Hello lovelies! Did anyone else blink and last week fly right by? It sure did for me! Although it went by fast I was able to enjoy some downtime with the hubs and our fur babies while catching up on editing client photos and several holiday projects I’ve been wanting to do. The first was creating a creche for my Willow Tree nativity set.
I wanted something rustic to compliment the rest of our decor so the creche that Willow Tree sells wasn’t going to fit the bill. I’d pinned several DIY ideas on Pinterest but none had tutorials so I was planning to wing it and see what I came up with. Luckily before I dove in and attempted anything I spotted this creche on one of the local buy/sell pages for just $7! I quickly messaged the seller and arranged to pick it up that evening before someone else could swoop in on my bargain find.
I knew I was going to revamp it a bit so when I got it home I gave it a thorough once over and came up with a game plan. The first thing I did was remove the battered pine cone on the corner. Then I removed the extra pieces of bark on the beam at the top and loft area to simplify the overall look. I set it up on the curio cabinet and filled it with the nativity set to see how everything fit and decide my next step. It sat like this for a few days while life rolled on but this past weekend I enlisted the Hubs help to make the final few changes.
I wanted a star above the roof of the stable because it’s such a huge part of the story. I had an IKEA tree star we used last year that I was replacing and on a whim tested it with the creche. It was the perfect proportion! I had planned to have the Hubs clamp a dowel to the back of the stable but we didn’t have a dowel or clamps that were the right size. The Hubs suggested we use a piece of pipe left over from the foster room bed and gave it a test fit to make sure it would fit in the base of the star and inside the clamp. He had to grind the end of the pipe down a bit but it fit like a glove. When we were test fitting the whole assembly on the back of the creche we discovered that the base of the star itself fit in the clamp and decided to forego the pipe and just use the clamp.
Unfortunately, the back of the creche was very thin and didn’t provide enough grip to hold the screw and soon the weight of the star had spun the clamp out of position.
My crafty Hubby came up with a solution quickly, recommending I hot glue the bracket in place and we put a brace below the bottom of the star to hold it in place. It was such a simple idea and it worked like a charm.
With the star secured, I filled in the open areas of the back wall with the pieces of bark I’d removed from the other areas along with moss from my crafting stash. I attached it all with my new glue gun, which replaced it’s aging predecessor after it started splitting along the seem and oozing glue everywhere.
The screws for the star bracket and brace were visible inside of the creche, but I was able to hide them with strategically placed pieces of bark on the back wall and the cross beam at the top of the roof so they aren’t even noticeable. I also had the Hubs trim the two front corners of the base at an angle to better fit the top of the curio cabinet. (Sorry for the late night photos, but daylight hours are extremely limited around here this time of year so I tend to just let the Christmas tree be our light source, hence the glow to the right.)
I re-positioned my nativity set inside and covered the bottom board with paper shavings from one of the holiday sausage gift sets we’d bought to enjoy together. The brown coloring camouflaged the bottom board and coordinated with the bark perfectly.
Notice that open spot in the shavings on the left? It’s where I plan to place one of the three wise men from the set I just won on eBay! I also scored the ox and goat set for a super deal so now I have a whole set minus the camel, which I’ll look for next year. Until then I’m absolutely giddy with how the whole project turned out and am looking forward to using it for many years to come. 🙂