Friday, December 19, 2014

Nativity Scene Box Card Construction Guide

Create this miniature and dimensional
nativity scene as a card that can fold flat to send,
then "pop out" to use as a seasonal decoration.
Three bridges place the manger with baby Jesus,
Mary, and Joseph at different depths
for a realistic perspective.
Post and rail partitions decorate the side flaps,
straw or hay spills from the top of the front flap
with delicate "O Holy Night" letter cutout.
Back panel is a see-thru stable with star and star burst.

Cut file is (soon) available from, 
and Silhouette America's online store.

1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A box card base
B front accent panels in position
C back section overlay (cut 2 sets, optional)
D stable roof with star and burst layers
E front flap overlay with O Holy Night cutout
F side flap overlays with rails
G hay assembly with base and pieces
H Baby Jesus figure with bridge strip
I May figure with bridge strip
J Josph figure with bridge strip

2. Position and attach front box accent panels, and optional backside stable overlay with roof.

3. Assemble the hay unit. NOTE that this sample has the BASE hay shape cut from color 1 darkest tan, four spikes from color 2 second darkest tan, three spikes cut from color 3 deep yellow, and two spikes cut from color 4 yellow. 

You may choose to use more colors.

Here you can see the final assembly. NOTE that some of the base shape (color 1) is still exposed.

4. Layer the side flap accent rail/post base shape with rails on top. Position these over the side flaps offset within the shaped edges of the flaps. Assemble the plaque shape with hay extended beyond perf line, and word cutouts on the card front flap.

NOTE that these shape assemblies are being attached to the backside of the card base, since the front side was where the shapes were attached in step 2 above.

5. Layer the star beam base and accent shape offset centered over the top.

6. Position the beam assembly behind the top of the back flap (stable and roof are the front, as well as being on the inside of the finished box). Glue in place.

7. Position and attach the layered star assembly over the front of the stable roof.

8. Form the box base (with all its assembly) into a tube to bring the side edge and flange tab perforation line together, apply glue to the tab, overlap straight edge to tab line and apply pressure until the seam is secure.

9. Fold bridge strip end tabs back. 

Assemble the figures over their base shapes. NOTE that Joseph's staff will be layered UNDER the robe, sleeve and hand.

10. Position and attach figures on their bridge strips, overlapping approx. 1/4" of lower figure edge at strip top. JOSEPH: left as far as possible, front of strip. MARY: right as far as possible behind strip. BABY JESUS: centered, with exposed base margin behind strip (manger lower edge will abut at strip edge).

11. OPTIONAL: for better visibility, consider careful inking of eye cutouts. Use fine stylus or push pin tip "dipped" into pen ink for baby.

12. With end tabs back, apply glue to tabs, then insert Mary bridge into box interior and CENTER it front-to-back. Press tabs to attach in place to box interior sides, and apply pressure to secure.

BEFORE glue is completely cured . . .

. . . fold the box assembly into its FLATTENED position and apply pressure in the area where the tabs are joined behind layers.

This allows the bridge ends to adjust a bit so that the card will be able to be flattened to send.

(Repeat this folding flat/adjustment step as each bridge is positioned and joined.)

13. Position the Baby Jesus bridge assembly half way in the space forward of the Mary bridge, following the same procedure as in step 12 above.

14. Position the Joseph bridge assembly  half way in the space behind the Mary bridge following the same procedures as in step 12.

Here is the card folded into its flattened position ready to insert into a sized-right envelope.

Here is the completed box card opened.


  1. Somehow I missed seeing this nativity box card! It is absolutely amazing and it is every bit as much of a Christmas decoration as much as it is a card. You are a fabulous designer!

  2. I just finished making this card and I LOVE it! Thank you for your amazingly detailed instructions.

  3. This is awesome! Do you sell the file in SVG format anywhere?

    1. Yes. You can purchase it in a kit through or as an individual design through .

  4. Can you tell me what name it is under at SVGAttic? I can't find it under my searches there for it. I would really like to make this one.