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DIY Nativity Board


Since we are officially celebrating our countdown to Christmas here at Hallmark, it gives us time to reflect on what the season means to us.  I remember being in my first Christmas play when I was in first grade.  I played Jesus’s mother, Mary, and since that time, I’ve loved learning about and celebrating the nativity. If you want a quick history lesson, then keep reading.  If you want to skip the history, head down to the steps and get started on making your own nativity scene on wood…one of my favorite (and most stylish) ways to display this symbolic scene.


The first nativity scene was created by Saint Francis of Assisi on Christmas Eve in 1223 to remind Christians everywhere that Jesus was brought into this world by humble beginnings, and not to get caught up with material possessions.  He chose all of the characters and animals in the nativity scene as symbolism.  Mary, Jesus and Joseph are all in a manger to show these humble beginnings.  The ox symbolizes patience.  The donkey symbolizes humility and wiliness to serve.  These animals together help explain the meaning behind Christianity. The three Wise Men represent people of different cultures and continents.  The symbolism can increase by showing these three men at different ages in their lives, representing young adults to an older generation.  What they bring to Jesus is also significant.  Gold represents the importance of Jesus, incense represents his divine heritage, and myrrh represents his impending death and sacrifice.  The shepherds symbolize the common man.  From there, we can expand and add our own animals and décor to make it mean something specific to us.  I might add a dog and a kitty just because those animals represent love to me. No matter what you do or design you choose, the main importance of this scene is its message.  What does this message mean to you? To me, it means love, tolerance, humility, and the golden rule – do unto others as you would have done unto you.  So this nativity board to me will represent that in my home.  Every time I look at it, it will remind me of this message.

You Will Need:

  • Scissors
  • Dark cherry wood stain
  • Rag to apply stain
  • Piece of wood 1”x 12” cut at 36” long
  • White chalk spray paint
  • Adhesive spray
  • Sand paper
  • Adhesive letters
  • Card stock


1. Have the hardware store cut the piece of 1×12 into a 36” length

2. Use your rag and apply a thin coat of the stain onto the wood

3. Set aside to dry.

4) Print the stencil you would like to use onto card stock. We’ve provided a printable download on our website. (You will need 4 pieces of card stock to fit the entire image).

5. Cut out the stencil.

6. Spray the back of the cut-out stencil with adhesive spray, just enough to make it tacky since you will be placing the stencil on and will need to remove it.

7. Set the stencil in place.

8. If you would like to have a phrase above the scene, add your letters to the wood. You can use any phrase that you would like. Here are some examples:

O’ Holy Night
All is Calm, All is Bright
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
He Taught Us To Love One Another
His Law is Love and His Gospel is Peace

9. Take the chalk spray paint and apply a light coat of paint over the wood, the letters, and the stencil.

10. Peel off the stencil.

11. Let dry.

12. Take your sandpaper and scuff up the edges to make the sign look weathered and rustic.

13. Hang the nativity board in your home and enjoy!


If you missed the episode or want to see it in action then check it out here. Tell us what you think in the comments below and remember we want to see your Festive Holiday DIY’s on Instagram so follow @PaigeHemmis #PaigeDIY



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