completely before proceeding to the next step. If desired, you can also make a stable out of wood or other materials to give the nativity scene an extra special touch.

Step 5: Final Touches

Now that all your figures are attached to the base, it’s time for the final touches. You can use glitter, wood stain, and/or paint to decorate and bring the nativity scene to life. If you prefer, you can also add additional items like small trees and other props to enhance the overall look of your piece.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Once everything is dry, it’s time to add a few final touches. Use clear coat sealer for extra protection against humidity and other elements. It will also keep the colors vibrant and prevent them from fading.

Step 7: Add the Lighting

If desired, you can add lighting to your nativity scene. Many options are available, such as electric lights or battery-powered LED lights. This will give your piece an extra special touch and help it stand out even more!

Add Lighting to Your Nativity Scene

Step 8: Display Your Nativity Scene

Now that your nativity scene is finished, it’s time to display it. You can place it in your living room, family room, or wherever you prefer. Try to position it in a spot where it will be visible and admired by all.

Step 9: Keep it Safe

If you plan on keeping your nativity scene for many years, keep it safe. Take special care when handling or moving it, as the figures can be fragile and easily damaged. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Nativity Scene!

Now that your nativity scene is complete, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be sure to take some pictures or videos and share them with your friends and family! Your nativity scene will bring joy and Christmas cheer for many years.

By following the above steps, you can create an incredible and unique wooden nativity scene that your family will cherish for generations. Have fun and enjoy the process!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. To make the nativity scene look more realistic, use multiple shades of wood. For example, opt for a light colored wood such as maple or cherry for the figures and darker woods such as walnut or mahogany for the base.
  2. If you use power tools to cut out your pieces, wear appropriate safety gear such as goggles and a dust mask.
  3. To make the figures stand out, use wood stains or paints to give them color and dimension. You can also use small pieces of cloth or paper to replicate clothing items like robes and shawls.
  4. If you’d like to add extra detail, consider adding small accessories such as stars, animals, or even angels made of paper or foam.
  5. Finally, sand down rough edges for a smooth finish and attach the pieces with wood glue and small nails. This will ensure that your nativity scene lasts for years to come!
Sand Down Rough Edges

With just a bit of time and patience, you can create a beautiful nativity scene out of wood that will be cherished for many years to come. Have fun with the project, and remember to share your final product with friends and family!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid using too many different types of woods as this can make the piece look cluttered and overwhelming.
  2. Avoid using power tools on delicate pieces like heads, hands, and feet, as these could be easily damaged.
  3. Be careful when attaching the pieces with nails – try not to hammer them in too deep, or else they’ll weaken the wood.
  4. Don’t rush the project – take your time to ensure everything is properly sanded down and all pieces are carefully attached.
  5. Lastly, avoid using too much glue, which can cause the wood to warp over time. A small amount of glue should be enough for the job!

Creating a nativity scene out of wood may seem intimidating at first, but with a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make something that will last a lifetime. Remember to have fun!

5 Different Theme Ideas for Your Nativity Scene

  1. Rustic: Opt for dark woods such as walnut or mahogany and paint the figures with a distressed finish to give them an aged look. It will look great in any room with a country-inspired decor.
  2. Contemporary: Use light woods such as maple or cherry and paint the pieces in bright, vibrant colors for a modern feel. This is perfect if you want to add a pop of color to your home!
  3. Beachy: Choose blue or white woods and add small seashells and starfish around the base for a tropical vibe
  4. Vintage: Look for reclaimed wood from flea markets or antique shops and use warm colors such as yellow, red, and brown to give it an old-world charm.
  5. Minimalistic: You don’t need to use multiple types of woods – opt for one type and choose neutral colors such as black, white, and gray for a tasteful, minimalist look.

Whatever theme you decide to go with, make sure it’s something that reflects your style and personality. With some creativity and imagination, you can create a nativity scene out of wood that will be cherished for years to come. Happy crafting!

How Do You Set Up a Wooden Nativity Scene?

  1. First, decide on the size and shape of the nativity scene. Measure the wood pieces accordingly and cut out all of the necessary figures and accessories with a saw or jigsaw.
  2. Sand down any rough edges to create a smooth surface for painting or staining.
  3. Once you have finished cutting your pieces, it’s time to paint or stain them. Use multiple colors and shades of wood to give your nativity scene more depth and realism.
  4. Add accessories like stars, angels, animals, etc., as you wish. You can use small pieces of paper, fabric, or foam if desired.
  5. Finally, attach the figures with wood glue and nails, then set up the scene.
Add Accessories Like Stars Angels Animals

Creating a nativity scene out of wood is not only fun, but it’s also an excellent way to get creative and add some festive decorations to your home. With these steps in mind, you can easily make a beautiful wooden nativity scene that will be cherished for many years!


With this project, you can make a beautiful nativity scene out of wood that will last for generations. You are making something for yourself and seeing it as an opportunity to create family memories. Imagine everyone gathered around the scene, noticing small details and reminiscing on years passed. Work together; combine the skillsets of different family members to tailor a unique and special nativity scene.

Adding small touches like LED lights and accents will also help bring added life to the creation. Not only will you have created something incredible, but also cherish those moments spent making a masterpiece of memories. Share your final product with friends and family – it will generate plenty of holiday cheer!

Hopefully, the article on how to make a nativity scene out of wood has inspired you to get creative with your project. The possibilities are endless, from choosing the right type of wood to adding details with accents. Have fun and enjoy the process – you will surely create something amazing!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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