Build a Christmas crib


Before you can start building a nativity scene, you must first consider which location is best for the nativity scene and how much space is available for it. Traditionally, a nativity scene is set up under the Christmas tree or is placed above the fireplace or on a sideboard. It is important that the manger stable can be viewed well by the observer from every angle. The type of nativity scene is also important for the construction.

Which nativity scene corresponds to your own imagination?

There are four different types of popular Christmas cribs in Europe: the local, oriental, alpine or snow crib.

The local Christmas crib is based on the depiction of the birth of Jesus, but concentrates on a local presentation of the stable, the figures and their clothing. The actual oriental setting of the birth in Bethlehem is replaced with a European staging that corresponds to our traditional imagination.

The alpine nativity scene is based on large farm stables and a decoration consisting of versatile natural elements such as earth, moss, wood and rock. The design is either based on a stony or woody cladding of the crib. In addition, small trees are often placed next to or in front of the stable.

The oriental crib is imitated in the houses and clothing in Bethlehem. Sandy colors are used for the construction and our native trees are replaced with palm trees and far less moss and vegetable components are used.

For this, there is often a fountain near the steel and the structures are decorated with golden paint.

The snow crib differs from the others in that the barn and house are shown covered in snow and the focus is on the overlapping snow. This flu can be associated above all with the Alpine and local Christmas crib.

Photos on the Internet as well as photos of buildings that should serve as inspiration during construction can also be used for inspiration.

snow crib snow crib

The blueprint

Before you start building the nativity scene, it is necessary to create a floor plan or a sketch for the arrangement of all elements. Crib builders like to use millimeters of paper and work in crib meters before they start crafting.

This preliminary work is important so that the house has the right proportions, the figures have enough space and the stable is open and large enough for the observer.

When building the nativity scene, a depth effect should be achieved in which the eye slowly finds its way into the stable, in the back part of the nativity scene. In addition, the construction does not have to be limited to a single house with a stable.

Several houses can also be built next to each other without appearing overloaded. The nativity figures are the most important part of the nativity scene, so you have to pay attention to their size, appearance and the color of their clothes. In addition, the figures are grouped individually and have their own place. For lighting, use small, warm and not so glaring lights for a pleasant welcoming atmosphere.

materials for construction

You need several to build the nativity scene Utensils :

  • A glued wood board or multiplex board (as a base plate)
  • glue (wood glue)
  • Logs and spruce strips
  • Fretsaw wood or plain fruit crate wood
  • Wood stain and natural materials such as moss, roots, etc.
  • soft fiber boards or insulating boards
  • crib mortar
  • styrofoam and paint

needed Tools:

  • hammer and pliers
  • Paint brush
  • Cutter knife or carpet knife
  • hacksaw
  • circular saw
  • Hot wire cutter/thermal cutter

Instructions for building a crib

  1. For the floor, roof, and walls of the crib, softboard or insulation boards are cut and glued together to achieve the correct size for the crib.
  2. A cutter knife is required to cut out windows and doors. For the necessary hold, the panels are glued together and the glue is allowed to dry. The soft fiber boards have to be plastered with crib mortar afterwards.
  3. If more wood is to be used, the softboard is replaced with wooden battens or clapboard and the wood is stained.
  4. The roof can be tightened with a vise to give it more sag and hold its shape.
  5. After the construction is completed, natural elements and decorative elements can be distributed as desired.
  6. The lighting can be placed inside and outside the barn.
  7. The figures are grouped in a visually appealing way and distributed in the crib.

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