Amy’s Free Ideas

Cardboard box stable

Make any cardboard box into a stable.

View step by step instructions and photos

Pipe Cleaner figures

These figures are not hard to make, but if you don’t have much time, or want to keep the price down, you can make fewer figures--Just make Mary, Joseph and the baby. If time and money are not an issue, you can make a lot of everything--a whole paddock of sheep, if you want to!

Materials for making the people

  1. chenille wire, any color

  2. large bead for the head (wood or plastic)

  3. 3.2 small beads for the hands (wood or plastic)

  4. 4.2 long beads for feet/shoes

  5. large triangle of felt for the outfit

  6. small triangle for the headdress

  7. 7.2 rectangles for the sleeves

Bend a chenille wire into thirds and cut off one third. The short piece becomes the arms--put a bit of glue on each end, and slip a bead onto each end of the arms for hands. (If you don’t have wire cutters or pliers, bend it back and forth till it breaks.

Put a large bead (wood or plastic) onto the bent end of the chenille wire to test if it fits. Take it off, and put a dab of glue on, and put on the bent end again. Test long beads to see if they fit, then glue the long beads in place (feet/shoes.)

Stick the arm between the legs near the head (one side should be slightly longer to allow for the next step...)

Then twist the arm wire all the way around--past the opposite arm, to the back, then back to it’s original position. Redo it if the arms end up different lengths.

Cut a triangle for the clothing, and glue the seem in the back.

The outfit should be long enough to cover the feet or it won’t be able to stand.

Cut a rectangle and glue it over one arm.

Do the same for the other sleeve.

If the chenille wire shows at the neck, you can cut a strip and cross it in the front.

Another way to cover it is to wrap a strip around to look like a collar.

To make Mary, cut a length of brown or black chenille wire for hair, and glue it to the top of the head.

Cut a triangle of felt and glue it to the head for a head covering.

To make the rest of the figures, cut a short length of chenille wire to form the beard. Bend it slightly and glue to the face.

Cut a small triangle for a head covering and glue it to the head.

To make a coat from a different color, cut the felt into a rectangle. Cut 2 slits for arm holes.

Put the coat on the figure and glue the shoulder seems.

Use beads or other small items you find around the house to make the gifts. Bend the arms to hold the items, then glue in place.

To make the wisemen different from the rest of the figures, put a turban on their heads. Cut a narrow strip of felt, put glue on the head, then wrap the strip around the head.

Fold the 2 sides down beside the face and glue in place.

Make a baby by gluing a bead to a rectangle of white felt. Cut 2 corners away to make the swaddling clothes less bulky.

Pompom animals

Fold the bottom up and glue in place.

Fold the right side and glue in place, then the left side.

To make the wings, cut 2 felt triangles and glue them to the back. Cut off the top corner of each triangle so it is rounded.

To make angels, cut lengths of string or embroidery floss and glue it to the head.

You can make coats for all the figures, or just for the wisemen to keep it simple.