Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Waiting for Jesus Advent Bulletin Board

It's almost Advent! How about an easy bulletin board to help set the tone for the season? I wanted to hang something in my classroom that gave a visual reminder of our waiting for the Lord to come...but was looking for something that wasn't necessarily purple and pink ;).

This bulletin board reminds us of the night sky and the transition from darkness to light we celebrate during Advent. The empty manger represents our waiting and preparation for Jesus to come. I stapled on the "hay" using brown crinkle cut paper, but you could totally make this an interactive bulletin board by providing small strips of paper for your students. On the paper, they could write how they are preparing their hearts during Advent and could list prayers, acts of service, good deeds, etc. Then those strips of paper could be added to the manger to make it a welcoming place for Baby Jesus!

The printables for this bulletin board were made in cooperation with Shari Van Vranken of Catholic Paper Goods using artwork from our new book!

It was particularly inspired by these two pages, one with the empty manger and another explaining the custom of lining a manger with straw for Baby Jesus representing our good deeds, prayers, and sacrifices.

I created several sets of letters (using a font Shari designed for the book!) in several different colors (purple, navy, gold, and black) and two different sizes. To simplify sharing them with you, they are all available in this folder:

FYI, I cut all of the letters out for my bulletin board, but you could definitely save time by just cutting a rectangle around each word. You'll have to trim and tape together "heart" but that modification would really speed up putting this bulletin board together!

And to print the manger click here. It it ready to print on two 11x17" pages, then trim and tape to make it around 20x16." I sent it to be printed at my local office store (cost $1) or you can print it on multiple 8.5x11" sheets at home using the "poster" feature in your pdf print settings. The image is black and white line art to save you ink, so you or a kiddo or two can add some color with crayons, colored pencils, or markers!

Read more about the coming of the Lord in All about Advent & Christmas: Sharing the Seasons of Hope & Wonder with Children soon so that you are ready for Advent.

You can find it at The St. Paul Center here or on Amazon here. It's also available as an ebook in both places if that's more your style!

O Come, O Come Emmanuel!


  1. I love this! Thank you. One question . . . how do you get the straw to stay-staples?

    1. Yes! I opened up my stapler and pushed it into the bulletin board, just like you would hang the other items. It wasn't perfect and sometimes didn't stick, but enough staples and it worked. If I were looking for another method, I might have used liquid glue before the manger was on the board, let it totally dry, and then hang it up. But this worked!

  2. What if staples dosn't work?

    1. You could use liquid glue to glue the crinkle cut paper to a solid sheet of paper, then cut to your desired shape. Then staple through the solid sheet of paper (or attach to the bulletin board as you would the other pieces of the display).