Don’t you just love quick and easy crafts? Especially this time of the year, when it’s a mad rush to get everything ready for the festive season. This weekend we made ourselves this beautiful rustic clothespin Nativity Scene using fabric scraps and twine.
Nativity scenes hold a very special place in my heart. I still remember as a Sunday school teacher how excited the little ones would get when we huddled together to make a stable and handcraft Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.
For a few weeks, the big commercial hoo haa around Christmas would take backstage to the special tale unfolding before us.
And that’s what I love most about this clothespin nativity scene. It reminds me of what Christmas is really all about. Love, forgiveness, and making do with what we have.
Okay, before we get to the tutorial to make this little clothespin nativity scene, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you Need
- Jute twine
- Instant glue /Superglue
- A cardboard box or deep serving tray for the stable
- Seedpod for the manager
- Coconut fiber (optional)
- Cardstock, printer, and angel wings printable
- Fabric scraps. I used fabric rag offcuts you can find in most hardware stores
- Craft paint (optional)
- Old-style wooden clothespins. You can also use the modern wooden pegs since most of the “body” will be covered with scrap fabric and other bits
How to make a clothespin nativity scene
Did I already mention how easy this nativity scene is to make 😀 Each little character takes about 10 minutes to put together. We’ll start off with Mary and the angel since they’re very similar, and then move onto how to make Joseph and finally the most important person; little baby Jesus.
Mary and the angel are made in a similar fashion. They both have long locks of wavy hair and are dressed in a cloak and cape made from scrap fabric rags. So let’s start with how to make those wavy twine locks, shall we 😉
Giving the clothespin some hair
Cut the jute twine into 15cm (6″) long strands. You’ll need about 8 strands. Put a few drops of clear instant glue on the round top of the clothespin and glue the twine hair strands down, starting about 1/3 of the way up on the front, and working your way up and around to the back of the head.
Take another piece of the jute twine and curl it around itself and glue down on the crown of the head. Carry on winding the twine around the crown gluing as you go.
Use a toothpick to untwist the strands of twine and fluff out to create those gorgeous wavy locks.
Dressing the clothespin – Mary
For Mary, I used a blue and a grey piece of scrap fabric. For the cape cut a rectangular shape that’s as wide as what your clothespin is long. Double that measurement to determine the length of the fabric. Find the middle point and glue it down on the crown of Mary’s head.
To make Mary’s dress or cloak, measure the height of the clothespin, and cut a square piece of fabric. Rotate the square and cut one of the corners off at an angle as shown below.
Flip your clothespin Mary over and glue the fabric down at the back.
Trim the bottom of the dress.
Clothespin angel with wings
The clothespin angel is a variation of Mary, with a few small changes. She has two small plaits in her hair…..
And her body got a coat of white paint first before I add a tulle dress.
For the angel’s dress, I used leftovers from when we made our wine glass Christmas trees. If you don’t have any tulle, you can use clean bandages, toilet paper, or any other “floaty” fabric.
Making the tulle dress
Rip the tulle into strips that are about 3 cm (1,5”) x 15 cm (6”). Fold the strips in half…..
…. and then glue them around the neck of the clothespin.
Give the angel a tulle veil using the Mary’s cape pattern.
Adding angel wings
Print the free “angle wing” printable on some cardstock and cut them out. Glue the wings on the back of the angel clothespin.
Clothespin Joseph with a beard
Joseph has a rich full beard and no hair 😀 To make the beard, cut a V-shaped piece from some furry fabric and glue it down.
Give Joseph a cape and cloak using the same technique shared above.
Baby Jesus and his manger
Now for the star of the Nativity scene, baby Jesus. You can either use a small wooden bead or cut the “body” of the clothespin shorter. Cut a long strip of fabric and place the cut clothespin in the center. Wind or wrap the fabric around the head and body as shown below.
It’s just like swaddling a real baby, but on a smaller scale 😀 Glue the little Jesus safely inside a seed pod or on a bed of coconut fiber. You can also glue the little guy to Mary’s dress.
Finishing off the clothespin nativity scene
I placed the angel, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in a deep wooden serving tray lined with coconut fiber. If you don’t have a serving tray you can make one using paint stirrers or you can use a cardboard box.
There’s a small wooden donkey lying in the
coconut fiber hay. I made him using this rustic reindeer tutorial. For his mane, I simply glued some twine down his back and gave him a twine braid for a tail. His ears are made from the tips of the other half of the seed pod.
The tulle angel has been hung from the serving tray with some fishing line so she can watch over everyone. Don’t you just love her floaty dress?
If you like the idea of adding making a clothespin nativity scene, don’t forget to pin the tutorial for later.
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And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.