Guest Post by Liz of Simple Life. Messy Life.
Do you love finding ways to make Christmas a time for your children to learn more about the miracle of Jesus’ birth?
The holiday season is such a great time to be intentional in teaching your children about Christ. I know I love getting to experience all our fun Christ-centered traditions.
Today, I’d like to share with you a new Christmas activity that we have started this year: A felt board nativity scene!
It is so simple to make. Just print out the template, trace, cut out, and glue together – no sewing required! And since it’s made totally out of durable felt, it is the perfect hands-on nativity for little hands to play with.
Want to make your own? Let me show you how easy it really is!
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- Sharp scissors
- Printed templates (see below)
- Marker, fabric pencil or chalk for tracing
- 1 yard black felt
- 1/8th yard brown felt
- Other various colors of felt (see below)
- Hot glue gun
- Puff paint, fabric markers or googly eyes (optional)
1. (Optional) Print out Tracing Templates.
While you absolutely can simply eyeball all the people and animals and cut them out by hand, tracing templates can make your life a WHOLE lot easier!
This way you know you get them the right size/shape, and that you don’t accidentally mess up and run out of a color.
You’re welcome to use the same tracing templates I used in creating this craft!
Simply enter your name and email below so I know where to send them:
I’m definitely no professional pattern maker, but I wanted to share what I used in order to make it a lot easier for you! Then, once you’ve got your template printed, go ahead and cut out all the pieces.
2. Cut the Felt Pieces
For these, I used the small rectangles of felt that you can buy either separately or in packs of different colors. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for 25 cents each. You can choose whatever colors you want, but I’ll break down what I used:
- Mary body and hood- pale blue
- Joseph body and hood – dark green
- Joseph headpiece – brown
- Baby Jesus – white
- Baby Jesus head – tan
- Sheep body (3) – white
- Sheep legs (12) – black
- Star – yellow
- Manger – gray
- Manger legs (2) – gray
- Angel body and hood (3) – white
- Halos (3) – yellow
- Shepherds body and hood (2) – brown
- Shepherd headpiece (2) – off white
- Shepherd staffs (2) – dark brown
- Wise men (1 each) – blue, light blue, and red
- Wise men crowns (3) – yellow
- Wise men gifts (3) – gray
- Heads (10) – tan
**So, the list of all the colors you need would be: pale blue, light blue, blue, dark green, tan, dark brown, brown, white, black, yellow, gray, red, and off-white.
Once you’ve decided on your colors, go ahead and trace the pieces and cut them all out. I used a washable marker to trace my pieces. You could also use chalk as well.
3. Glue the Felt Pieces Together
Quick note about hot glue guns: Unless you are a fan of singeing your fingers when they inevitably touch the glue, go for the low-temp glue gun. The glue sets faster, so you have to work a little faster, but your fingers will thank you!
Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus: For the people, first glue the head on the body, followed by the hood. I found it easiest to glue any long pieces like the hoods on a little bit at a time, so you can make sure it’s lined up right. Don’t forget to glue on Joseph’s headpiece!
Glue the smaller star piece onto the back of the bigger one and glue the baby head onto the baby body. For the manger, one side of the legs are cut to line up with the sides and one side is flat for the bottom. Glue it together in an X shape.
The Shepherds: Glue the shepherds together just like you did Joseph, but also glue their staff across their body. For the sheep, glue their heads on one side of the body (on the front) and glue the legs in two upside down V’s on the bottom of the body (on the back).
The Wise Men: The wise men are extra easy! Just glue their heads to their bodies, then glue on their crowns. You can also glue their gifts to their bodies if you want. My son didn’t want them glued down so he could move them around. However, they are a small piece, so if you don’t want to worry about losing them, go ahead and glue them on!
Angels: For the angels, glue on their heads and hoods like the others. Then, glue two wings to their backs and a halo to the tippy top of their heads.
Stable: Woo hoo! You’re almost done! The last thing you need to do is cut out the pieces for the stable. I bought a small piece (about 1/8th yard) of the sold by the yard felt in dark brown for these pieces.
Now, you can get out the ruler and measure these out all straight and nice, but I figured, hey, it’s supposed to look rustic right? So, I just free-handed it!
You’re going to need to cut out five long rectangles to make a stable that looks like this…
Each piece is about 1 1/2 inches wide. The two side pieces are about 10 inches, the wide piece is about 18 inches, and the roof pieces are about 12 inches.
Alright, that’s about it! You are ready to set up your felt board for play!
I took the big piece of black felt I bought and draped it over our large chalkboard.
You can drape it over a couch or table, lay it on the floor, or even staple it to a board. Once you’ve found a place for it, you can place your pieces on it!
Ready to get started?
(Or really want to do this craft, but need to remember to come back to it later?)
Simply drop your name + email in the box below and I’ll send you your Printable templates — straight to your inbox!
Is this felt nativity something your kiddos would enjoy playing with this Christmas season? I know ours will get a lot of use (and be easy to store for next year!). I hope you give it a try!
Liz is a twenty-something wife, mother, and jack-of-all trades. When she’s not looking for ways to teach God’s truth to her three year old you’ll find her reading, cooking, writing, or enjoying the outdoors. Liz blogs about faith, family, and life’s adventures at Simple Life. Messy Life. In addition to her blog, you can find Liz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.