These rustic handmade Walnut shell Christmas ornaments 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. Make some walnut shell ornaments with your children to decorate your Christmas tree this year!
These gorgeous DIY Jesus ornaments are perfect for the Christmas tree and also make a unique gift idea!
You can also use this walnut shell Jesus Christmas ornament as a part of a Holy Family nativity scene complete with baby Jesus in a walnut shell.
Easy Baby Jesus Christmas Ornaments
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.”
Related: Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make
How to Make a Baby Jesus Christmas Ornaments in a Half Walnut Shell Manger
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
Baby Jesus Christmas Ornaments Materials
- Wooden beads
- Walnut cracker or flat head screwdriver
- A scrap of ivory burlap or burlap by the yard
- Natural jute twine
- Wooden stars
- Glue gun with glue sticks
Related: Rustic Acorn Marble Ornaments
Baby Jesus Walnut Shell Christmas Ornaments Step by Step Directions
Step 1 – Crack walnuts for walnut shell Christmas ornaments
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!
How to Crack Walnuts for Walnut Crafts
Update: A wonderful reader named Janet has shared how she cracks walnuts to get useable halves for walnut crafts like these Jesus Christmas ornaments. You can find her original tip in the comments at the end of this article. I have also shared Janet’s wonderful walnut cracking tip in quotes below.
When you need English walnut shells whole not cracked into bits, do NOT use a nutcracker of any kind! Instead you a flat headed strewdriver. Insert the point of a flat headed screwdriver into the top of walnut and twist! You will get two half-shells both perfect! This is easier then cracking the shells… Just a twist and it’s open.
Step 2 – Cut burlap squares for baby Jesus ornaments
We cut our burlap squares from some scraps we had leftover from a beginning sewing project we did a while back. You will need one small square of burlap for each Jesus Christmas Ornament.
Step 3 – Cut twine into sections to make hangers for walnut shell ornaments
You will need 1 10-12 inch section of twine for each walnut shell ornament. (You can have your kids practice measuring as you do this.)
Step 4 – Glue twine, burlap, and bead into each walnut shell ornament
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 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 a loop of twine into half of a 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 Baby Jesus’s head to sit and quickly place the bead into it before it dries.
5. Glue a star onto each piece of twine above the walnut Jesus ornaments
Place a dollop of glue on the star and attach it to the twine about 2 inches above the head of baby Jesus in the walnut shell.
Related: Snowman Ornaments Kids Can Make
Walnut Shell Jesus Christmas Ornaments
Awww… aren’t our little walnut shell baby Jesus ornaments darling? My daughter and I are in love with them!
We decorated our Christmas tree with by placing them next to our handmade wooden angel ornaments. They look so lovely together with the angel ornaments watching over the baby Jesus ornaments.
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!
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Nell is an artist, athlete, wife, mother, psychologist, educator, and coach. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, making this world a greener place to live, and getting outside in all seasons!