Wednesday, December 6, 2017

3-D Christmas Nativity Scene Ornaments Tutorial

Today I'm sharing how to make something special for the holidays: 3-D Christmas Scene Ornaments.

They're a cute way to add the real spirit of Christmas to the tree and share the message of the season that young and old alike can enjoy:

These can be used in many more ways than as ornaments too....DIY snow globes, on wreathes, table top decorations and anywhere else that needs a little seasonal sprucing.  The built-in backgrounds and 3-dimensional effect make them really charming:

They also make a fun handmade gift too:

I saw the idea of a vignette like this using some of these Christmas Nativity themed buttons in a promo photo from the button company that makes them.  There was no how-to, so I decided to make up my own.

I built on the general concept with a larger base and the addition of these new Christmas message ribbons I had created specially for my shop, Heavenly Fabric Shop, this holiday season:

How To Make 3-D Christmas Nativity Ornaments

- Christmas button sets
- Christmas satin ribbon
- Cardstock, sandpaper and/or craft foam sheets
- Craft wood circles
- Foam floor mat (or 1/2inch thick foam/wood/cardboard)
- Hot glue gun
- Fishing line/filament thread

I started with tracing the wooden circles onto the paper or foam that would make up the bases.  I did 3 since I was doing 3 ornaments.  I used some flocked paper that was sand colored:

I cut 3 of the wood circles to make a straight end (about 1/3 off a circle).  I traced that shape onto the paper or foam that will be the background.  Then hot glued the colored pieces onto the wood:

I ran a line of hot glue under the flat end of the cut wood and attach it to the base circle like this:

Now for the decorating!  To do the Three Kings theme, I had a few foam craft stickers from a dinosaur set of my kids that worked perfectly (you could also hand-cut or use a cutting machine to make some).  I used the palm trees as-is and trimmed down a dinosaur to make a sand dune: 

I then attached those onto the background:

I ran a line of hot glue under each button figure and staggered them for a 3-d effect:

For the Good Shepherds, I cut a few pieces of flocked card stock, one for the backdrop and another smaller one that I folded under to add dimension.

Hot glued those into place and added the Christmas star and angel to the background:

For the Nativity theme, I cut some burlap into a stable shape, cut up a yellow grass piece of foam and grabbed to star shaped beads I could layer into a star with glue:

I added the button figures with more hot glue:

To build up the bottoms for trimming with my 5/8in ribbon, I cut up an old foam floor mat to make a circular base for each ornament.  This works ideally, but thick cardboard or layers of thinner foam would work too since it all gets covered.

I added a bunch of hot glue to attach them to the wood bottoms:

Once cool, it was time to trim them with ribbon!

I cut 7 inch long pieces of ribbon and heat sealed the ends with a lighter:

Centering the text on the front of each ornament, then attached the ribbon with line of glue around the foam base.

Last, I cut a piece of filament thread, made a loop and put a dab of glue over the ends on the back of the ornaments.

Then they were ready to hang on the tree!

I really love how these turned out and having a full set of them as an "in-the-tree Nativity" is so nice too.  The kids have fun looking at them and it's been a fun DIY project for Christmas this year:)


  1. Oh my goodness these are so darling! I love them.

  2. I haven't seen nativity buttons before! This is such a clever idea! Thanks for participating in our Party in Your PJs link party!

  3. I bought these buttons years ago and they have been in the cupboard waiting for an idea I love. And this is the idea, thankyou!

    1. That's awesome to hear Kirsty! I'd love to see how they turn out:)

  4. I bought some nativity-themed buttons with an ornament project in mind but with little clue as to how to proceed. I am so grateful to have your example and instructions and just thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    1. Wonderful to hear that Dodie and I'd love to see them when you make them. You can email photos to Have a very blessed Christmas!!


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