DIY Clay Nativity Scene

Christmas is still a few months away but it’s closing in fast!  This is a gorgeously simple Christmas craft activity to keep in mind when you come to decorate the house for the festive season in the up coming months.

A nativity scene captures the essence of Christmas, and reminds us of the real reason for the season. It’s also a lot of fun for kids to put together and makes a special decoration for a table, display shelf or in a child’s bedroom. Younger children can join in the fun too by cutting out simple Christmas shapes from clay and decorating them. All the material you need are easily found at craft stores like Spotlight or even at many discount shops and department stores like BIG W and K Mart.

Christmas Crafts - Nativity Scene made out of clay


Air drying clay

Paint and brushes (1 large brush for bigger parts, and a finer brush for details)

– Colours used: Gold, Brown, White, Blue, Green, Black, Beige, Lemon

Glitter (for the star)



1. Begin shaping a stable, cradle, baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, sheep and three wise men. Keep the shapes very simple – the details will be painted on. Ensure the base for each piece is as flat as possible so it will sit well. To do this, simply press down slightly on a flat surface.

Characters for this set:

  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • 3 x Shepherds
  • 4 x Sheep
  • 1 Stable
  • 3 x Wise Men
  • 1 x Manger
  • 1 x Baby Jesus 
  • Star

DIY Clay Nativity Scene - Parts to shape

2. Allow the clay pieces to dry in a warm, airy spot. Depending on the size of the pieces, it will take approximately 24 hours.
3. Paint your Nativity scene – include cloaks, headdresses and beards for the men. Don’t forget some glitter for the three wise men. Simple lines and details (like dots for eyes) work well.
4. Once the paint is dry, varnish the pieces and your Nativity scene is complete. I used Jo Sonja Poly Gloss Varnish.

Christmas Craft: DIY Clay Nativity Scene

Tip 1: Complete the steps above on grease proof/baking paper to prevent the clay and paint from sticking to your work surface.

Tip 2: You can make a mini version of the nativity scene with just the stable, star, Mary & Joseph, Baby Jesus & Manger 

Christmas Crafts - DIY Nativity Scene

This is a Christmas keepsake that you will want to bring out year after year. It’s always fun to create something as a family to add to the festivities in the home.

More Christmas Crafts

Find the entire range of Christmas Crafts on the blog here: Be A Fun Mum Christmas Crafts

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