Wine bottle nativity scene

I had resolved to NOT decorate the trailer for Christmas. I’m no Scrooge, it’s just that we always go home to WV for Christmas, and by the time we get back to Mississippi (on January 3rd) I’ll be ready for spring. But I let my creative side get involved, this wine bottle nativity scene happened, and that resolution was over. The decorating snowballed to  include a Charlie Brown Christmas tree that we plucked out of the backyard. It’s so petite—bless it—that it can’t support lights, so I ornamented it with some mauve lace from my craft stash and the contents of my jewelry box. It’s a very girly little tree and a wholly unorthodox setup altogether, what with the wine bottle nativity scene and all…but sometimes it’s fun to see what you can do with stuff you already have :).

Painted nativity wine bottle

Figuring out how to decorate the tree proved a bit difficult. Asa and I tried putting lights on it, and the poor thing nearly crumpled. We only had two ornaments, both pretty heavy, that we attempted to hang on it.  One broke after the tree’s twiggy little branch gave way, spilling sand from our honeymoon all over the kitchen table. Asa gave up after that, and the only small, sparkly stuff I had left to try was in my jewelry box. Doubtfully, I put it all on the tree and added a piece of lace. And you know what?  The bracelets, necklaces, and earrings on our little evergreen are kind of pretty and, I realized, also very meaningful for me.

Cute tree

Each piece of jewelry came from someone special in my life, so having it there in the kitchen where I can always see it reminds me of them and the occasion in which I got it. A Valentine’s Day necklace from dad. A dolphin necklace from my cousins in Florida for my high school graduation. A pearl bracelet from my parents for my wedding day. And they’re all held up by a drawing of a little baby in a manger. I like that 🙂


  • empty smoke-colored wine bottle
  • a large stockpot with boiling water
  • a spatula
  • a Brillo pad
  • a piece of paper
  • a pen or pencil
  • a white Sharpie paint pen

How to make it:

Boiling the label off the wine bottle

  • Fill a large stockpot 3/4 full with water, place the wine bottle inside, and bring the water to a boil. Continue boiling until the labels can be easily scraped off with a spatula. *You might have to hold the bottle so that the label is facing down into the water. Be careful not to burn yourself!

Scraping label off wine bottle

  • It will look like this once you start scraping. Once you get here, wait a few minutes for the bottle to cool off. Then, with WARM water running over the bottle, use a Brillo pad to scrub away the remaining sticky part of the label.

Drawing of nativity on scrap paper

  • Now, sketch a draft of what you want your nativity scene to look like on a scrap piece of paper.

Nativity painted on wine bottle

  • Using your sketch as a guide (and maybe the straight edge of a piece of paper for the bottom line), draw your design onto the surface of your wine bottle. I chose to draw mine more toward the upper center part of the bottle so that it won’t be hidden by anything I wrap around the bottom of the bottle (like lights). But you can alter this placement to suit your needs!
  • Let it dry, and you are finished with your wine bottle nativity scene. 🙂 Use it as a vase for some lovely poinsettias or perhaps as a stand for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.



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