This is a crèche or manger for Christmas that is very easy to make. It is suitable for your manger scene figures and any barnyard or other animals you may like to use to give the impression of a stable scene.
As you can see in the photos I have put the manger scene in our front picture window - sort of like a store scene is what I had in mind, to remind those walking down the street of the meaning of Christmas. A church is at the end of our block so we do get a lot of foot traffic mornings and evenings.
I've always wanted a larger manger scene than the 6 inch high one I've always had, so this year hubby and I collaborated to make this A-frame crèche.
The crèche is about 24 inches (60cm) high, and about 20 inches (50cm) wide at the base. It is 7 inches (18cm) deep. The back wall panel is 8 inches (20cm) high.
But you can make yours to the space you have available.
What I do recommend is keeping in mind it is a triangle structure for stability in standing. The photo below shows the back wall detail.
- Two 2-foot (60cm) long boards; one for each wall, in the width of your choice.
- One thin board for the back wall the width you'd like your stable and about 8 inches (20cm) high.
- Paint - I used a diluted acrylic artist paint for the base coat so I could still see the grain of the wood. I used 3 colors to draw on the board patterns and make short strokes to simulate roof thatching. The colors I used were burnt sienna, burnt umber, and cadmium yellow light. I mixed them with just a bit of water on my brush as I drew on the board strokes.
How to make:
1. Cut side boards to finished length.
2. Near the top of one board make 3 screw holes long enough to join boards together at top while base is separated.
3. Lay A-frame on paper and trace the shape for the back wall - cut this piece out.
4. Join the back wall to the 2 long walls with 2 screws from outside the long wall into the sides of back wall.
Now all is joined and you are ready to paint as described above.
I surrounded my manger scene with cool-burning clear miniature lights, and draped 3 of the lights on the string in from behind.
Do you see that I even have placed giraffes looking in from behind.
Be creative with your manger scene. Making this stable was a fun project that I'm happy to be able to share with my doll making readers!
Article and photo credits Susan Kramer