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.
Your kids can make a jar into a candleholder to show the baby in the manger.
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 your patterns and place on tissue paper. Use a pen to draw around the outside of your pattern. Cut out the tissue paper.
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.
According to the book Advent for the Family, the first manger was set up by St. Francis of Assisi.
Glue two craft stick together. Do the same with two more.
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.
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.
Thread the wooden bead on the pipe cleaner so that you have about 1 inch of pipe cleaner showing at the top.
Bend the pipe cleaner down over the bead.
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.
Place the bead about 2 inches from one end of the pipe cleaner.
Bend the top of the pipe cleaner down then up several times.
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 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.
All Christmas nativity crafts for kids need a 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.
Take the other piece and cut two pieces 1 1/2 inches.
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.
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 your paper to the paper towel roll.
Draw closed eyes and a happy mouth with a black marker.
The two steps above are repeated for Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men. The only different is that they use different sized paper.
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
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 3 by 2 1/2 inches of blue paper.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Man’s head. Make two more wise men.
‘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
This is another Christmas nativity crafts for kids that will not break if your kids play with it.
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 to add hair and clothes.
To make baby Jesus, glue the small bead to the small spool.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
See the love Mary and Joseph have for the One who loves the world.
Fold a piece of blue paper in half. Draw a shape similar to a heart. Make it approximately 7 by 3 inches. Instead of bringing the top line to the fold, draw a small curved line approximately 1 inch.
2 inches from the point make a slit 2 inches long. Cut a 1/2 inch slit towards the point. This will be the manger.
Unfold the heart.
For baby Jesus, cut a square 3 inches.
Fold one corner up 1 inch.
Fold the two sides over each other like a baby blanket.
Cut two 1-inch circles from white paper. Glue one circle on the edge of the two rounded parts of the heart. These are Mary and Joseph. Draw faces on the two circles.
Cut a 12-inch piece of yarn. Tie a knot on each end. Thread the knot through the end of the manger to make a hanger.
Cut another 1-inch circle and glue to the blanket.
Place baby Jesus in the manger.
“Jotham's Journey” is a fun storybook to read about the Advent. It is by Arnold Ytreeide. At the end of the book, the author shows the Nativity scene through Jotham's eyes.
Download and print the FREE PDF (link opens in a new window).
Cut out the pieces.
Use the body piece and a white 3 by 5 card to make the angel. Make sure that the bottom of the robe is flat.
Also, cut out the wings from white paper. Outline the wings with a yellow crayon. Use crayons to add eyes and a mouth to the head.
Fold the sides down from the neck, making an upside-down cone shape. Glue the ends where they overlap in the back.
Glue the wings to the back.
To make the halo, bend the end of a 3-inch piece of pipe cleaner in a circle that will fit around the angel's head.
To make, Mary cut the body piece from blue construction paper. An easy way is to make sure the bottom is flat is to place it on the cut edge of the paper.
Make Joseph from brown paper. Use purple, yellow, and orange for the wise men.
Cut a circle from white paper. Draw eyes and a mouth with a crayon on the circle. Glue the circle to the center of the circle on the body piece.
Fold a piece of brown construction paper in half. Use the manger piece as a pattern.
Fold the sides down to make your cone shape. Glue the ends where they overlap.
To make baby Jesus, cut the oval from blue paper. Add the small circle to one end for the head. Add the baby to the manger.
Cut the crown piece from yellow paper and glue the ends together. Add the crowns to the three wise men. You can use a drop of glue to keep the crowns in place.
With crayons, add facial features. Stand the people up to make the nativity scene.
Use this bracelet to tell your friends about the birth of our Savior.
Cut a piece of craft string approximately 40 inches. Add some tape to the ends.
Tie the red bead to the center of the string.
Hold the bead so that there is a string on the left and right. Take a purple bead, tread the left thread through the hole. Next, thread the right string through the hole on the opposite side.
Bring the ends around and tie in front of the bead.
Add another purple bead, threading the left string and right string through the hole. Add the third purple bead. Then add three yellow, a white, a green, a black (or brown bead), a blue, the last black (or brown), an orange, and finish with a white bead.
Knot the final white bead.
To finish the bracelet, thread the end through the red bead.
Place it around your hand and on your wrist. When it will go over your hand but not fall off, tie the string around the white bead.
If you have preschoolers, you can make this simple version.
Twist one of the ends of the pipe cleaner so that the beads will not fall off.
Add the red bead to the pipe cleaner.
Continue adding beads to tell the story of the birth and death of Jesus.
Thread pipe cleaner back through the beads. Twist the bottom ends together. Leave a circle at the top, so that you can add it as a decoration on the Christmas tree.
Use the bracelet or ornament to tell the story of Jesus. The white bead is the angel that visited Mary.
Point to the orange bead for Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem.
The black beads (or brown beads if you have them) and the blue beads represent Jesus' birth in a manger.
There were shepherds in the fields, so point to the green bead.
An angel told the shepherds about the birth of Jesus, so point to the white bead.
The three yellow beads represent the heavenly host singing glory to God in the highest.
There were wise men from the east that wanted to find Jesus, so there are three purple beads.
The last bead is red to represent Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.
You can make Christmas nativity crafts for kids with a Sunday school class or at home with your own children.