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How to Craft Nativity Cutouts

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

Religious decorations are common during the Christmas season, including Nativity scenes. Traditional Nativity scenes are made with statues. Paper cutouts are an alternative way to make a Nativity scene. Using a silhouette of the scene is an elegant way to make a cutout. When hung in a window and illuminated at night, Nativity silhouette cutouts make beautiful Christmas decorations.

Things You'll Need:

  • Craft Knife
  • Nativity Scene Images
  • Black Paper
  • Self-Healing Cutting Mat
  • Tape
  • Double-Sided Tape
Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

Find images of the Nativity scene from a book or the Internet. Include the stable, baby Jesus in a manger, Mary, Joseph, three wise men, two shepherds, camels and sheep.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

Make photocopies of the images or print them out with a printer. Adjust the scale of the cutouts by changing the size through a computer program or on the copy machine.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

Cut each image out of the paper. Tape the images together to create the Nativity scene. Have Mary and Joseph on either side of the manger inside the stable. On one side of the stable, position the wise men walking toward the stable with camels. On the other side, have the shepherds and sheep walking toward the stable. Make sure all the pieces of the Nativity scene are touching one another.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

Tape all the pieces together once the arrangement is complete. Lay the taped Nativity scene onto the black paper and tape it down.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

Put a self-healing cutting mat under the black paper. Use a craft knife to cut around the Nativity scene, removing the negative space and leaving you with a silhouette.


Add different animals to the Nativity scene if desired.

Use any solid color of paper for the cutout. Black works best in a window for nighttime viewing.

If you do not have paper large enough for the Nativity scene, tape pieces together before you begin cutting.

You can draw your own images of the Nativity scene if you have the skills.


  • Avoid putting your free hand in the way of the craft blade when cutting out the Nativity scene.
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