Hello + thanks for your purchase! Here are some tips and tricks for creating your very own DIY Nativity Kit.
IN THE BOX
Your DIY Kit does not come with the following items, you'll likely want to have on hand:
- newspaper to lay on your table
- jar for water + water
- paper towel
- Matte Satin Finish Spray (this is the one I use)
Your DIY Kit comes with the following items:
- 8 wooden pegs
- 8 paint colors
- 1 toothpick
- 2 paint brushes
- 1 wooden disc "manger"
FIRST THINGS FIRST
As you unpack your box, you'll want to become familiar with what belongs where. You will notice you received one peg A (Joseph), one peg B (Mary), four peg Cs (wise men + shepherd), one peg D (angel), and one peg E (baby Jesus).
I set them out as I'd like them to look, gather my supplies (included and not), and settle in for some fun. It takes a very steady hand, and loads of patience, but these are wonderful pieces to bring to life and I'm certain you'll enjoy them as much as I do!
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR COLORS
Your kit includes eight colors, the exact 2016 Nativity color story I use in my own sets. Some colors you'll use more than others, and there is plenty included to finish each of your eight pegs. I'll be referencing these colors in the instructions below.
HOW TO PAINT YOUR NATIVITY
A few thoughts before we dive in. Pegs are small, and round, and because of that, lines tend to be tricky. I encourage people if nervous, to pencil in where they want to work, lightly. Additionally, making sure my brush is well moist with paint and not at all dry for lines/edges is helpful. Remember too, this is all about layering. With the exception of the eyes, every other color you add will need 2-3 layers to fully cover. Not only that, but you'll be layering on clothing/head pieces/hair, etc. There is a lot of time in between layers and waiting involved, but it's well worth it! Below is the order in which I find most helpful when painting my own pegs. Feel free to follow along.
1. I always begin with the eyes. Why? The eyes tend to be tricky in their size an spacing. So I prefer to do this and get it out of the way first. The great thing is, should you make a mistake, simply turn your peg around - hair and head coverings will quick hide any mishaps you may have made! You may opt to do a dot with pencil first if you want to be sure of your spacing. I find the toothpick handy for this. Just dab it in your black (paint #7), and with one quick motion you'll simply tap it onto the peg, it doesn't take much. Once happy with your eye placement, allow to dry. The eyes do not need a second coat, one dot per eye is perfect.
2. The shepherd's first layer (dress) is first for me. I take tan (paint #5) and do a few brush strokes down. No need to paint his entire body, as his outer robe will cover the sides and back. While waiting for coats to dry, I'll grab my other brush and begin working on Joseph's beard. This may be one you pencil in, I tend to freehand it, but it's a tricky business getting it aligned well.
These will take 2-3 coats, as they all will, and once your shepherd is nice and dry, you can move onto your cream (paint #3) colored pieces.
3. At this point you'll be able to knock a lot out, by using your cream (paint #3) on more than half of your pieces. Simply grab your pegs by the head, carefully working on your lines, and add the cream colored clothing. For Joseph, you need only paint the front, again, as his robe will cover the sides and back. Add another coat or two, to everyone, and allow to dry well.
4. Using your brown (paint #6), add hair to both Mary and your shepherd. I opted to give Mary a loose side braid, feel free to be creative! I have noticed the brown definitely needs three coats.
5. Finishing these guys off now, Joseph has an optional gold (paint #4) belt, allow this to dry, and then add his tan (paint #5) robe. Once those layers are ready, his head can be covered with a soft blue (paint #2). About now, Mary's hair should be dry and you can add her head covering using any color you wish, I opted for tan (paint #5). Finally, your shepherd needs his staff. This is done with black (paint #7), and a very steady hand. If the thin line is too tricky, and you find yourself with more of a squiggly line, you can grab some tan (paint #5) to "clean up" the lines a bit after the black is dry. This is something I do often!
6. Now it's time for some gold (paint #4). I begin by adding the angel's hair, a few quick coats and she's good to go. The three wise men are a bit of a time consuming group, but really do turn out to be so lovely. I begin by painting the gold they're "holding" which when you lay down your gold it looks like a bunch of big brush strokes. There is no need to make a square or perfectly shaped rectangle at this point, you'll get this precise when you add on the wise men's robes. Also, I add a curved "line" atop their head which again, will later be shaped with the addition of the head piece. Gold takes at least three coats, it goes on thin and needs to be layered.
Once these parts are dry, you'll add their robe by holding the head and painting over the majority of the body, leaving a small box shape on their chest. This signifies them holding their gifts for baby Jesus. I do 2-3 coats of their robes (paints #1, #2, and #8), then allow that to dry. At this point I can hold them by their bodies to add their headpieces. Again, you're shaping this with the robe paint colors, giving it a peak at the top.
7. Your nativity is complete! Now, for long-lasting enjoyment, you'll want to take your hard work outside or to a well ventilated area and give them 2-3 coats of finishing spray (as mentioned above). This allows little hands to play with them, and limits the amount of damage that can be done. Remember they fit into tiny hands AND tiny mouths! Add baby Jesus to his wooden disc manger, perhaps a piece of torn cotton as his blankets, and you have a one of a kind nativity, made by you!
I do hope you enjoy your DIY Nativity Kit, that it may bring years of precious holiday memories with your family. Thank you so much for your purchase and support of small business!