Our first Christmas after we got married Michael bought me a beautiful Willow Tree nativity set. Now as our sixth Christmas together draws near, he has finally built a little backdrop that helps us celebrate the Savior’s humble beginning. This simple 5 step tutorial also fits perfectly with farmhouse style decor. Enjoy!
The beautiful Willow Tree stable backdrop’s $120 price tag is the reason our set went so long without.
For a decor piece that is only used one month out of the year, this price seemed a bit crazy for our family. Still, I hope to have more of the figurines someday…
This picture of our 1900 barn was the basic inspiration behind our design. We spent around $5 creating this little stable and the whole project only took about an hour. So, really anyone can do it!
- 1 pine 1″x 4″
- brad nails
- white craft paint & brush
- scrap of heavy-grade sandpaper
Step 1. Measure & Cut
Stand a piece of your pine board behind the tallest member of your nativity set and mark with your pencil how tall you want your backdrop. Then subtract 4 inches from this measurement for the roof and base.
We chose to make our base piece 13″ wide, our three wall planks 8.5″ tall each, and our roof 11.5″ wide at it’s longest edge. Get cutting!
Step 2. Stable Roof
Use one of your planks as a straight edge to sketch the angles of the roof.
Cut out your gambrel barn roof shape and sand your sharp edges a bit.
Step 3. Assemble
Back with braces
We brad nailed the five pieces of the stable together with two additional pieces as braces on the back. Make sure you space the wall planks and roof piece with a slight gap for a “shiplap” look. We both nailed up through the bottom and through the front for lasting strength.
Step 4. Paint & Distress
I painted the entire stable with one coat of white craft paint. Then, using a scrap of heavy-grade sandpaper, I roughed up all the edges. This technique gives the stable an aged look that matches the time-worn style of my nativity set. You can choose whether or not to distress your stable and whether you want to stain or to paint it. Have fun with this and make some memories creating this piece with your kids or spouse!
Step 5. Stage & Enjoy
Your sweet family will enjoy setting up the nativity set every year in front of your hand-made stable and remembering how you built it together.
At Bryarton Farm we love Christmas because it is a wonderful time of giving, of family, and most importantly of celebrating the birth of the Savior. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you need help with this project in the comments section below. You can share pictures of your finished backdrop on our Bryarton Farm Facebook page. We can’t wait to see them!