8 Outdoor Nativity Scene Ideas

Point to the True Meaning of the Holiday with an Outdoor Nativity Scene!

An outdoor nativity is one of the sweetest displays to remind all who pass by the reason for the season. If you have been thinking about adding an outdoor nativity set to your yard decorations, check out these eight ideas below. When you add a nativity scene to your yard, all who come to visit for the holiday, and certainly your neighbors, and all passerby’s will enjoy the Christmas spirit that a beautiful nativity scene brings.

Silhouette Outdoor Nativity Scene

 A white silhouette outdoor nativity scene is a great option. They are beautiful both in daylight, and at night with some basic outdoor lighting.
  • Pros: A well designed silhouette is easy to put together. Quality ones made from military grade PVC, like the one above, made by MyNativity, will withstand rain, snow, and other bad weather conditions, lasting for years. These silhouettes are also easy to set up, and easy to disassemble and store in a relatively small space. They are also available in different sizes so you can get one as small as the size of a dog house, or one that is life size, making it seen from as far as the eye can see.As mentioned, they look beautiful both day and night, and they are also highly visible from long. We are a admittedly a bit biased on this one, but MyNativity makes the best quality outdoor nativity scene, made from the best material, and is light weight, looks great, and is super easy to store when the season is over.
  • Cons:Not all silhouette nativities are made to last. Be sure the one you get is not made from low quality material. Also, ones made from wood can be very heavy, hard to setup, and take up a lot of storage space.

Painted Flat Wood Panel Nativity Scene

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If you are a decent artist, or now someone who is, the painted flat wood panel nativity scene can be a beautiful choice. We recommend using acrylic or oil paint, as it is easier to cover or fix mistakes made while painting. These can also be found online to purchase.

  • Pros: You can pick any possible nativity design you want to paint. You can do something very classic and old school, or you could do something more simple and country. You can do multiple smaller panels that you connect with hinges to make it easier to put together, and to store when the season is over.
  • Cons: Artistic talent required, as well as some light wood working skills. You’ll likely need a higher powered light to illuminate at night. A wood panel nativity scene doesn’t stand up well against the elements. It will likely get we with rain and snow, which can cause the wood to swell, warp, and possibly come apart in some places. The paint will also fade. This style, though beautiful, won’t last many years.

Wood Cut Outs Nativity Scene

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I have seen some beautifully crafted wood cut out nativity scenes.

  • Pros: As with the wood panel style, you get to choose what your characters will look like, and their size. This style can take some time to make, but can be a beautiful set when you’re finished. They are less heavy than the wood panel, since they are individual cut out figures, and require less storage space.
  • Cons: Some artistic ability is required. Also, requires some woodworking skill with a handsaw to cut out each character. Some pieces, like an angel above the scene, can be a bit challenging to connect to a rod and positions securely. It can also be difficult to secure the individual pieces so that they don’t blow down in windy or stormy weather. Like the flat panel wood nativity, the wood cut outs will wear with rain, snow, and sunlight. You will need some sort of spotlight to illuminate them too.

Collage Figures Nativity Scene

 A cut and fun nativity scene style, a collage nativity can be as simple as just including baby, manger, Mary, and Joseph, or you can include the wise men, and shepherds. You can pick up anything you need to make a collage nativity at any local craft store. This is a country or rustic style nativity, and can be a nice addition to your yard’s Christmas decorations.
  • Pros: Simple to make, as this style uses small one inch wood pieces available at your local hardware store, like Home Depot. Little to no artistic ability is required and are super easy to paint. The wood shapes are fairly easy to cut with a scroll saw or jigsaw. You can include some three dimensional elements, like fabric for a head covering, and a stick for a Shepard’s staff.
  • Cons: Like other wood options, being made of wood, paint, and fabric, this style of nativity does not fare well through many winters. Since this style tends to be smaller, it doesn’t fill up much space for a yard display, but can be cute to the side of your walkway or simply on your porch next to your door.

Plastic Creche Nativity Scene

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There is just something nostalgic to me about old-fashioned smaller plastic nativity scenes that look like they’re from the fifties. You may be able to find some vintage ones that are that old on eBay, or the likes. I have also seen stores like Walmart carry this style of nativity scene as well.

  • Pros: Small and easy to set up, and usually only includes the three main characters, (baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.) Sometimes you can find them with additional characters. They usually light up from the inside, which is handy, but would also look good using a floodlight to illuminate.
  • Cons:Can be hard to find. They only stand about two tall. Since they are small, and pretty light weight, they can be blown around the yard in a storm or wind. They tip over easily as well. This style does not include a stable as a part of the scene, so you would need to get creative on creating your own stable. But that can be done easily with some logs and a large piece of plastic you can get from your local hardware.

Resin Figurines Nativity Scene

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  • Pros:A resin outdoor nativity set is a very life like and beautiful set. There is a great deal of detail and color. This style brings a lot of life to the nativity scene.
  • Cons: Since a resign outdoor nativity set is 3D, and large in size, they can be very hard to store because the characters take up a lot of storage space. Plus they can be heavy and difficult to move. This style is difficult to find, and typically very pricey. It may require more floodlights to illuminate than other designs. Though the characters are heavier than plastic figurines, they can still blow over in the wind.

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This style is a great choice for both daylight and nighttime. You can also choose from multiple sizes to best fit your property size. The life size one is particularly nice and kind of gives a rustic look to the nativity scene.

  • Pros:Depending on the metal used, these are usually failrly light weight, and since they are thin they don’t take a lot of storage space. They often even come apart or fold in sections.
  • Cons:Some metal nativity scenes are too thin, and the metal can bend if the weather gets bad enough. Can also get dented if hit by snowballs thrown by teenagers that think something like that would be funny. The larger the set, the easier they seem to bend. The characters can be bent back, but require a bit more maintenance. Smaller sets tend to get knocked down somewhat easily by the wind.

Lighted Nativity Scene

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Lighted outdoor nativity sets tend to be pretty popular due to their ease of use and easy storage, and can be a nice choice if you are just looking to have a basic nativity that comes with its own lights.

  • Pros: Looks nice at night when lighted. Compact, lightweight, and stores easily.
  • Cons: This style can take up a bit of storage space. The lights need to be checked regularly to make sure you’re not having bulbs go out, and that you have spare ones handy if they do. This style looks good when it is lighted at night, but generally isn’t very noticeable during the day.