Here’s a super easy nativity sceen made with wooden peg dolls that takes a few minutes to put together.
Add a touch of magic to your Christmas decorations with this simple wooden nativity craft for kids and adults. Make this easy DIY holy family minimalist nativity scene to display with your Christmas home decor this season. Wooden peg dolls make it super easy to create this simple Christmas nativity craft!
Related: Meaningful Christmas Traditions for a Magical Holiday
Related: Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make Your Family Will Love!
Minimalist Nativity Scene
This easy Christmas nativity scene craft requires a few wooden peg dolls, a walnut, and a scrap of fabric to make. My family is lucky enough to live across the street from an almond and walnut orchard. And, there are always strays that don’t get picked up by the harvesting equipment.
The farm owner has told us that we are welcome to pick up and take any stray walnuts we find after harvest–so they don’t go to waste–and we are happy to help. So, my daughter and I decided to make a few crafts with them this year!
After we finished our simple stone advent calendar and craft stick nativity stable, we decided to make a minimalist nativity scene to go with it. And, we think placing baby Jesus in a walnut half-shell is the perfect way to complete this easy Christmas nativity scene.
How to Make BAby Jesus Craft for Christmas Nativity Scene
There are two ways to make the Baby Jesus craft for the nativity scene, depending on the available supplies and how you will use them. If you want to make Baby Jesus with a wooden peg doll, as shown in the photos above and below, follow the step-by-step Christmas nativity scene instructions below.
If, however, you want to learn how to make baby Jesus with a wooden bead instead of a wooden peg doll–click the link for the tutorial. It shares how to make a Baby Jesus Ornament in a half walnut shell with a wooden bead. Skip the step of adding twine if you won’t be hanging it as a Christmas ornament.
Related: Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make
Minimalist Christmas Nativity Scene Craft Supplies
- Wooden peg dolls
- 1/2 walnut shell (you might need a walnut craker or walnut opener)
- Scrap of Ivory or brown burlap
- Glue gun with glue sticks
The wooden peg doll set listed above will give you enough peg dolls to make this minimalist nativity scene, peg doll elf ornaments, rainbow peg dolls, and winter fairy peg dolls too! The rainbow peg dolls and winter fairies make great gift ideas for the kids.
Please note: Glue guns are hot and dangerous tools. When using a glue gun, children should be under direct supervision at all times.
How to Set Up Christmas Nativity Scene
Step 1 – Crack Walnuts
My daughter loves cracking walnuts and eating them, so I placed a bowl of walnuts in front of her and let her have it. She ended up with a tummy full of yummy walnuts, a pile of shells, and a handful of useable halves.
If you choose this option, place a few walnuts aside–you may need to follow the instructions below to get a useable half for your Baby Jesus craft.
HOW TO CRACK WALNUTS FOR WALNUT CRAFTS
When you need English walnut shells whole, not cracked into bits, use a walnut opener or a flat-head screwdriver. Insert the point of the walnut opener or flat-headed screwdriver into the top of the walnut and twist. You will get two half-shells, both perfect! Using a screwdriver to open walnuts is much easier than cracking the shells–just a twist, and it’s open.
Or, pass the walnut cracking off on the kids. It’s a great hand strengthening activity! Just be sure to leave a few walnuts aside just in case!
Step 2 – Cut burlap squares (Or Another Fabric)
You will need one small square or triangle of burlap or another type of fabric, big enough to swaddle the tiny baby Jesus peg doll for each walnut half. My daughter cut out our scrap of burlap from the remains of a sewing project we did a while back. Any fabric scrap big enough will work!
Step 3 – Swadle or Wrap baby Jesus in Burlap Or Other Fabric
Wrap up the most petite wooden peg doll from THIS SET in a scrap of burlap or another fabric scrap. We tried this a few times in a few different ways using different burlap scraps, and they all worked perfectly.
All you need to do is swaddle the wooden peg doll in burlap and glue it down using a glue gun in any way that works. It doesn’t need to look pretty because you will be shoving it into a half walnut shell–messy side down. You can see an example in the photo below.
Once again, if you would like to learn how to make this craft with a wooden bead instead of a peg doll, have a look at the directions to make Walnut Shell Manger Christmas Ornaments.
When we put the peg doll above into the half walnut shell, we placed the top (the messy side that you see) down and tucked the ends into the walnut shell.
Step 4 – Glue Baby Jesus into the Half Walnut Shell
- First, add a big dollop of glue to the inside of the 1/2 walnut shell.
- Next, tuck baby Jesus in burlap into the shell messy side down before the glue begins to dry.
I held the walnut shell for my daughter, so it was easier to add glue and baby Jesus. Please make sure your children are mature enough to handle a glue gun before inviting them to help make this peg doll baby Jesus in a walnut shell manger.
Step 5 – Place Peg Dolls to Represent Mary and Joesph Into The Christmas Nativity Scene DIY
To complete this easy DIY wooden peg doll, holy family nativity scene, select a peg doll to represent Mary and Joseph. You can leave them plain like we have or decorate them in any way that you wish. Next, place the baby Jesus in a walnut shell manger with Mary and Joseph.
Step 6 – How to Display Nativity Scene
As mentioned above, we set up our easy holy family minimalist nativity scene with our simple stone advent calendar and made a craft stick nativity stable to go with it. Click on the links to see all the fun pictures and learn how to make your own!
DIY Christmas Nativity Scene Craft for Kids and Adults
Make this beautiful easy DIY Christmas nativity scene with wooden peg dolls as home decor this season. Both kids and adults will enjoy this easy Christmas nativity craft!
You might also enjoy this list of Christmas Traditions and our Winter Bucket List filled with fun activities for kids!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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