How to Make Costumes for a Nativity Scene


Christian churches often host Nativity plays, live Nativity scenes and other events for their congregations, and Christian schools host Christmas programs and pageants with Nativity scenes. Costumes for Nativity scenes are easy to make and very versatile. They can be stored for use year after year; they do not require specific sizing except in height.

Step 1

Identify which costumes need to be made. Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus are absolute fixtures in any Nativity scene. The baby Jesus can be a swaddled baby doll. Other characters can include angels, shepherds, wise men and farm animals.

Step 2

Take the following measurements: height (shoulder to toe); width of shoulders (from tip of left shoulder to tip of right shoulder); and length of torso (from underarm to hip bone). Plan at least one formal fitting if hemming is required.

Step 3

Create a simple pattern for Nativity scene costumes by placing the sheet over a child's head and cutting a hole for his head to fit through. Measure the circumference of the child's head at the brow line, and take a second measurement of his neck. The hole you cut in the sheet needs to be wide enough to go over the crown of the head.

Step 4

Tie a belt or a rope belt firmly around the child's waist, and secure the sleeves with yarn or rope.

Step 5

Punch a hole through the sleeves with a fabric punch or scissors, and thread the yarn or rope through the holes. Wrap the ties once over the wrist and tie loosely.

Step 6

Accessorize as needed. If your Nativity will have wise men or shepherds, pick up accessories to add to the standard robes and plain desert-style clothing. Use a white or blue head scarf for Mary. Joseph's head should be bare, but you may use a false beard. While the wise men have similar outfits as Joseph, adding the gifts they bring is a nice touch along with crowns and walking sticks. Stuffed farm animals is also a nice touch if real animals or children dressed as animals are not used.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheets or fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Rope belts
  • Scarves
  • Accessories (shepherd's crook, head scarf, lanterns, walking sticks, crowns, gifts, stuffed farm animals)

Who Can Help

  • Christian Costumes
Keywords: nativity scene, Christmas costumes, Nativity costumes

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