Ginger Snap Crafts: Painted Nativity {tutorial}

Painted Nativity {tutorial}

This post is brought to you by DecoArt.

Before we get started I just wanted to say Happy Veteran's Day to all the veterans out there ~ especially my dad & grandpas! I really appreciate the example & sacrifices they & all veterans have made for our country.

Ok….now are you ready for this? ha! It’s my very first Christmas tutorial of the year ~ a super cute painted nativity! Yay! I love, love Christmas. One of my favorite decorations to bring out are my nativity sets. Yes, I have a few. ;) I love having ones that my kiddos can play with! Last Christmas one of my best friends, Robyn from Create it. Go! sent me an unfinished nativity set. I didn’t have time to get it done last year so I was super excited to get to work on it this year in plenty of time for Christmas with the help of some fabulous Americana Acrylic Paints. ;) I love acrylic paints. They dry super fast, and they are perfect for a project like this one. I’m also going to share two of my favorite crafty tips ~ how to make a easy hand sander & how to easily add that distressed look to wood without using wood stain. So keep reading to see all the details. :)

Painted Nativity with DecoArt #Christmas #gingersnapcrafts #ad

hand painted nativity #ad

You’ll need a few supplies for this project:
unfinished nativity set (Tip: You can search etsy for these!)
distress ink
foam brushes
Americana Acrylic Paint
paper towels or old rags

supplies #ad

The Americana Acrylic Paint colors I used for this project were: Shale Green, Slate Green, Blue Chiffon, Soft Lilac, Soft Sage, Camel, French Vanilla, Light Mocha, Soft Heather, Soft Blue & Reindeer Moss Green.

Americana Acrylic Paint #decoart #ad

First (with a little help from my kiddos) I painted each nativity piece a different color. It only took 2 coats to get a nice even coverage.

painted nativity #ad

I always let my painted pieces dry over night before I distress them. I want to give the paint plenty of time to dry thoroughly. The first step in distressing is sanding the edges of your wood slightly. I’m going to show you an easy way to sand something small like these nativity figures. You just get a scrap piece of 2x4.

sand paper #ad

Then wrap a piece of sandpaper around it. Then it turns it into a handy little sander. ;)

diy nativity #ad

Then I gently sanded the edges of all of my blocks.

nativity #Christmas #ad

Also, I recently discovered any easy way to add that distressed color to the wood. I have always used wood stain but it’s so smelly, & the kiddos can’t really help with that part of a project. So a few weeks ago I tried distress ink, and guess what? It works just as well! It’s so much easier, too!

distressed nativity #ad

Just grab a paper towel or rag. Dab it in your ink, & then rub it around the edges of your wood blocks. It works great! If you get too much on, just rub off the excess ink.             

distress wood #ad

I love how the ink adds a little more dimension to the nativity figures. It’s perfect! :)

easy way to distress wood #ad

I love how this nativity set turned out! The colors are just perfect together, and I can’t wait to display it in a couple of weeks! Yes, I’m one of those that waits until after Thanksgiving to decorate! I even made my kids wait until the week of Christmas to put up the tree one year. Isn’t that just awful? ;) I won’t do that again! haha! ;)

diy nativity child friendly #ad #decoartpainted nativity #adwooden nativity set #decoart #acrylicpaint #adPainted Nativity with DecoArt #Christmas #gingersnapcrafts #ad

Check out more of my Christmas projects if you have a chance.

Enjoy this
block nativity post, too! It's one of my favorites. :)

handmade nativity set

What is your favorite thing about Christmas?
When do you start your holiday decorating?
I’d love to hear! ;)

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  1. I love it, Ginger! I collect nativities, and this is so cute!

  2. Love all the colors on it! Love! Love! Love! You're amazing!

  3. Super sweet, Ginger. Love the slight aging you totally give the set so much character!

  4. Help, I can't find the unfinished wooden nativity set like you are using in your post were you use acrylic paint, and Distressed ink. Where can I find them please?

    Suzi Owen

  5. Help, I can't find the unfinished wooden nativity set like you are using in your post were you use acrylic paint, and Distressed ink. Where can I find them please?

    Suzi Owen


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