DIY Nativity Puppets

Last year we made what might be my favorite project ever, our Painted Nativity Set! This year, now that I have Jasper, I wanted to create something that was a bit more child-friendly. I was inspired by these ornaments to create puppets using paper mache balls. I’ve been wanting to do this forever, only to find out my good friend, Merrilee had already done something similar! Great minds think alike! I enlisted the talented Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville to illustrate the faces for each character in the Nativity. To turn them into puppets, we drilled a hole into each sphere, inserted a pencil, and clothed each one in a simple fabric tunic. So simple! Jasper is already a big fan.

DIY Nativity Puppets


  • Paper Mache Spheres–We included 7 characters
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Electric Drill
  • #2 pencils
  • Fabric–We used 7 different varieties
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Glue gun


  1. Paint each ball as a member of the nativity using the acrylic paints. Let dry
  2. Using an electric drill, drill a hole in the center base of each face, just wide enough to fit a pencil through snuggly. We used a     Drill bit.
  3. Insert a pencil into each one and set aside.
  4. Cut each type of fabric into an 18″ by 10″ piece.
  5. Finish the 18-inch long sides of the fabric by folding under 1/4-inch and sewing. This is optional but creates a cleaner finish.
  6. Then fold each piece of fabric in half longways, with right sides together, and stitch so you create a cylinder of fabric.
  7. Iron the seam allowance open so it lays flat.
  8. Sew a gathering stitch (using a long seam allowance) along the top of the fabric cylinder.
  9. Gather the top by pulling the bobbin threads tightly so the top part cinches together.
  10. Slide the pencil into the fabric and hot glue the gathered portion to the base of the head.

Now every Christmas you can put on a Nativity show, without worrying about breaking any delicate pieces!


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