This rustic handmade walnut shell manger Christmas ornament can be made by kids, teens, and adults. Crafting a baby Jesus ornament in a half walnut shell manger is a wonderful way to spend time connecting with the kids this holiday season.
These gorgeous DIY ornaments are perfect for the Christmas tree and also make a unique gift idea! You can also use this walnut shell manger nature craft as a part of a nativity set. Click on the link to see our Easy Wooden Peg Doll Holy Family Nativity Scene.
Rustic Walnut Shell Manger Christmas Ornament
This kid-made baby Jesus in a walnut shell manger Christmas Ornament nature craft was inspired by the children’s book “Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale.” There is just enough room in a half walnut shell for a “little one.”
For more book inspired kid-made ornaments, pop over to check out our Angel Ornaments, Acorn Marble Ornaments, Rhinestone Pinecone Ornaments, Rustic Alphabet Wood Slice Ornaments, Snowman Ornaments, and our Elf Peg Doll Ornaments!
Related: Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make
How to Make a Baby Jesus Christmas Ornament in a Half Walnut Shell
You can make this craft as a Christmas book activity with the kids, or as a stand-alone activity. Little ones will need assistance from a caregiver to make this walnut nature craft, while older children that know how to use a glue gun safely will be able to complete this project from start to finish on their own.
Related: Craft Stick Nativity Stable
Rustic Walnut Shell Manger Nature Craft: Materials
- Wooden beads
- walnut cracker try this and/or this
- Scrap of ivory or brown burlap
- Natural jute twine
- Wooden stars
- Glue gun with glue sticks
Related: Rustic Acorn Marble Ornaments
Baby Jesus Christmas Ornament Nature Craft: Directions
1. Crack walnuts
If you’re wondering how to crack a walnut to get at least one usable half I’m afraid I’m not much help.
My daughter loves cracking walnuts and eating them. I set a bowl of walnuts in front of her with a walnut cracker that we found at a thrift store long ago and let her go for it.
She ended up with a tummy full of walnuts, a pile of shells, and a handful of useable halves. Not bad for a four-year-old.
If you have enough walnuts save a few aside just in case, and pass the walnut cracking off on the kids. It’s a fabulous hand strengthening activity!
2. Cut burlap squares
We cut our burlap squares from a scrap from a beginning sewing project we did a while back. You will need one small square of burlap for each walnut half.
3. Cut twine into sections
You will need 1 10-12 inch section of twine for each walnut half. (You can have your kids practice measuring as you do this.)
4. Glue twine, burlap, and bead into the walnut shell
Glue guns are hot and dangerous tools. Children must be under direct supervision at all times when a glue gun is plugged in.
Please make sure your children are mature enough to handle a glue gun before inviting them to help put this walnut shell manger Chrismas ornament together.
I held the walnut shell for my daughter so it was easier for her to glue the twine, burlap, and bead into the walnut shell. See directions and photos below.
- Place loop of twine into 1/2 walnut shell knot down.
- Prepare burlap square by folding all edges into the middle until you have a little wad of burlap to tuck into the walnut shell messy side down.
- Keep a hold of your burlap as you fill the 1/2 walnut shell with a big dollop of glue right on top of the twine.
- Quickly tuck the burlap into the shell before the glue begins to dry.
- Place another dollop of glue where you would like the head to sit and quickly place the bead into it before it dries.
5. Glue Star onto twine
Place a dollop of glue on the star and place on the twine about 2 inches above the head of baby Jesus.
Awww… isn’t it darling? My daughter and I are in love with them!
Related: Snowman Ornaments Kids Can Make
Handmade ornaments like this kid-made baby Jesus in the manger nature crafts are perfect for the Christmas tree. You can also use this craft as a part of a nativity scene. They make beautiful decorations and are a great keepsake gift idea!
Related: Beautiful Gifts Kids Can Make
This post is a part of the 10 days of kid-made book inspired ornaments series. If you make any book inspired ornaments use the hashtag #KidMadeChristmas so we can see what you’ve created!
You may also like:
- Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make
- Elf Peg Doll Christmas Ornaments
- Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids
- Christmas Coloring and Activity Books for Kids
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