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Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene


(16 Votes)


Create your own cute nativity scene with materials you have at home already. This Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene is a great project for the kids and an easy way to create green crafts while keeping more green in the bank! You can make this with a sturdy cardboard tube or you can use a paper towel tube or even toilet paper rolls to create the same effect. Your children will love making this kids Christmas craft while learning about the true meaning of Christmas.


  • Inner cardboard tube – I used a plastic wrap tube (a paper towel or baking paper tube will do the same) – I used approx. 12″ long tube
  • Left over fabric, white for angel/Jesus – Blue for Mary and brown for Joseph
  • Natural coloured raffia
  • Glue gun with spare glue
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard from corrugated cardboard box
  • Balls of some kind to fit as heads into the tubes – I happened to have some polystyrene ones at home
  • Paint: white, brown and orange / paintbrush
  • Pattern 1
  • Pattern 2



  1. Cut the cardboard tube up to pieces about:  Baby Jesus – 2″ long; Joseph 3 1/4″ long; Mary 2 3/4″ long; Angel 3 1/2″ long.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  2. Glue gun the “heads” on (balls) – I did squeeze the tops first to make the balls sit better on their “shoulders”.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  3. Mix a large amount of white paint with a drop of brown and a smaller drop of orange.  This makes a kind of skin colour. The more brown you add the darker the skin colour.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  4. While the people are drying cut out your corrugated cardboard pieces – first by printing the below Jpg’s (see pattern 1 and 2 above) – then trace the pieces on the cardboard.  Manger - print the manger largest part, long edge at almost 4 1/2" structure - print walls of structure at - 5 1/2" high (that's the bottom shapes)Here’s what the structure and manger look like when assembled.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  5. Glue gun the raffia onto the manger and structure.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  6. Now dressing the characters of our story.  I glue gunned on the fabric. I am not going to draw faces. They are staying blank. I’ll never be able to do the faces justice.  Baby Jesus is wrapped as follows:

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  7. Mary, Angel and Joseph are all wrapped from middle of the fabric – and the sides folded down.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  8. And then the head gear is put over top.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  9. Here is Joseph – I did it in the same way.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  10. The Angel base is the same.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  11. Here are the wings.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene
  12. Sheer fabric doubled really made the wings work.

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

    Cardboard Tube Nativity Scene

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Has potential but color tone shape top etc. really is too "potty" looking, inappropriate looking.

Very Cute! The Tutorial is there and looks pretty easy I don't see the need for a pattern per se but thank you for a nice idea!

Cute as can be but like all the other comments, where is the jpg?

Need pattern for manger and angel wings please. Looks like fun!

Please send the patterns for the manager. Thank you.

I agree, where is the print out for the Nativity scene pattern so that you can print it out to draw it.

Really cute but where are the jpegs

Oh yeah...Where's the jpg's? ;) My grandson will be three this fall. I may try this with him, if I can get the ants out of his britches.

where is the jpeg for the manger

Yes, I would do it again and again. I work with lots of children. Could you send me the Jpg's. Thanks a million. Joy

One of the tackiest of the tacky crafts FaveCrafts shows us! Nothing says piety like a Nativity scene made out of TOILET paper rolls!

I disagree. I think it's a good project for younger kids, (if you don't use a glue gun). It would make for good hands on learning about the Christmas story with materials that can't hurt and aren't valuble. This project is no less pious than having a birthday cake for Jesus, singing "The B I B L E" at the top of you lungs on the playground, or any other of a myriad ways children celebrate faith. For adult Nativity scenes, it's not impious, just tacky. ;)

Love it! But I'm with kayelambert-- I can't see the link to the JPEGs. Are they just well hidden somewhere? Thanks!

I didn't see the jpeg for the manger to print out. Could you please post it for me to print?

This will be an awesome project for me to do with my grand children. They just love crafts. Thank you so much for this idea.

How cute! Very well done!!


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