Looking for something new to add to your family’s Christmas traditions? Checkout theshepherdstreasure.com. I found this resource last year while on church staff, and think it is a fun way to connect with your family during Advent.
I wanted to put up a large Nativity scene in the foyer of our children’s building at First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa.
I found a backdrop scene at Oriental Trading called Christmas Nativity Scene Design-a-Room Pack for $39.98.
Note: this backdrop scene is made of the common Oriental Trading cheap plastic.
After receiving the kit, I couldn’t find any helpful information on how to assemble this kit. So this is what I decided to do. I hope it helps you.
Nativity Kit = $39.98
Foam Boards = $43.92 (4 x $10.98)
1/2″ white Mounting Tape = $79.60 (20 x $3.98)
1″ clear Mounting Tape = $9.96 (2 x $4.98)
Additional items I purchased from Lowes
Four 4’x8′ 1/2″ foam boards (lowes.com/pd_15355-46086-389697_1z0vill__?productId=3365568&pl=1&Ntt=insulation+board#img)
20 packs of 1/2″ and 1″ Scotch Double-sided Mounting Tape (I love this stuff!) (lowes.com/pd_488024-98-410/DC/SF___?productId=50053419&pl=1&Ntt=mounting+tape)
I used some old lumber I had lying around from other projects to build a wooden frame to prop the panels on so I didn’t have to purchase any lumber for my frame.
First I opened and laid out the 30’x4′ backdrops to get an idea of how they would fit together.
NOTE: The lower section (city scape) was shorter and not the full 30′
I slid the four foam boards underneath to measure where the cuts would be.
I trimmed the excess from the backdrops leaving about 12″-18″ on each end, just in case.
Using the 1/2″ Mounting Tape, I put a 4′ strip down the edge of the board making sure to press the tape down well.
I used one 4′ strip for each side. 1 piece for the upper section and 1 piece from the lower section.
There may be a better way to do it, but I attached my tape on one side of the backdrop. Then I stretched and trimmed the other side.
After I trimmed the plastic, I placed a 4′ strip of 1/2″ tape on the opposite side and attached the backdrop.
One of my favorite things about this Mounting Tape is that I was able to de-attach and re-attach the backdrop several times without ripping the plastic. If you’ve used anything from Oriental Trading made from this plastic, you know how HUGE this is!
I cut and attached the lower section (city scape) on each board first then came back to do the upper section (sky). I overlapped the upper section over the lower section by 1/8″ or 1/4″.
I wanted the backdrop to be completely free-standing.
I had some old lumber lying around that I used as frames. I didn’t have to build it because I was making use of some old pieces that were already put together.
I let the frame lean just slightly and screwed in 4 additional pieces of lumber to prop up the frame.
I used command strips to attach the foam board to the wooden frame. These seemed to work fine. My backup plan was to use some of the Mounting Tape.
Also, I duct taped the seams of each board in effort to keep them together (see pic above).
Then finally, to keep the frame from tipping forward, I used some small rope to tie it to a bucket of sand.
Attaching the Characters:
The characters come on 2 sheets (per pack) in random orientation. The will need to be cut out.
Using scissors, I (and some ladies helping me) cut out each of the characters. We cut them relatively close to the edge, but I was not very concerned to get them unnoticeably close.
I cut thin strips of the 1″ clear Mounting Tape, as many as needed, to attach the characters to the backdrop.
This is what I ended up with. While not perfect, but I am happy with the final product.