How to Make Nativity Scene on Cover

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    You can make an attractive nativity scene like the one on the cover of this month’s Friend! The simple scene consists of eleven figures that are made from single pieces of felt draped and arranged over Styrofoam cones. Various trims and decorations can be added to give them your own personal touch. Just use your imagination!


    10 Styrofoam balls 1 1/4″ in diameter, 10 7″ Styrofoam cones, 11 pieces of 9″ x 12″ felt in various colors, yellow, gray, brown, black, white yarn, 34 straight pins with colored heads, straight pins, pipe cleaners, nylon stockings, miscellaneous trim, thread, tissue for stuffing, 10 Popsicle sticks, spool, or small wooden clothespin, and glue.


    Head Cover Styrofoam ball with a double thickness of nylon stocking. Gather ends and wrap thread several times around them, knot, and trim. For hair, wrap yarn around four fingers twenty times and tie one end together. Clip or leave loops on other end. Attach to head with pin through knot. Arrange hair and add decorations if desired. Place three pins with colored heads for eyes and nose. For beard, wrap yarn around three fingers fifteen times. Tie one end and clip other end. Arrange on face and glue in place (see diagram A).

    Shepherd’s burnoose Cut oval piece of felt 3 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. Arrange on head, making tucks with pins, and tie yarn tightly around to hold in place. Remove pins (see diagram B).

    Body Drape and fold single piece of felt around cone to make robe with sleeves in fashion desired. Arrange fold to make sleeves from edge of felt. Use pins or glue to hold folds in place or stitch material. (Mary’s robe should be draped from head down.)

    For hands, cut four pieces of felt 1/2″ x 1″ with rounded corners on one end, stitch together in pairs, leaving squared end open, and stuff with tissue. Place hands inside sleeve and stitch or glue in place. Decorate robes with trim. Attach head to body with 2″ piece of pipe cleaner. To make shepherd and Mary kneeling, shorten cone (see diagram C).

    Manger and Baby Glue three Popsicle sticks horizontally to the top half of two vertical Popsicle sticks, with one vertical stick 1/2″ from outside edge and the other vertical stick close to the edge. Make two of these. Let dry. Glue the two parts together with 1/2″ overlap on opposite ends. The vertical sticks will form X’s. Let dry. Cut up pieces of yellow yarn for straw in manger. To make Baby Jesus, wrap a spool or small wooden clothespin in white felt and tie with yarn to make swaddling clothes (see diagram D).

    Lamb Place a piece of white yarn between first two fingers and then wrap around forty times. Tie yarn tightly together between fingers. Remove yarn from fingers, clip loops, fluff, and trim into a round ball. Tie two pom-poms together for each lamb. Cut head out of felt, curving one end, then stitch curved ends together and stuff. Cut out ears and attach to head. Stitch or glue head on one end of pom-pom. For each leg, cover 1 1/2″ piece of pipe cleaner with 1″ of felt, stitching up side. Attach uncovered end of pipe cleaner to pom-pom and bend other end for foot. Use pins with colored heads for eyes (see diagram E).

    Arrange and decorate nativity scene as you choose with trees, stars, etc. Tiny gifts can be made for the kings to carry and also a staff for Joseph. Your whole family will enjoy this nativity scene in your home at Christmastime.