How to Create a Nativity Scene Centerpiece

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Today I’m excited to share with you a heartwarming project that not only captures the spirit of the season but also holds a special place in my heart. We’re diving into the world of DIY and how to create a Nativity Scene Centerpiece that’s not only stunning but also deeply meaningful.

How to create a nativity scene centerpiece

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Christmas Centerpiece Tour

Before I share my centerpiece with you, I am thrilled to tell you, that I am joining an extremely talented group of bloggers for a Christmas Centerpiece Tour that starts today and goes through tomorrow. I have linked all of their ideas at the end of my post for you to visit.

Christmas Centerpiece Tour

If you are coming over from Marty of A Stroll Thru Life and her elegant Christmas tree forest centerpiece, welcome. Wasn’t her centerpiece just stunning? Make sure to visit the other centerpieces on tour linked at the bottom!

The Meaning Behind this Christmas Centerpiece

Now, let’s get to the fun part – crafting your very own Nativity Scene Centerpiece. But first, let me tell you why this project is so near and dear to me.

The centerpiece I’m about to show you is not just any holiday decoration; it holds a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations.

The heart of this project is my beloved Fontanini Nativity set, a gift from my parents that holds a special place in my heart. It’s the same set I grew up with, and each figurine holds stories and memories that make it priceless.

Nativity set

I have vivid memories of playing with our nativity set as a young girl. My mom always had this special tradition of not placing the baby Jesus into the manger until Christmas morning. She kept it in our kitchen drawer and it was always so fun to be able to put the baby Jesus in his manger on Christmas morning.

I love that it helped us focus on the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus’s birthday! I have since carried this tradition on with my own kids and once they are married and have their own families I hope to gift them each their own nativity sets.

How to make Advent meaningful for your family!
A full view of our Fontanini set from a previous Christmas.

Sine we do not currently have any little ones around to play with this set I figured making it the focal point of a centerpiece would be a fun change this year!

How to Create a Nativity Scene Centerpiece

Below are the simple steps on how to create a Nativity scene centerpiece. Let’s get started!

me holding large white wicker basket tray

Supplies You’ll Need for a Nativity Centerpiece

Step 1: Setting the Scene

Begin by placing a layer wax paper in the base of your tray or basket. This layer will make for easier removal of your moss.

Next, add a layer of moss at the bottom of your white wicker basket or tray. Moss adds a touch of rustic charm and sets the stage for your Nativity scene.

moss in white wicker basket tray

Step 2: The Elevating Cake Stand

Position your glass cake stand in the center of the basket. This elevated platform not only adds depth to the centerpiece but also gives your Nativity scene a focal point.

You could also add any other type of riser, this is just what I had! After seeing my cake stand in the center I moved it off to one side and pushed it closer to the back of my wicker basket tray. It felt more balanced. Just choose what works best for your centerpiece!

Glass cake stand with nativity siting on moss

Step 3: The Nativity Set

Now, carefully arrange your nativity set on the cake stand. These figurines are more than just decorations; they’re a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus.

Growing up, my family always emphasized the importance of celebrating Christ’s birth. It’s not about the presents or the lights; it’s about love, hope, and the miracle that happened in a humble stable in Bethlehem. I love carrying this on with my family now as well!

Nativity set on clear cake stand on moss

Step 4: Natural Elements

To add a touch of nature to your centerpiece, scatter pinecones of varying sizes around the cake stand.

The earthy tones and textures of the pinecones create a warm, inviting atmosphere and break up all the green.

large pinecone

I also added a faux evergreen topiary as a background and to add height behind the Nativity set. Bottle brush trees or any other greenery with height could work as well.

TIP: Visit my How to Prepare Pinecones for Crafts and Decor Posts!

votives, pinecones, moss

Step 5: Let There Be Light

To bring a magical ambiance to your Nativity Scene Centerpiece, weave fairy lights throughout the basket. I made sure to place a majority of them under the glass cake stand for some up-lighting.

adding lights to nativity centerpiece

Plus, I wrapped them around the topiary for even more magical lighting!

These twinkling lights symbolize the light of Christ, illuminating the world with love and hope.

Step 6: Candlelit Glow

Enhance the beauty of your centerpiece by placing battery-operated votives in a random assortment of glass votive holders. I used my collection of mercury glass votive holders for a fun sparkly touch !

mercury class votives for Christmas nativity centerpiece

The soft, flickering candlelight adds an enchanting touch to your creation and allows it to become even more lovely in the evenings. Plus, using battery operated lighting keeps this a safe centerpiece!

Step 7: Metal Topiary

The final step is completely optional, and depends on what you have on hand.

At first I had envisioned a glass cloche being placed over the cake stand holding the nativity set but I didn’t have one quite big enough. I even thought about just using the dome from the cake stand but it was too small.

So luckily I had this gorgeous metal topiary that fit perfectly over both the cake stand and nativity. It added height, visual appeal and a unique feel! It was the finishing touch!

how to create a nativity scene centerpiece

Portable Christmas Centerpiece

The best part? This centerpiece is portable, thanks to the handles on the wicker basket. You can move it around your home to spread the festive cheer. Maybe try it on your kitchen counter, coffee table, side table , kitchen table or dining room table.

I currently have it placed in the center of our dining room table. But will be able to easily move it once we have gusts at our table.

lit up nativity centerpiece

Lighted Christmas Centerpiece

But let me tell you, this centerpiece truly comes alive at night. As the sun sets and the fairy lights and votives cast their soft glow, the Nativity scene seems to come to life, reminding us of the incredible story that Christmas is all about.

evening view of lit up nativity centerpiece

Remember, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s essential to keep the true spirit of Christmas in our hearts. Let’s make an effort to focus on the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2: 6-7

How to Create a Nativity Scene Centerpiece

So, there you have it, a heartwarming DIY Nativity Scene Centerpiece that captures the essence of Christmas and is a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of this wonderful season.

I hope you’ll give it a try and make it a part of your holiday traditions. Wishing you a joyous and meaningful Christmas season, filled with love, hope, and the magic of Christ’s birth.

Next up on our tour is Michelle of Thistle Key Lane’s soup tureen centerpiece! After visiting her post make sure to scroll down and visit the others linked below.

Monday’s Tour

Christmas Centerpiece Tour Hop collage of centerpieces in homes day one

Stonegable // Worthing Court // A Stroll Thru Life // The Tattered Pew // Thistle Key Lane

Tuesday’s Tour

Christmas Centerpiece Tour Hop collage of centerpieces in homes day two

First Day of Home // My Wee Abode // Midwest Life and Style //
Bricks ‘n Blooms // Craftberry Bush

I’d love to have you hang out with me some more! Feel free to follow along with me on any of the platforms linked below.

LTK | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon



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how to create a nativity scene centerpiece

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  1. Kelly, I love that you keep the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus, centered in your Christmas celebrations and decor. Beautiful nativity, and what a perfect tradition. Thank you for your lovely centerpiece. It looks so pretty with candlelight. Merry Christmas.

  2. I just love this idea, Kelly! I’m inspired to try something similar on my coffee table. Such a beautiful and creative way to display a nativity. Pinned!

  3. I love your Nativity Scene, so beautiful and how fabulous to have the one from your childhood. Your centerpiece is truly inspiring and shares the true meaning of Christmas. I love the story of how your mom let you add Baby Jesus on Christmas morning, such a wonderful tradition.

  4. I love this idea, Kelly! I always struggle with how to display a small nativity and this is awesome. Your display is so pretty, especially with the glow of the candles and fairy lights.

  5. Kelly, you have such a beautiful heart. I love your nativity scene and your figurines are so pretty. You found a lovely way to enjoy the spirit of Christmas and create a wonderful centerpiece as well. Merry Christmas!

  6. I love that you captured the true meaning of Christmas, Kelly! This type of sentimental Christmas display is my favorite kind. It’s not only beautiful but has a special meaning, too. That cloche is amazing, and the nativity looks perfect on the pedestal. Thank you for joining us on this hop!

  7. OH my goodness! I love this Kelly! How special and I love learning the family history and special memories behind your nativity. Your centerpiece turned out beautifully!

  8. Well, I wish *I* had thought of adding some of the true meaning of Christmas to my centerpiece. I still can, right? I’m gonna go look for a solid white set. What a wonderful centerpiece, and a great vignette, too, Kelly! Thanks for pointing us to Jesus, too! Pinned!

  9. This is such a beautiful centerpiece. I love the addition of the fairy lights, I’m going to have to try making a similar one this year. Thanks for the inspiration.

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