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19 November, 2017

Dollar Store Nativity Make-Over

I have been eyeing those beautiful porcelain Nativity sets for a while now but the price has always made me hesitate. I love the classic look that the simplicity of white figurines gives to the Nativity. Then I decided...I would just paint my own! So I set out in search of a set that would fill my requirements. But that's when I encountered a problem.

First of all, it had to be inexpensive. And I have since discovered that many sets do not contain all of the characters from the Christmas story. Frequently, believe it or not, the shepherd is omitted. So I was excited to find a set with the Wise Men and the shepherd at Dollar General for only $10! I still felt that it was missing some important participants so I added a camel, a donkey and several sheep from Walmart for only $2.00 each. An angel from Hobby Lobby for another $2.00 completed the set and I was ready to start the transformation.

Here's what you will do:
All you need is white spray paint and you are good to go. TIP: Be sure to use FLAT white paint to get a high-end look! It took 4 or 5 coats since I didn't want to over spray and create drips. Let dry thoroughly between coats. Patience is your best tool for this project!
And here it is! The white paint has given all of the pieces such a cohesive look that you would never guess that they are from several different sources!

Using the flat white paint also adds a softness and an expensive look to the figurines.

The Walmart sheep have more texture than the Dollar General sheep but the white paint helps to blend them. It's important to keep everything roughly the same size.

The angel is a bit more modern than I would like but I don't think it takes away from the look of the Nativity for now. I will have my eye out for another as I do my Christmas shopping.

And, of course, at the center is the Holy Family. I love the look on Mary's face.

I have placed them in my French stable...a souvenir from my trip to Provence several years ago.

Here it is with the entire crèche or NATIVITY SCENE that I purchased there as well. In French, the figurines are called santons and are one of the special hand-made products of Provence. If you are wondering why I am using a set from the dollar store instead of these beauties, let me just say that right now little hands and little paws make it dangerous to have them in reach. ;-)

Also be sure to check out my DIY DOLLAR TREE SNOW VILLAGE. Isn't it amazing what some white spray paint can do to give a classic look to inexpensive Christmas décor? And stay tuned because the decorating is almost finished and I am ready to share! 

Remember to pin it!

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  1. Great transformation- thank you for sharing.

  2. Many years ago, my mom purchased a nativity set made by seniors at a county nursing home. She had them paint the figures in blue - it came out amazing. All the folds in the clothing were darker than the rest of the piece. Simplicity can be so beautiful.

  3. Beautiful! I just realized I don't have a shepherd either. I have always been a few animals short, but that is how the set came. A couple of years ago, I painted mine white because it was a natural terra-cotta, and I was over that. Plus the angel I added was white. So white it was! It really does look very pretty now. Never one to leave well enough alone, I finished it off with a light dusting of a clear glitter spray, which is not really discernible, but it just picks up the lights in a good way. Your snow village is gorgeous, too!

  4. WOW!!! Beautiful!!!! Thank you for letting us in on this treasure

  5. Your project turned out beautifully. This is so smart and thrifty!

  6. I loved your Nativity. I LOVE having several Nativity sets out at Christmas and Nativity ornaments at eye level on the tree. My first Nativity set was a plastic Fontanini knockoff. It was what we could afford at the time. Took me years to find the stable I wanted. But once, 40+ years ago, the neighbor's kids came to visit. The set was on top of the old mahogany Motorola TV. My back was turned. When I turned around, the kids were carefully taking each Nativity figure and having them "kiss" Baby Jesus! It was the cutest moment! If I'd had a fancy ceramic set, no one would have had a nose left! Since then, I have never regretted having a plastic set; my kids and I made it a tradition to set up so carefully and after Christmas, they were literally swept back into the box. I would look for more pieces at Woolworth's after Christmas and other stores since then and have a flock of sheep, umpteen shepherds, 2 dogs that look like German shepherds, and each king has his own camel now! As I now live in Maine, I snuck a moose in with the camels to see if any one notices! They don't. My ceramic set has a black bear, several cubs, a moose, and a wolf!

  7. Debbie, this is so creative! I never would have thought of matte paint as being preferable over gloss, but I can see that it would be. I also would never deduce that the figures weren't all from one set. This is a clever craft & looks great too. Pinned. Visiting from BF group.

  8. You really gave all the figures the wow factor by painting them. No one would ever figure the pieces were inexpensive because now they look so beautiful. Way to go!
    visiting from blogging50 ;-)


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie