Christmas Nativity Crafts for Kids the Biblical Story of the Season

by Karen & Grace Morris

Make Christmas nativity crafts for kids. You can decorate a table, wall, or tree. Several of the projects can also be used as child friendly toys. So, this season remember the reason for celebrating by making Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.

You can read about the nativity in Matthew 1-2:12 and Luke 1-2:21.

nativity crafts for kids

Click the pictures to go to the crafts on the page.

Mason Jar Lanterns

Your kids can make a jar into a candle to show the baby in the manger.

mason jar nativity candle

You will need;

  • Mason jar (glass canning jar)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • White paper
  • Pen
  • Scrapes of tissue paper and/ or crape paper

Cut a circle, tall triangle, and oval from white paper. Also, draw an “X” and then a line on top of the “X” for the manger. For the star draw a 1 inch circle make a point in the center. From the center draw six lines. Connect each of the lines together to make points.

cut out shapes from tissue

Cut out your patterns and place on tissue paper. Use a pen to draw around the outside of your pattern. Cut out the tissue paper.

glue pieces to jar

On your mason jar place a small amount of Mod Podge where you want your pieces to go. Add your tissue paper shapes. Cover the shapes with more Mod Podge with a paint brush. Use light strokes so that you do not rip the tissue.

When the Mod Podge is dry add a candle or battery operated tea light to the center of your jar.

Ornament for the Tree or Wall

According to the book Advent for the Family, the first manger was set up by St. Francis of Assisi.

nativity ornament


  • 7 craft sticks (Popsicle sticks)
  • 3 pipe cleaners 12 inch
  • 3 round wooden beads 8mm
  • 3 wooden spools 1/2 by 1/2 inches
  • Tacky Glue
glue two stick together

Glue two craft stick together. Do the same with two more.

add top

Place a drop of glue on the corners of one of the craft stick bundles. Place a single craft stick on each corner. Move the single sticks so that they meet at the top. You will have a triangle.

add last bottom piece

Glue the other bundle over craft sticks. You will have a wide base at the bottom with the single craft sticks sandwiched in between.

If your corners don’t stick out from the bottom, your barn will stand.
Let dry.

To make baby Jesus;

place bead on pipe cleaner

Thread the wooden bead on the pipe cleaner so that you have about 1 inch of pipe cleaner showing at the top.

bend pipe cleaner down

Bend the pipe cleaner down over the bead.

wrap pipe cleaner around spool

Thread the spool on the pipe cleaner next to the bead.

Bend the pipe cleaner up and around the spool until the spool is covered.

Cut off the extra piece of pipe cleaner.

To make Joseph and Mary;

add bead 2 inches from end

Place the bead about 2 inches from one end of the pipe cleaner.

bend pipe cleaner up and down

Bend the top of the pipe cleaner down then up several times.

add spool

Place the spool on the other end of the pipe cleaner. Bring it up to the bead.

Bend the pipe cleaner around the spool.

glue pieces in barn

Glue Mary and Joseph in a standing position at each of the corners of the barn.

Glue baby Jesus between Mary and Joseph.

Let your ornament dry.

Make more than one. Then you can place your Christmas nativity crafts for kids on the tree, wall, or table.

Christmas Nativity Crafts for kids
Child safe toys

Paper Roll Figurines

paper roll nativity set

The items you will need;

  • 4 paper towel rolls
  • Blue, orange, brown, black, purple, and yellow paper
  • Yellow ribbon
  • 6 cotton balls (triple size)
  • Hole punch
  •  Sequins
  • Black marker
  • 2 orange pipe cleaners
  • 1 white pipe cleaner
  • Tape
  • White glue

To make the Manger

All Christmas nativity crafts for kids need a manger.

cut pieces for manger

Cut 4 1/4 inches of a paper towel roll. Cut it in half lengthwise. One of these pieces will be the bed part.

cut legs for manger

Take the other piece and cut two pieces 1 1/2 inches.

make manger add straw

Tape the two small pieces to the bed piece, so that it can stand up.
Cut various size pieces of yellow ribbon and tape it to the bed part.

To make Baby Jesus;

cut paper

Cut a paper towel roll 3 1/2 inches. Cut brown paper 2 by 5 1/2 inches. Cut blue paper 2 by 5 1/2 inches.

glue on paper and draw a face

Glue your paper to the paper towel roll.

Draw closed eyes and a happy mouth with a black marker.

The above two steps are repeated for Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the kings. The different people use different sizes of paper.

place baby in manger

Place Baby Jesus in the manger.

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 ESV

To make Mary;

Cut 3 1/4 inches of a paper towel roll. Cut 1 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches of brown paper. Cut 2 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches of blue paper.

cut paper for head covering

Cut 3 by 2 1/2 inches of blue paper.

add head covering

Tape to the top of the paper towel roll and pinch the back end of it to make her covering.

‘And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”’ Luke 1:30-31 ESV

To make Joseph

paper roll Joseph

Cut 4 1/2 inches of a paper towel roll. Cut 1 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches of brown paper. Cut 3 by 5 1/2 inches of orange paper.

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as you wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”’ Matthew 1:20 ESV

To make the Shepherds;

Cut 4 1/2 inches of a paper towel roll. Cut 1 1/4 inches of brown paper. Cut 3 by 5 1/2 inches of green paper.

paper roll shepherds

Cut 6 1/2 inches of an orange pipe cleaner. Bend to cane shape. Tape it to the shepherd. Make another shepherd.

 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Luke 2:8

To make Sheep;

add cotton to the end of the paper roll

Cut 2 1/2 inches of a paper towel roll.

Glue two whole cotton balls inside one of the holes of the roll, so that they stick out. This will be your sheep’s head.

make feet

To make feet, cut a 12 inch white pipe cleaner in half. Cut both 6 inch pieces in half again. Take one of your 3 inch pieces and bend it into a “C” shape. Then bend little feet at the ends. Do the same to the other three pieces. Tape only two of the pipes at the bottom of your sheep.

add cotton to sides

Cut four cotton balls in fourths. Glue to the paper towel roll to make the sheep’s wool coat.

Cut out two small ovals out of black paper for ears. Hole punch two eyes, as well. Glue to the sheep’s face.

Make another sheep. Use your two left-over pieces of pipe cleaner for its feet.

To make the Wise Men

Sometimes wise men or kings are not included in Christmas nativity crafts for kids.

Cut 3 inches of your paper towel roll. Cut 1 by 5 1/2 inches of brown paper. Cut 1 3/4 by 5 1/2 inches of purple paper.

make a crown

Cut 3/4 by 5 1/2 inches of yellow paper. Cut out square groves from the top of it. Tape the crown to the top of your Wise Men’s head.

‘Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”’ Matthew 2:1-2 ESV

Wooden Bead Nativity Set

This is another Christmas nativity crafts for kids that will not break if your kids play with it.

wooden bead nativity

You will need;

  • Doll pin stand for manger
  • 3/4 inch beads in light and dark wood colors
  • 3/4 x 1 inch wooden spools
  • 8mm round wooden bead
  • 1/2 by 1/2 inch wooden spool
  • Doll hair or yarn
  • Straw of craft string for straw in manger
  • Scraps of fabric and/or felt
  • Sparkly pipe cleaners
  • Regular pipe cleaners
  • Pompom
  • Cotton ball
  • Tacky or hot glue
glue bead to spool

To make Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and/or kings glue the large beads on the larger spools. You can use tacky glue or hot glue. If you use tacky glue let it dry before you start add hair and clothes.

To make baby Jesus, glue the small bead to the small spool.

make the bed of the manger

Glue straw to doll pin stand over the larger hole. Another idea is to cut various sized pieces of golden colored craft string and glue.

make the blanket

Now decorate your people. Baby Jesus needs a blanket. I used a small piece of felt. The felt was too thick on the side when I folded it around the spool so I trimmed some off on the sides. My daughter used fabric and it seemed to work better.

Also, make a small circle from a sparkly pipe cleaner and glue to the bead for a crown.

add hair

Add hair to the tops of the larger beads with doll hair. If you don’t have doll hair, you can cut a piece of string. Glue to the bead making loops as you go. Have a damp paper towel handy if your fingers get too sticky. You can also add small amounts of doll hair to the front of the bead for beards.

Add cloth to the spools for clothes. Add pipe cleaner crowns to the three kings.

Add a pipe cleaner staff to make shepherds.

pieces for wooden bead sheep

For the sheep cut a 4 inch pipe cleaner. Bend back and forth to make a stand for the sheep. Glue to the side of the spool.

add pipe cleaner to spool

Glue to the side of the spool.

Glue a cotton ball to the side of the spool opposite the pipe cleaner.
Glue a pompom to the font of the spool for the face.

You can make Christmas nativity crafts for kids with a Sunday school class or at home with your own children.

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