Nativity Scene Pillow

There’s nothing quite like a nativity scene, the pastoral, peaceful reminder of the true reason for Christmas. It is a beautiful reminder of the story of Jesus’s birth found in Luke 2. That’s why I love making nativity themed gifts during Christmas time. It seemed like a perfect thing to put on the front of a Christmas themed pillow! So I decided to create a handmade nativity scene pillow to give as a Christmas gift.


  • One and a half yards of navy fabric
  • 1/3 of a yard of sand-colored fabric
  • Brown ribbon or 5′ of sewn strips of brown fabric
  • Multi-colored fabric scraps of various sizes
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Buttons
  • Sharpie
  • Stuffing
  • Silver sequins and beads
  • Cotton batting
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine and other necessary sewing items


  • Start by cutting out two 17.5″ x 17.5″ squares of navy material this will be the pillow’s base.

  • Next cut out several uneven swaths of the sand colored material making sure that the length is wider than 17.5″ and the width is not wider than 4-5″. Note: I did not make sure mine was longer than 17.5″ so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.
  • Also cut a matching piece of batting for the sand-colored material.

  • Put the fabrics right sides together (place it about a third of the way from the bottom of your square) batting facing up and sew straight across the top of the sand colored material and batting (as shown). Sew it at an angle, making sure that the side closest to the edge is hanging over about 1/2 an inch or so.

  • Fold the fabric down and pin it into place.
  • Repeat step 4 and 5, sewing over the unfinished edge until you reach the bottom of the navy square (as shown).
  • Sew across the top.

  • Fold over.

  • Sew across the bottom to secure.

  • Lay a new piece over the unfinished bottom edge (right sides together.

  • Sew the bottom edge (all the way across).

  • Fold over.

  • Continue in that manner all the way to the bottom. Then sew around the square edge to secure the sides all the way around.

  • This process creates the desert hills, on which our scene will be set.
  • Now we must make brown tubes for the manger, palm trunk, and stable. Starting with palm tree trunk: cut strips of brown fabric (about 3.5″ wide) make them as long as possible.

  • Fold it in half (right sides together) and sew the long edge.

  • Flip it inside out (I used a safety pin to do this).

  • Thread a piece of yarn through the tube (using a safety pin) and sew one end closed with the string in the seam so you can gather the material. Tie a knot in the string so it won’t slip out of the seam.

  • Pull the yarn taut and gather the fabric so that it looks like a palm tree trunk.

  • Sew the trunk onto the pillow’s front. Start by sewing the base of the tree upside down, then flip it over and sew the top right side up. Add strips of green fabric with unraveled edges to the top of the palm to give it the perfect palm look. Cover the seams at the top of the tree with the greenery.

  • To create the stable, take the brown ribbon and pin it into a house shape onto the front of the pillow (fold the raw edges under first and sew them down).

  • I hand sewed it onto the front so that no seams would show!

  • In the top corner of the pillow (to the right) use a pencil to trace out the shape of the Bethlehem Star, the four-pointed star. Then begin sewing sequins on to form the shape of the star.
  • Make sure that it is at least 2-3 inches away from the edge of the pillow to account for seam allowance.
  • To sew on sequins: push the needle through the hole of the sequin and through a bead large enough to not go through the sequin’s hole.

  • Then thread the needle back through the hole.

  • And pull taught

  • Ultimately, I used small beads for the tips of each star to make it seem pointier.

  • Finally, to create Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus use cute scrap fabrics. Begin by cutting out a 6 x 3″ rectangle of blue fabric and a 6.5 x 3″ rectangle of reddish fabric.

  • Fold them over (right sides together) and sew the parallel open sides leaving an opening at the bottom.

  • Note: I messed up on Mary’s fabric and had to exchange it for a dark blue (that’s why the fabric changes)

  • Now loosely hand stitch across the top of the fold over, then pull it taught to gather it. Tie and snip the thread so that the gather is secured.

  • Repeat this step on Joseph’s material.
  • Flip them inside out and sew the bottom opening closed (by hand or with a machine). Be sure to tuck the raw edges inward first.

  • I also cut out little 2 x 2″ squares of coordinating fabric and hemmed them to make little head-dresses.
  • Hand sew them into place, side by side, and sew the buttons on for their faces. I used tiny beads for their eyes (I chose a bead that fit the size and colored them black with a sharpie. Make sure the bead is dry before you sew it on).

  • Fold a white piece of scrap fabric into a swaddling shape and hand sew it together so it doesn’t come apart. This could take some experimentation.

  • Tuck a small button into one of the folds to create Baby Jesus’s face and sew it down.

  • Take a piece of brown ribbon, with raw edges folded under and sewn down and use this to create the manger.
  • Place Baby Jesus behind it and sew everything in place by hand.

  • Once Baby Jesus is sewn on, the front of the pillow is complete. Now we move on to sewing the pillow together.
  • Sandwich the nativity scene and the other square of fabric we cut at the beginning, right sides together.
  • Sew around all of the edges leaving a small opening at the bottom of the pillow.

  • Flip the pillow inside out and stuff it.
  • Using a needle and thread, sew the opening at the bottom closed. I used a blind stitch to do this but you can also just machine it closed!

That completes the Nativity Scene Pillow Tutorial. I hope this inspires you to create your own beautiful nativity scene pillows for friends, family, or just for fun. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and makes a lovely decoration. Please comment, like, and share this post with others. Be sure to subscribe, my posts will show up in your inbox twice a month, that way you never miss a post. Finally, glamour shots!

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