• Making a Nativity Scene: The Baby Jesus

    by  • 4 November 2022 • Christmas, Crafts & Activities • 0 Comments

    Mary and JesusYes, we know Christmas is still a few weeks away. But there are so many lovely Christmassy crafts out there that you definitely need to start early to fit them all in before the big day. We thought we’d start you off with a craft from our book Making a Nativity Scene. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make the baby Jesus for the centre of your display.

    You will need:

    Cotton tubular gauze finger bandage

    Skin-coloured cotton knit

    White cotton knit strips


    White cotton fabric

    Step 1 – Make the head

    Sewing the tubular bandage

    Step 1b: Sewing the tubular bandage

    a) Cut 5cm (2 in) tubular gauze.

    b) Sew up one end using a running stitch, then pull tight to gather the fabric.

    c) Turn right side out and stuff the head with sheep’s wool. The head should be about 2cm (3/4 in) long and 5cm (2 in) in circumference.

    Tip: Use a chopstick to stuff the head with one hand, while using the other hand to squeeze it into shape.

    Loop method for binding off eyeline

    Step 1e: Loop method for binding off eyeline

    d) Bind off the eye line just below the centre of the face with strong thread.

    e) To do this, lay the thread into two mirrored loops.

    f) Fold the first loop over the second loop.

    g) Holding the loops between thumb and forefinger, place them around the head and gently pull tight enough to make a depression, but do not completely separate the head into two halves.

    h) Cover the head with skin-coloured cotton knit and wind strong thread around the neck.

    Step 2 – Make the arms and legs

    Step 2a-g: Cotton knit strips for arms and legs.

    Step 2a-g: Cotton knit strips for arms and legs.

    a) For the arms, you will need a strip of cotton knit 5 x 6.5 cm (2 x 2 5/8 in).

    b) Fold the outer edges to the centre, then fold the whole strip in half again to make a thin roll.

    c) Wind the roll crossways with strong thread, leaving 0.5cm (1/4 in) at each end for the hands.

    d) Cover the hands with skin-coloured cotton knit.

    e) For the legs, use a cotton knit strip 5 x 13 cm (2 x 5 1/4 in).

    f) Fold the outer edges to the centre, then fold the whole strip in half again.

    g) Fold this strip over the centre of the arms.

    h) Use strong thread  to bind together from the fold for 2 cm (3/4 in) to make the body.

    i) Wind the thread tightly crossways around each leg.

    Step 3: Attach the head to the body

    Head and hands covered with cotton knit

    Step 3a-b: Cover the head and hands with cotton knit.

    a) Cut a slit into the head fabric to make a front and back flap.

    b) Position the body between the flaps, wind around the flaps with strong thread and sew in place.

    Step 4: Hair

    a) Choose a suitable colour yarn and sew a small amount in place with small stitches.

    Step 5a: Dressmaking pattern (Click to see full size)

    Step 5a: Dressmaking pattern (Click to see full size)

    Step 5: Dress

    a) Cut the dress out of thin white cotton fabric using the dressmaking pattern opposite.

    b) Put the dress on the baby and sew the neck opening shut.

    c) Fold back the seam allowance at one cuff and sew around the dress to the other cuff with small stitches.

    d) Cut out a square 11 x 11 cm (4 1/4 x 4 1/4 in) of a thin fabric such as an old muslin square or remnant of linen to make a blanket for the finished baby.

    e) Lay the blanket on a surface with one corner pointing upwards and place the baby’s head just below this corner. Fold up the corner at the feet and then fold each side gently but firmly around the baby.

    Tip: You could also wind thick wool yarn or gold string around the baby crossways to hold the blanket in place.

    The finished baby Jesus in a manger

    The finished baby Jesus in a manger

    Cover of Making a Nativity SceneWant to make the full nativity scene? You’ll find instructions for the full cast of characters, as well as ideas for the stable and other scenery in Making a Nativity Scene: Christmas Figures and Animals for a Seasonal Display. Or if you want something different, why not pop on over to our Christmas Crafts board on Pinterest for some great seasonal craft ideas? Remember to check out our Christmas shop for a full range of festive stories, crafts and gift ideas.


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