As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
Inspired by some friends, my wife and I decided to put together a simple nativity set for our kids.
So many Christmas decorations are things that are precious and breakable, and therefore our boys are forbidden from touching them (they're just a few months shy of 4 and 2 respectively). These decorations be something that the boys can set up, play with, and move around.
We drew upon several sources for ideas for the figures. Eventually we decided to make all of the figures to be profiles (side views). We cut the figures out of 7/8" thick pine boards. This is thick enough that the figures will stand up on their own, without needing bases.
You'll probably need access to a bandsaw or scrollsaw if you want to build something like this. I used a bandsaw to cut out these figures. I finished the pieces with orange shellac.
I'm thinking that a good addition to this set would be a wooden storage box to hold the pieces, which would also open up to serve as the stable.
Note: (from 2007) Unfortunately, the trees are pretty fragile -- over the years a number of the leaf "fronds" have snapped along the grain lines, when they've fallen. Let the builder beware.
At the time this picture was snapped, I still needed to make a few more pieces, and hadn't yet applied a finish. Here below are some close-up pictures of the pieces.