During this time of year, many display nativity scenes in celebration of Jesus' birth. These miniature nativity figures of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus are not only fun to make and play with, but they are a great visual reminder of the reason we celebrate!



What You'll Need

  •  Two 3" peg people and one 1" peg person (we purchased at Michaels)

  • Craft paint in 3 colors: red, blue, and white (we used Craft Smart paint in Cherry Cobbler, Powder Blue, and White colors; also purchased at Michaels)

  • 3 small paint brushes

  • Wired burlap ribbon - 2.5" width (we had this leftover from our Christmas tree ribbon project but originally purchased this Natural Burlap Wired Ribbon at Hobby Lobby; always have a 40% coupon handy in case it's not on sale!)

  • Jute twine (we originally purchased our twine at the Dollar Tree, but you could also find it at most craft stores; here is a link for a similar product at Hobby Lobby)

  • Glue gun

  • Scissors

  • Pen

  • Ruler

  • White cloth (optional but highly recommended)

  • Painter's tape (optional but highly recommended)





  1. Prepare to paint peg people (using two 3" peg people and one 1" peg person). We decided to use painter's tape to tape off the head of each peg person to ensure clean lines. This step is optional but highly recommended for the best final product.

  2. Paint the bottom sections of the peg people below the heads (one 3" peg person red, one 3" peg person light blue, and one 1" peg person white). We decided to do two coats of paint for best paint coverage.

  3. While waiting on the peg people to dry, prepare burlap ribbon for Mary's head covering. Begin by cutting a 5" ribbon piece.

  4. Grab a pen, a ruler, and your 5" ribbon piece. On the widest section of the ribbon, make a pen mark at 2.5 inches (see image below). Then, at the top left and top right of the narrow sections of the ribbon, make a pen mark at .75" (3/4 inch). Then, using a ruler, make a line between the .75" marks to the 2.5" mark. (It might make much more sense if you take a look at the picture below!)

  5. Cut the ribbon along the lines drawn in the step above.

  6. Once the paint on your peg people has dried, remove the painter's tape (if used).

  7. Grab your "Mary" peg person (blue painted peg person), your cut burlap ribbon, and your glue gun.

  8. Place the widest part of the ribbon on top of Mary's head. (The "point" of the ribbon should be at the BACK of Mary's body). Then bend the side edges of the ribbon down toward the front of her body. Make sure the edges meet at the front of her body, and then use a small dot of hot glue to connect the burlap pieces together. You can also put a small spot of hot glue between the ribbon and the top of the wooden head to ensure the ribbon is secure. (Use the picture below as a guide.)

  9. Turn Mary around so that you are looking at her back and the ribbon point. Take the point of the ribbon and bend it down until it touches her back. Use some hot glue at the point where the ribbon touches her back to secure it. (Use the picture below as a guide.)

  10. Steps 10-12 are optional, but we think it gives a "swaddling cloth" look for baby Jesus. Find some thin white cloth around the house. You could use an old sheet, thin sock, rag, etc. We used an old paint cloth!

  11. Cut a 2" x .75" (3/4 in.) piece of cloth. (Yes, it's a tiny piece of cloth. That's why we wanted you to find something around the house that you didn't mind cutting up!)

  12. Hold your 1" peg person (baby Jesus) and wrap the cloth around him. Use a small drop of hot glue where the edges of cloth meet at the front of his body.

  13. Cut a piece of jute twine about 2.5 ft. long. This is a bit longer than you need, but it will be easier to work with.

  14. Place your Joseph peg person (red peg person) and Mary peg person (blue peg person) side by side. Wrap the jute ribbon around them from back to front and tie a tight knot.

  15. Place the baby Jesus peg person (small white peg person) on top of the knot. Wrap the strings around baby Jesus, then pull the strings back around Mary and Joseph. Pull strings tightly at the back of Mary and Joseph and then tie a knot. Cut off any extra jute twine.




In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.  Luke 2:1-7 The Bible, ESV