Christmas crafts: Nativity crafts for kids

We love doing crafts in the run-up to Christmas. Over the years we’ve made a few different nativity-themed crafts, ranging from simple preschool crafts, such as the ‘Baby Jesus in the manger’ craft through to more involved craft projects, like our shoebox nativity scene. They’ve all been a lot of fun to make and some of them have become part of our Christmas decorations each year. Here are a few of the nativity crafts that we’ve enjoyed making.


A shoebox nativity scene with paper cup and polystyrene ball figures; a paper bowl manger filled with shredded tissue paper and a cardboard tube baby Jesus; a Jessica angel on the top of a tree; a 'stained-glass' nativity scene made from tissue paper, black cardboard and contact paper, in a window - "Christmas crafts: nativity crafts for kids"



Baby Jesus in the manger

This is a simple craft which is perfect for toddlers or preschoolers.


A cardboard tube baby Jesus in a paper bowl manger filled with shredded yellow tissue paper

You will need:

  • A paper bowl
  • Brown paint or a brown paint pen
  • Shredded yellow tissue paper
  • A cardboard tube
  • A white paper napkin
  • A small oval shaped piece of cardboard (we cut ours from another cardboard tube)
  • A black marker pen
  • A glue stick


1) Paint the paper bowl brown inside and outside and leave to dry. We used a paint pen but I think paint would work better for this if you have more time.


2) Spread a layer of glue on the inside of the paper bowl and fill with shredded yellow tissue paper.


Thomas putting shredded yellow tissue paper into a brown-painted paper bowl


3) Cover the cardboard tube in glue and wrap the white paper napkin around the cardboard tube.


4) Draw a sleeping face on the oval piece of cardboard and glue to the front of the tube.


5) Place the cardboard tube baby Jesus on top of the tissue paper hay in the paper bowl manger.


Thomas with his cardboard tube Jesus in a paper bowl manger filled with shredded yellow tissue paper



Shoebox Nativity

This is a fabulous craft which my girls absolutely loved making. We made ours a few years ago and it still comes out every Christmas so it’s lasted well! The figures are mostly made from plastic cups, polystyrene balls and scraps of felt. It’s a great craft for preschool or primary school aged children to make although adult help will be required for younger children. You can find full instructions on how to make the shoebox nativity here.


A Nativity scene in a shoebox showing Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus in the manger; a shepherd with his sheep; a King and an angel


Angel tree topper

Our angel tree topper was made in memory of our own angel, Jessica. I used the same technique to make our Jessica angel tree-topper as we’d used to make the figures for the shoebox nativity the previous year, but added a little more detail with the arms and used wool for the hair rather than felt. It takes pride of place on top of our tree now instead of a star. This is a lovely craft for primary school aged children to make. You can find full instructions here.


Our Jessica angel made from a polystyrene ball and paper cup on top of a Christmas tree



‘Stained-glass’ nativity scene

This ‘stained-glass’ nativity scene made from black cardboard, coloured tissue paper and contact paper is a great craft for primary school children. It looks very effective displayed in a window, especially at night with a light shining behind it. You can find full instructions on how to make it here.





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18 thoughts on “Christmas crafts: Nativity crafts for kids

    1. That’s been one of our favourite crafts to make. Hope you enjoyed making it if you gave it try.

  1. I llove you Jessica angel, simply beautiful. I want to make the stained glass effect craft so am off to check out the instruction. Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories

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