christmas craft clothespin nativity scene

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Clothespin Manger Nativity Scene Christmas Craft

One way to really get the kids involved in the Christmas story is to create a manger scene of your own. It turns on their imaginations, same as when they play dolls. Here’s a Christmas craft idea for a manger made out of clothes pins and other easy household items that you can use to bring the story to life!



– Empty toilet paper roll or small wooden box to create manger

– Clothespins (fully wooden – not the spring kind)

– Glue

– Black marker

– Scraps of colored cloth or felt.

– White clay or Play dough

– Scrap of white cotton or felt (an old handkerchief works well).



1. Cut the toilet paper roll in half and then cut one of the halves lengthwise to form the cradle.

2. Draw a circle on the piece of white cardboard. (The circle will form the two ends of the cradle when cut out. Cut the circle in half to make two semi-circles. Glue semi-circle to both ends of the cradle, curved side down.

3. Paint the cradle brown and set aside to dry.

4. Use plastic “straw” (as used in Easter Baskets) for the cradle bed, or if available, cut a few straws from a straw broom.

5. Use white play dough to make a ball for the baby’s head and a cone shaped

“body” for the baby. Attach head to body.

6. Completely swaddle the baby in white cloth so that only the face is visible.

7. Use clothespins to make figures around cradle.

8. Use cloth scraps to make simple clothes to glue onto the figures.

9. Make round circles from clay or play dough to make pedestals for figures to stand on. (Push the clothespins into the clay pedestals.)

10. Use black marker to make eyes on the figures. Baby’s eyes will be closed.


Use the text of Luke 2:1-21, moving the pieces around with the story, until you have everyone together. Have kids move their own pieces, and they will learn the Christmas story by working their play time imaginations.


And be sure to check out our other great Christmas craft activities!  Don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, and Follow Me on Twitter, where we will be sharing even more great Christmas craft ideas and activities all month long!