November 29, 2010

Clay Pot Nativity


One of the most precious things I’ve ever seen was this home made clay pot nativity I found at a flea market shop.  I snatched it up as fast as I could and have made a few move since.  I made these one  December with an Activity Days group, who loved it!

I neglected to measure the pots, and the packages don’t say, either, but they are the smaller ones you find at your craft store.   I have used 2 different sizes of pots at different times.  They work,  Just look them over and see what will work with your wood balls.

You basic needs are: 

  • two sizes of small pots,
  • 1 inch wood balls for Baby Jesus,
  • 1 1/2 –1 3/4 inch wood balls with flat bottom for Mary and Joseph,
  • acrylic craft paint in skin tone of choice,
  • white paint,
  • black paint,
  • paint for clothing color of choice,
  • fabrics to coordinate with paint color ,
  • scrap of white muslin,
  • moss color of choice (for baby’s bed),
  • raffia,
  • craft wire-color of choice (opt),
  • paint brushes,
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks.

Protect your work area with news paper. 

For Baby Jesus,  you need:

  • 1 of the smallest pots
  • to fit a 1-inch wood ball inside
  • moss
  • skin tone paint, white paint, black paint
  • white muslin, 1- 1/2” x 5 inches

Paint the wood ball skin tone color and let dry.


Fold white muslin in half lengthwise so it is 3/4 inch wide and 5 inches long.  Wrap around wood ball, with folded edge toward you, and add a drop of hot glue to secure fabric “under chin”. Fold up excess fabric against ball, hot glue in place.  Put desired amount of moss into smallest pot, add Baby Jesus, hot gluing in place.


For Mary and Joseph you need:

  • 1 -1/2  inch - 1-3/4 inch wood balls for each
  • clay pots, 2 -1/2 inch– 3 inch sized for each (bigger than the manger pots)
  • paint color of choice for “robes”, coordinating fabric for head dress for each
  • raffia

For Mary and Joseph, you need to paint only the front half of the pot, as the back is covered.  Let dry.  Paint the wood balls skin tone color of choice and let dry.  You may paint their faces now, but I choose to do it later.  Add a Raffia bow (about 12 inches of raffia) around Mary’s middle, hot glue in place.

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Hot glue the painted heads in place. 


Fold over a small portion of the long side of fabric 2 times.  Secure into place around faces.


Fold under excess fabric, tucking inside clay pot, hot gluing in place. Bring some of the fabric forward to overlap the front fold for a neater look, hot gluing in place, again.

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Add a raffia tie around Joseph’s head and tie a knot in place.  If desired, cut a strip of wire, shaping into a staff and secure with hot glue into fold of Joseph’s head dress.100_7033

Paint their faces with 2 black dots and 2 white dots.  Let dry.  Spray with sealer, if desired, and ENJOY.  Enjoy the holiday season, my friends!

100_7036 This is the original Nativity I bought a few years ago.  This one has green moss in Baby Jesus’ manger and a green florist wire hook as Joseph’s staff.  How cute is this!

Teresa is a widow who loves the Christmas season best.  Her Christmas tree goes up on September 1 and comes down in the Spring.  You can find her whistling Christmas Carols up and down the Christmas aisles and at Wockenflock Daze.



5 comments - Add a comment below -:

JRoberts said...

We've made these a few times. Our first time making them I measured the fabric really wrong! It turned out that Joseph had a really long cloak that would fit around Mary and baby Jesus...not such a bad mistake afterall. Now all of the ones we make are made with this mistake. :)

Tami said...

Love it!!

SandyQuilts said...

Adorable. thanks

SheilaM said...

This project is super cute and relatively inexpensive... I got fat quarters for Mary and Joseph and cut them into quarters... it was the perfect size! I also just left the wooden heads natural and drew the blacks if the eyes with a Sharpie. Way cute! I'm making a few set for gifts this year and will probably repeat for different friends in the years to come. :) Thanks for this!

SheilaM said...

I saw these and thought it was a super cute idea. I used fat quarters cut into quarters for Mary and Joseph's head pieces. I also left the wood natural and drew the black of the eyes on with a Sharpie. Just a few tweaks to make it a tiny bit easier and less expensive. I love them so much though. I made several for gifts for this Christmas and will likely repeat in years to come for different/new friends. Thank you so much for sharing!!! :)