Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

What's Christmas without a beautifully decked crib in your house to celebrate the birth of Christ. There is no one way to put up the crib, so here are some ideas to make your Christmas crib stand out!

By Sherine Paul Solomon  • 12 min read

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Christmas trees, twinkling lights, a bright star, pretty stockings, colourful baubles, candles and the humble Christmas crib or nativity scene are all a huge part of the celebrations. The popular carol “Away in a manger”, gives us a clearer picture into the reason for placing a Christmas crib at home every advent season.

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus, lay down his sweet head.
The stars in the night sky; looked down where he lay.
The little Lord Jesus; asleep on the hay!”

Let’s take a look at some fun ways for you to add your own personal touch to the nativity scene with the help of your children. The unique creative elements will help set your crib apart from the rest.

The nativity scene depiction dates back thousands of years and is a tradition to celebrate the birth of Jesus in a simple manger. St Francis of Assisi wanted to bring attention to the simplicity surrounding that Jesus was born in and created the original nativity scene in 1223. Ever since then nativity scenes have become an integral part of Christmas with portrayals of the birth of Jesus found in homes, churches and malls. Characters found in the ‘Gospel of Matthew and Luke’ can be seen replicated in manger scenes.

Must-haves in a Christmas crib

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Although there are a lot of elements that can make your Christmas crib stand out, there certain figures that are integral to the whole picture. These are the main figures included in the nativity scene placed either in a barn or some sparse structure.

Baby Jesus: At the centre of it all is the newborn baby, born in a stable and sleeping in a trough as there was no place at the inn

Mary:The mother of Baby Jesus is always closest to the new born baby

Joseph: Mary’s husband Joseph is usually placed standing beside his wife

Three Wise men: The three wise who came from the east followed a star to the stable. They are usually are represented with the presents they brought for the new born – gold, frankincense and myrrh

Shepherds: Shepherds who were watching their sheep were informed of the birth of the new born by an Angel. They made their way to the manger with their sheep

Farm Animals: Animals that are part of the scene include a donkey, ox, sheep and the camels on which the three wise men arrived

Things that can spruce up your Christmas Crib

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

There are a number of ways in which you can do some fun projects with your child to add a special touch to your Christmas corner. Here are a few ideas you can try with your child to form a new Christmas tradition

Popsicle stick crafts

There are two crafts you can do with your child using popsicle sticks. If you have a lot time on your hands you can build the stable with your child. If you are pressed for time can create a mini nativity scene with a few popsicle sticks

Popsicle stick stable

Materials

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Fevicol or glue gun
  • Cardboard
  • Straw

Instructions

Step 1: Create a template of the stable with your cardboard pieces, keep the two sides short, a long back and the front open. Finish it with two pieces for the roof

Step 2: Stick your cardboard pieces together to form your stable

Step 3: Stack your popsicle sticks side by side and cover the cardboard. Paste them onto the cardboard and complete your stable

Step 4: Place some straw within the finished stable and place your nativity scene figurines inside your completed stable

Popsicle stick family scene

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Materials

  • Dozen popsicle stick
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Fevicol or glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Sketch pens
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Yellow paper
  • Straw

Instructions

Step 1: Cut a square with your piece of cardboard, cut six of the sticks to the size of the cardboard. Paste them together with the curved end on top. Attach two more popsicle sticks at an angle to form the roof

Step 2: Take three popsicle sticks to create Baby Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph. Cut bits of fabric and wrap it around each stick – white for baby Jesus, blue for mother Mary and brown for Joseph. You can use whatever fabric you have at home. Stick them onto the stick. Draw eyes with a sketch pen

Step 3: Stick your three characters onto the stable structure towards the bottom while adding some straw behind them

Step 4: Draw a star on your yellow paper and cut it out. Stick it above baby Jesus’s head

Step 5: Your mini nativity family scene is ready and can be placed in a place of pride in your home

Simple ornament

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Materials

  • Empty bauble or mini hanging terrarium jar
  • Figurine of Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph
  • Straw or Moss
  • String or ribbon
  • Glue

Instructions

Step 1: Place your piece of straw or moss at the base of the bauble through the opening. Stick it to the base

Step 2: Stick your three figurines on top of the straw

Step 3: Attach a string or ribbon to the top of the bauble

Step 4: Hang it with your child on your tree or suitable nail in your house

Nativity scene box

Materials

  • Shoe box
  • Kaleidoscope paper
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Glitter star stickers
  • Shredded crepe paper
  • Cellotape
  • Sketch pens
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Step 1: Place your shoe box sideways. Paint the outside brown and inside yellow

Step 2: For Mary’s dress, create a cone with a sheet of light blue paper. Draw a face on a skin coloured paper and tape it to the top of the cone

Step 3: Create a cone for Joseph’s robe with a colour of your choice, Paste a face at the top for him as well. Attach a headdress shaped piece of paper at the back of the head. Make Mary and Joseph in proportion to the size of the box

Step 4: Make a cone with brown paper, trim the bottom half to form a manger shape and see that it rests on its own. Fill the manger with shredded yellow crepe paper

Step 5: Cut a small round piece from white paper and skin coloured paper to make baby Jesus. Place the completed bit on top of the manger

Step 6: Stick a glitter star at the front of the box in the middle. Place your characters inside and your nativity scene is ready

Create your own manger

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Materials

  • Craft basket
  • Felt sheets
  • Small strips of cloth
  • Polystyrene ball
  • Paper
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Straw
  • Scissors
  • Black pen

Instructions

Step 1: Paint your craft basket with a paint colour of your choice and leave to dry

Step 2: Mix your paints to create a skin colour shade, paint the small polystyrene ball with this shade. Place it of a toothpick to make painting easier. Once dry, draw two eyes and a mouth

Step 3: Cut a strip of white felt and wrap it around the ball, stick it with a piece of tape

Step 4: Attach a colourful piece of cloth with glue as a border around the basket and brighten it up

Step 5: Fill the basket with straw or you can colour a piece of paper and shred it finely

Step 6: Place your baby Jesus inside the craft basket and choose a place for it in your home

Star of Bethlehem

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Materials

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Yellow or gold sketch pen

Instructions

Step 1: Draw an outline of a star with a long tail with your child. Let your child colour the inside of the star yellow or gold

Step 2: Carefully cut along the outline of the star

Step 3: Place the star above your nativity scene

Egg carton nativity scene

Materials

  • Empty egg carton – 2
  • Wooden people
  • Felt sheets
  • Mini craft glue dots
  • Acrylic paint
  • Silver and gold glitter stickers
  • Yellow crepe paper
  • Scissors
  • Black marker pen
  • Black sketch pen

Instructions

Step 1: If there is a pointy cone shape in your egg carton, cut it out in one of the cartons

Step 2: Paint the lid of the carton inside and outside midnight blue to depict the night sky. Leave it to dry

Step 3: Paint the base of the egg carton dark brown and leave to dry

Step 4: Take two of the wooden people figurines, create a skin colour tone with your paint palette and paint the faces of the two figures. Leave to dry

Step 5: Draw a beard with your marker on the doll representing Joseph and paint the body brown. For your second doll paint the body blue to represent Mary. Leave to dry

Step 6: Cut a rectangular strip of felt that will fit round the wooden people figurines – light blue for Mary and green for Joseph. Wrap the strips around the wooden people and stick them with glue dots

Step 7: You can add other embellishments as you and your child like in way of headgear with felt. Draw the features for Mary and Joseph with a thin black sketch pen.

Step 8: Take your second egg cartons, cut out one of the egg dimples. Trim it at the edges with a scissor and bend it outwards to create a crib for Baby Jesus. Paint the crib dark brown. Leave to dry

Step 9: Cut a small circle from the second egg carton to create the head of Baby Jesus. Paint it in a skin tone colour and leave to dry. Draw features with a sketch pen

Step 10: Cut a small rectangular felt strip to form the blanket wrapped around baby Jesus. Wind it around and stick with glue dots.

Step 11: Cut the yellow crepe paper into thin strips to make it look like straw. Fill the base of the first carton with the straw.

Step 12: Place baby Jesus inside the crib and place him at the center of the carton. Place Mary and Joseph on either side of the new born, you can stick them onto a small stone or piece of cardboard to make them stand straight.

Step 13: On your midnight blue sky stick a large gold glitter star sticker. You can add additional smaller stars or snowflake stickers as you prefer

Handmade bauble

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

Materials

  • Empty bauble
  • Nativity scene silhouette
  • Glue
  • String or ribbon

Instructions

Step 1: Print a number of nativity scene silhouettes, place them inside the bauble and see if the fit perfectly

Step 2: Stick the silhouettes the bauble

Step 3: Attach a piece of string or festive ribbon to the top of the bauble

Step 4: Hang up your creation on your tree

Lights

Creative Ways To Design And Make A Crib

If you want to keep things super simple and already have your nativity scene ready, you can also brighten up your corner with some festive lights. You can either fit the crib with fairy lights, lights in shapes of Christmas trees, stars or any other fun shape or place small LED candles to add that something extra to the scene.

So this Christmas make something meaningful with your child and celebrate the true reason for the season.

About the author:

Written by Sherine Paul Solomon on 18 December 2019.

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