Kids Nativity Cardboard-Turned-Wood Stable

Like most everyone right now – it has been hectic around here with the holiday!

This year I was in charge of our church’s Children’s Christmas program. I found a really cute rendition of the nativity story. It involved narration by the oldest kids – 4th graders, and the parts were played by mostly 1st-3rd graders. A few larger parts – like the angel Gabriel and King Herod were played by the older kids also. The kids did an awesome job and it turned out great.

I hope to do a few posts showing the props and plays made and used for the play.

Our church hasn’t done the nativity for awhile so it involved quite a lot of costumes and props. The only thing I didn’t have to come up with were the 3 angel robes.

It would’ve been much better if I had pictures of the play actually in motion but I don’t have permission to show the kids faces and I was very busy helping kids get dressed and directing traffic so – no pictures. I hope to get the DVD that they take just so I can see what was going on from the perspective of the congregation.

I took this picture at the dress rehearsal before the kids got there.misc 015

My husband and I stopped at our local furniture store and picked up some cardboard boxes to make the stable out of. I actually had to glue 2-3 layers together to give it some strength because I needed to use the flaps etc. to make it large enough. I made it using 4 separate pieces. The roof is not attached so that can be lifted off and the sides folded in so that it lays flat as small as possible. I thought I would be able to fit it in our Ford Explorer with the passenger seats folded down –but it was too wide! On to plan B in which my husband and I both had to go to town – one with the Ford Explorer and one with the Ford F250 with the tarp on. The back “wall” is 5’x5’, the side “walls” are 2’ wide with a tapered height – 5.5’ down to 5’ to allow for the slant roof. I used zip strips to connect the sides with the back leaving enough room for the sides to fold in. The roof is 8’ tapered down to 6’ in the back and is 3’ wide. I added a 4” edge around the front and sides. I used zip strips to connect the sides with the back leaving enough room for the sides to fold in.

Painting it – I found a blog that showed how they painted cardboard to look like wood – so I loosely followed that. (Sorry I can’t remember where it was!) Instead of painting it all black to start with as they did, I just measured out every 4” and drew a pencil line which I used to loosely paint black strips over. I then went back with a  watered down brown and covered some areas and not others. The white paint I used was also watered down. I dabbed in the mixture, dabbed off on a paper towel and drug it down to look like wood grain, adding knots randomly as I went.

I ended up with a star-on-a-star because the first one I cut was too small. I made a bigger one and then thought I could just as well glue the other one to it! I added a triangular shape to attach it to the star and to the roof. This was tied on with twist ties so I can take that off and store it separately also. I just used craft paint to paint the star.

This was quite a labor intensive project, but very inexpensive. I was pleased with how it turned out and it held up through the dress rehearsal and the service of the play.

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Linking to the following:
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special Domestically Speaking Beyond The Picket Fence

Black and White Switched Shelf

So – I took the shelf down, spray painted it and put it back up. The shelf is made from pallet wood, so the boards are quite rough. The texture held the black paint adding additional shadows which I like! It still needed something though. It looked too aloof and didn’t tie into the microwave shelf so I decided to paint a black stencil border along the front.

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Then I decided I needed to add the same border in the white to the microwave shelf.

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Here it is all put together.

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And the before and after…

White Shelf with stencil

I do think the shelves play nicer with the black and white stove now!

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Faux Stove Hood Look, Sort of

In an attempt to make the oven/stovetop/microwave look more substantial as one piece, I added a shelf above them and painted it black. My first thought was that it would look somewhat like a stove hood, but it really doesn’t work because of the upper cabinets so it is more of a “faux” stove hood look. That is a little stretch, but I’m sticking with the theory behind it!

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It has sort of a heavy look so I’m not sure if I like it or not. The other option would be to paint it white to match the stove. Here is a touched up photo – what do you think?

White Soffit Shelf

And a side-by-side

Side by Side

Looking at this makes me think that I should change it to white. Maybe I could spray the white over it and sand down to some of the black, giving it a little bit of an aged, multi-tone look?!

Okay, so I’m off to stand on a chair and take it down and paint!

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