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Folding Nativity Backdrop – December Silhouette Challenge

One of my favorite Christmas family traditions is setting up the Nativity scene. My grandma bought my sister and I our own sets and added lots of characters over the years (what, your nativity set doesn’t have a flock of sheep and a man playing bagpipes?).

Folding #Nativity Backdrop - Ombre Painted Wood and Vinyl #Christmas Tutorial
This year I decided to set it up on the top shelf of the hutch, one of the few places the cat doesn’t go. Unfortunately it was disappearing into the woodwork, ever since I added the book pages it takes a lot to stand out.

I decided to paint a pretty ombre sky and add metallic vinyl accents including lines from one of my favorite Christmas songs to create a standing nativity background, the fact that it folds up for easy storage is just a bonus!

Nativity Background Supplies:

?  2 pieces of 12×12 wood (I bought a 12*48 foot board at Lowe’s and they cut it into 4 pieces for free)

?  3 shades of blue craft paint

?  Paintbrush

?  2 small hinges

?  Drill

?  Screwdriver

?  Silver adhesive vinyl

?  Die cutter and cut files*

Silent Night Nativity Backdrop


1. Place your two boards side by side on a flat surface, chances are your boards are not identical so make sure you use the the board edges (not the cut sides) as the top and bottom.

2. Squirt the darkest paint at the top, the middle shade in the middle and the lightest at the bottom. It’s ok to be sloppy.

3. Using your brush smooth out the paint covering the whole board, moving from the lightest to the darkest. Blend the colors where they meet so you don’t have 3 rectangles of color but a smooth ombre effect.

It’s easiest to blend the colors if all the paint is wet so you want to move fairly quickly. Using a bit more paint than you would normally use will help get things blended too.

3. Once the paint is dry match up the boards so the dark side matches the dark side and place them face to face. Mark the side for the hinges. I didn’t have a small enough drill bit to put the tiny hinge screws in so I had to pre-drill them and put them in with a screwdriver. I used two hinges.

4. Set up, cut out and weed your vinyl. Use transfer tape to add the lettering to the board and then manually place all the stars. I cut a lot more stars than I ended up using


Free Nativity Background Cut Files: Studio File .SVG File

Check out my Christmas Page for more decoration ideas or start here:

Macramé wreath ornament made with twine, silver bell and and buffalo check ribbon

Minimalist Christmas Tree Stocking Holders - An easy #DIY woodworking project for simplified #Christmas #Stockings

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!


    1. 2013 Snowman Christmas Card by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
    2. Christmas Hoop Art by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
    3. Silhouette Nativity Advent Candle Box by One Tough Mother
    4. Christmas Party Photo Booth Props by unOriginal Mom
    5. Another Stenciled Tea Towel by Cutesy Crafts
    6. Silhouette Gift Tags by Rain on a Tin Roof
    7. Snowflake Pin / Ornament by Coley’s Corner
    8. State Sign Couple Gift by It Happens in a Blink
    9. Mason Jar Christmas Ornaments by Vintage News Junkie
    10. Merry Christmas Wall Decor by One Artsy Mama
    11. Deer Head Holiday Banner…featuring Santa’s Reindeer by The Thinking Closet
    12. Restore your UGGS (with PAINT) by From Wine to Whine
    13. Monogrammed Snowflake Ornaments by Architecture of a Mom
    14. Christmas Countdown Sign by The Girl Creative
    15. Elf Chalk Sign: “The Best Way to Spread Christmas” by Weekend Craft
    16. Glittery Christmas Subway Art by The Turquoise Home
    17. Sketch Pen Labels by Sowdering About in Seattle
    18. Snowflake NOEL Sign by My Favorite Finds
    19. DIY Holiday Hostess Gift by Everyday Paper
    20. Folding Nativity Backdrop by Chicken Scratch NY
    21. Recycled Glass Jar Advent Calendar by Nearly Handmade
    22. Reindeer Card: Double-Sided Print & Cut by GetSilvered
    23. Personalized Block Ornament by Suburble
    24. Paper Medallion Christmas Tree by Create & Babble
    25. Mini Mid-Century Homes by Tried & True
    26. Glitter and Vinyl Minecraft Christmas Ornament by A Tossed Salad Life
    27. DIY Countdown to Christmas Refrigerator Style by My Paper Craze
    28. Reversible Recipe Holder/Block Frame by The Sensory Emporium
    29. DIY: Lettered Christmas Pillows by The House on Hillbrook
    30. Simply Charming Christmas Ornaments by Life After Laundry
    31. No Glitter was Worn by GiveMeAPaintbrush
    32. Make Easy Ornaments from Paper Circles by Bringing Creativity to Life
    33. Cutting Machine Embroidery Applique by Terri Johnson Creates
    34. “Believe” Christmas Banner by Daily Dwelling
    35. DIY Christmas Nativity Card by Pitter and Glink

Birgit J

Friday 12th of December 2014

What a beautiful idea! I have this Nativity set as well. You've just inspired me!


Friday 12th of December 2014

What an easy and fun idea! Love this! Thanks!


Saturday 14th of December 2013

I love what you did here! My mom used to put an elaborate nativity scene under our tree every year, complete with grocery bag "hills" and cotton "snow". We had a variety of animals, but never a man playing bagpipes.

Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

Wednesday 11th of December 2013

Oh, this is SUCH a great addition to your ever-growing nativity scene. It really makes it POP! (And I chuckled at the bagpipes man...why not, though?! I'm sure Jesus had a wide cast of characters come to visit him from near and far.) Such a wonderful Christmas tradition, and now it's made all the more special by this nativity backdrop. Well done! Thanks for participating in our Special Challenge this month!

Rachel @ Architecture of a Mom

Tuesday 10th of December 2013

I've never thought about creating a backdrop for my nativity scenes--thanks for the inspiration!