This DIY Christmas nativity stable is a fun Christmas craft for kids and adults made with popsicle sticks. Use this cute wooden nativity stable to make a homemade Christmas nativity scene!
Learn how to make a wooden nativity stable with popsicle craft sticks for Christmas! Making a popsicle stick nativity stable is a fun Christmas craft for kids and adults! Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners will need help from a parent, caregiver, or teacher–while older children and teens might be able to complete this festive DIY Christmas decor project from start to finish on their own. We use our DIY nativity stable as an element in our Stone Advent Calendar, but it also makes a lovely wooden stable for a Christmas nativity scene. You might also enjoy meaningful Christmas traditions for a magical holiday season.
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Homemade Wooden Nativity Stable
My preschool-aged daughter and I had a great time engineering this homemade wooden nativity stable with popsicle craft sticks for Christmas. It may seem difficult, and there are quite a few steps involved, but it is super simple to make!
Please read through the step-by-step nativity stable directions before making this DIY Christmas nativity craft. It will be much easier to put together if you have a general idea of each step involved.
And it’s best to understand what you will be doing before you invite children to help you. With that said, some of these Christmas nativity stable plans will make much more sense once you have made this wooden nativity stable craft.
We have found that this handmade craft stick nativity stable is solid once you put it together. It may seem fragile, but it can last several years if stored away correctly.
DIY Nativity Stable Craft Supplies
- Mini popsicle sticks for crafts
- Regular-size popsicle sticks
- Jumbo-colored craft sticks
- Glue gun and glue sticks, or wood glue pen
- Wooden star (1.5 inches)
- Yellow acrylic paint
Safety Note: It is essential to provide supervision and instruct children on using a glue gun safely if using one to make this craft.
How to Make a Nativity Stable with Popsicle Sticks
The irregularities of popsicle sticks can make building with them a tricky business. Do your best to select craft sticks that are as straight as possible. Too many crooked popsicle craft sticks can make this DIY Christmas nativity stable tough to complete.
It is also essential to construct the nativity stable as neatly as possible. Do your best to make the popsicle craft sticks line up correctly. Lining the popsicle sticks up can be challenging for different reasons depending on the type of glue that you use and whether you will be working with children and their ages.
We recommend frequent craft breaks if you make this nativity craft with toddlers or preschoolers. Use glue that takes time to dry, and you will have breaks built in. Take a break after one or two steps and return to work on your wooden Christmas stable once everyone has had time to rest.
2. Build the sidewalls of the popsicle stick nativity stable.
Use a combination of regular and mini popsicle craft sticks to build each sidewall of the wooden nativity stable.
Craft supplies for each sidewall:
- 5 regular-size popsicle sticks (2 more to use as guidelines optional)
- 5 mini popsicle sticks
- Glue gun with glue sticks or wood glue pen
How to build the sidewall of the popsicle stick nativity stable:
- Lay 5 mini craft sticks down horizontally. Place 2 regular-sized popsicle sticks vertically along the sides of the mini popsicle sticks to help line them up as straight as possible.
- Place a regular-sized craft stick on each side of the horizontally placed mini craft sticks. It will look like train tracks. (Use the 2 popsicle sticks that you placed along the sides, or grab another 2 craft sticks while keeping the originals in place as guidelines as shown.)
- Use a pencil to place a dot over where the vertically placed regular-sized popsicle sticks overlap the horizontal mini craft sticks.
- Place a glue dot where you made each pencil mark, turn it over, and attach it to the top of the horizontally arranged mini craft sticks. Do your best to keep the craft sticks straight and flush. Do not allow any popsicle sticks to extend beyond the overlapped craft stick. Repeat this step on the other side.
- Flip over your little train track and repeat with 2 more craft sticks on the other side.
- Place a bead of glue along the edge of another popsicle craft stick and attach it to one side of your sidewall. Leave the other side of the sidewall as is. Do not glue another craft stick to it because it will be glued to the back wall of the nativity stable in a later step.
- Repeat steps 1 through 6 to create a second sidewall.
- We have included a photo tutorial to complement these instructions directly below.
3. Build the back wall of the nativity stable.
A total of 22 regular-sized popsicle sticks are needed to construct the back wall of the wooden Christmas stable.
How to build the back wall of the nativity stable with popsicle sticks
- Lay two craft sticks down horizontally, tip to tip.
- Place a glue line along the top of another craft stick, turn it over, and lay it on top of the 2 craft sticks laying horizontally to attach them. Repeat this step 5 times to make 5 extra long craft sticks for the back wall of the nativity.
- Line the completed craft stick backboards up horizontally. Place 2 more regularly-sized popsicle sticks on top of the far left and far right sides of the horizontally placed extra long popsicle sticks. Do your best to ensure they are as evenly spaced as possible.
- Use a pencil to place a dot on the verticle popsicle stick where the craft sticks overlap.
- Place a dot of glue where you have made each pencil mark. Turn the wooden stick over and glue it to the top of the horizontally arranged extra-long craft sticks. Once again, do your best to keep them flush. Do not allow horizontal craft sticks to extend beyond the verticle craft stick on either side.
- Flip the back wall over and repeat this step with 2 more regularly sized popsicle sticks on the other side.
- Keep the back wall turned over and put a bit of glue where each pair of craft sticks touch in the middle. Place a regular craft stick vertically over the glue in the middle of the back wall to attach it. This will cover the point where the craft sticks meet to help stabilize the back wall of this popsicle stick nativity craft and make it more substantial.
- Use a glue gun to place a bead of glue along the edge of another craft stick. Attach it to one side of the back wall to cap the edge. Repeat this step on the other side.
Related: Angel Peg Doll Christmas Ornament
4. Attach the sidewalls to the back wall of the popsicle stick stable.
- Lay down the back wall, so the vertical craft stick I-beam down the middle is on top.
- Place a long bead of glue along the upper edge of one side.
- Attach the sidewall with the exposed side down and the capped side up.
- Repeat this step on the other side of the stable.
5. Build the roof of the nativity stable.
You will need three jumbo craft sticks and two mini craft sticks for each side of the roof–to make a total of six jumbo popsicle sticks and four mini popsicle sticks.
- Put 3 jumbo craft sticks side by side.
- Place a bead of glue along the edge of a mini craft stick, turn it over, and attach it horizontally about 1 inch from the end of the red jumbo craft stick. Glue the second mini craft stick to the other side of the jumbo craft sticks.
- Repeat the steps above to make the other side of the pitched roof.
- Do not place the mini craft sticks too far from the end of the red jumbo popsicle sticks. The position of the craft sticks will ultimately affect the roof’s pitch.
Related: Craft Stick Peg Doll Boat for Kids
6. Attach the roof to the frame of the Christmas stable.
My daughter and I made a total of 3 of these wooden nativity stable crafts together, and we never attached the roof of it the same way twice.
Because how you construct the stable structure will affect how your roof will fit and what you need to do to make it work. Read through the steps we did to make our DIY nativity below, call it a STEAM challenge, and set the kids to work at home or in the classroom to figure it out.
- Play with both sides of the roof turned each way on both the left and right sides before you decide how to glue it.
- Move them around to find which way they fit best.
- Lean the mini stick on one side of the roof into the cradle on the top of the sidewall.
- Find the way that it sits the best and glue it there. (We used a glue gun with glue sticks to attach the roof, so it would hold fast, but you can also use wood glue, a glue pen, or glue dots.) Repeat on the other side. (See the top two pictures in the photo collage below.)
- Attach craft stick crossbars from one side of the back wall to the opposite roof in whatever way works.
- Use the popsicle stick crossbars and glue to help support and move the roof correctly into place.
7. Attach the yellow wooden star to the roof of the nativity stable.
- Place a dot of glue on the two arms of your star that touch the roof to attach it. This will help stabilize the roof and give it more structural integrity.
DIY Nativity Stable Made of Popsicle Sticks
This DIY craft stick nativity stable looks lovely displayed in Christmas nativity scenes and will add to your festive home decor. A popsicle stick nativity stable also makes a great holiday gift idea.
DIY Wooden Christmas Stable
This handmade craft stick nativity stable is solid once you put it together. It may seem fragile, but it can last several years if stored away correctly.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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