Holy Family made with needle felted figures

DIY Chrstmas crib made with felted wool technique

The manger of this page has two peculiarities: the characters are made of felted wool and it shows the Holy Family just before the news of the Jesus' birth spreads. A picture of family life. A beautiful and touching Christmas decoration.

Crib or presepe whose figures are made with felted wool
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Nativity with needle felted figures

You will need

For the figures

  • - Felting wool in different colours
  • - Felting needle

For the barn

  • - Little branch pieces
  • - Flat pieces of bark
  • - Thin cork sheets or cardboard covered with straw
  • - Straw

For the landscape

  • - Paper sheets that simulate the rocks
  • - Artificial or natural moss in two colors
  • - Real mini trees
  • - Pebbles
  • - Blue cloth
  • - Iridescent glitter
  • - Battery LED Christmas lights for the fire, the great star and the hut
  • - A great star

And ...

  • - Hot glue gun
  • - Scissors
  • - Liquid or spray glue

(68 download)

Our crib is to be an inspiration, an idea to create something different from the usual Holy Family scene.
Its uniqueness lies in its attempt to capture a moment in the daily life of a couple who have just had a baby in very unusual conditions.
Imagine ...

Joseph and Mary are tired from the trip and to have knocked on many doors in vain. All hotels are full and Mary begins to feel sick. She feels the first pangs. The birth is near.
They must find a shelter as soon as possible. Bethlehem is behind them. The lanterns are bright dots in the distance. The silence is surrounding them as a mantle, broken by some feeble bleating of sheep now and then. Night is falling.
At the end, the luck seems to run. There is a barn. Clean straw, just put. There is also a cascade of water.
Joseph doesn't lose his heart. He knows how to light a fire. Now he is Mary's nurse, comforter, handyman. He helps Mary to give birth.
And both, finally, look at that baby with love, cuddling him.
But it's an instant.
"Come on, there's more to do. I'll have time to contemplate this little creature. Now I have to protect him and Mary" - Joseph thinks to himself.
He must get food and take care of the fire.
Meanwhile, he doesn't realize something extraordinary is happening around them.
The sky has dropped as a tribute to that little child.
Little angels are on the roof of the barn. But they're so small and ethereal to pass unnoticed.
A light is finding its way on the horizon, a lighthouse rising in the night.
A shepherd boy, that can't fall asleep from exhaustion, sees this light. He is curious. He gets up and hears a whimper ... and so discovers the little family, without food and with a child so small.
"He seems just born ... " - he whispers.
He return to his camp. What can he share with them? Of course! He has some eggs. A frying pan. A little bread. A crust of cheese too.
And so, timidly, he gets near the gentleman who is crouching near the fire. The shepherd boy shows him the pan, the eggs and the little he has.
They will share everything in peace and tranquility.
It's the message of that enchanted night: sharing, solidarity and love.
Merry Christmas to everybody!

How to make the needle felted figures and the landscape in the Nativity scene

  • - This is the origin of my creative idea: to make a manger, a little different from the usual, with few characters but a very accurate setting.
    You don't need an accurate description if you belong to those people who like making the crib by hand. I give you only the basic instructions and a tip.
    If you have children look for information on the town of Bethlehem, the manners and customs of the population at that time.
    An historical research that will be good for you and your children.
    You will spend more time together and this research will get you into the true Christmas spirit.
  • - The structure of the barn is very simple.
    You will be able to find easily thin sheets of cork or cardboard covered with straw in all stores that sell items for the crib.
    They will be the walls and roof of your barn.
    Strengthen them with little branch pieces as you see in the picture and then complete the roof with pieces of bark.
    Use the hot glue gun to mount the barn
    You can also build some little houses to put in the distance with the bark pieces.
    Read more details in the "DIY Presepe".
  • - The setting.
    Carry it out as you prefer but keep in mind that Bethlehem is high enough above sea level to be able to build some hills and steep path.
    You can also place a mini waterfall or a lake.
    I prefer to use real plants to place in dishes.
    So you can water them easily throughout the period in which the Nativity scene will be exposed.
  • - The three-dimensional star.
    I found it in a store.
    In these years it's easy to find these Christmas ornaments made of starched lace in Italy.
    I put a string of LED lights powered by a battery into it and then hid the battery in one of the houses we had put in the distance.
    Then I hung the star on the sky with a pin.
  • - The sky is very easy to do.
    Get a large rectangle of blue cloth.
    Draw the outline of many stars of different size, brush some glue on their inside and sprinkle the iridescent glitter.
    Your sky is ready to be hung.
    Look at the photo for more details.
  • - The characters.
    I made Our Lady, St. Joseph, Baby Jesus, the shepherd boy and little angels with the technique of felted wool.
    Soon we will share a video with a basic course.
    In the meantime you can see the details in the individual photos.
  • - thanks to my beloved husband for his invaluable advice and patient cooperation :))