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How to Make Nativity Play Costumes

Updated April 17, 2017

At Christmas time, it is traditional for schools to put on a nativity play that depicts the story of how baby Jesus was born. The lead characters are Joseph, Mary and the Angel Gabriel. Costumes for these parts are simple to make and don't require sewing. This method can be adapted to make shepherd, wise men and animal costumes by using different coloured sheets and adding props like crooks, crowns or animal masks.

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  1. Make Angel Gabriel's costume by folding the white sheet in half. Cut a semicircle out of the middle of the folded side to create a round hole for the head, and put the sheet over the actor. Tie a length of the gold tinsel around his waist to pull in and secure the sheet. Measure around the actor's head using the tinsel, and cut the right length. Glue the tinsel into a circle to create a halo. Finish by putting on the fairy wings.

  2. Make Mary's outfit by folding the blue sheet in half and cutting a semicircle in the middle of the folded edge. Put the sheet over the actress's head, and secure it around her waist by tying a length of the thick rope around it. Put the white pillow case on top of the actress's head horizontally so the sides are hanging by her ears. Tie the pillow case to her head using more of the rope. Wrap the baby doll in a sheet to make the Baby Jesus for her to carry.

  3. Make Joseph's outfit by folding the brown sheet in half and cutting a semicircle hole for his head and securing the outfit using the thick rope. Put a white pillow case on the actor's head and secure it by tying another length of rope around his forehead. It might be worth using some brown face paint to dab on a beard, as well.

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Things You'll Need

  • White sheet
  • Blue sheet
  • Brown sheet
  • Thick rope
  • Two meters of thick gold tinsel
  • Baby doll
  • White pillow case
  • Fairy wings
  • Super glue

About the Author

Based just outside London, Holly Thompson has been writing news and features since 2008. She reported for the award-winning "Surrey Mirror" for two years during which she sourced stories for "The Sun." Thompson was the winner of the Sheffield Star prize for outstanding writing in 2008. She holds a first-class Bachelor of Arts in journalism studies from the University of Sheffield.

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