Bethlehem Pin Figures

Decorative or toy pregnant Mary, Joseph, and donkey made mostly from clothes pins and pipe cleaners!

Approximate Time: about 50 minutes


  • 2 small wooden spools
  • 5 "modern" clothes pins*
  • 10-15 tan pipe cleaners
  • 2 pink pipe cleaners
  • 1 cotton ball (small works best)
  • 3 fuzzy brown pipe cleaners

  • 6 googly eyes
  • hot glue
  • 2 gold pipe cleaners
  • 2 blue pipe cleaners
  • scissors or thin-wire cutters
  • Optional: thimble while wrapping pipe cleaners!



Wrap one pink pipe cleaner snugly around the pipe cleaner upside-down (see picture). Hot glue ends if loose.

Hot glue a small cotton ball as a pregnant belly with child, Jesus. Wrap the other pink pipe cleaner around the clothes pin, cut to fit, and hot glue ends in place.

Bethlehem Pin Figures


Cut small pieces of a fuzzy brown pipe cleaner and hot glue them to the "head" end of the clothes pin, as shown in picture. Curl ends of the "hair" up if desired for detail.

Bethlehem Pin Figures


Hot glue googly eyes.



Wrap a blue pipe cleaner around an upside down clothes pin, and hot glue ends to stay put. Repeat with a second blue pipe cleaner to complete Joseph's robe.

Bethlehem Pin Figures


Cut short pieces of fuzzy brown pipe cleaners as hair, and hot glue in place, adding a full beard and mustache if desired.

Glue 2 googly eyes on face in appropriate place.


Line up 2 clothespins next to each other in opposite directions, and wrap with a tan pipe cleaner. Hot glue ends to stay put.

Bethlehem Pin Figures


Hot glue 2 googly eyes in place.


Wrap one tan pipe cleaner around one wooden spool, hot-gluing in place. Repeat with another tan pipe cleaner and the other small wooden spool.

Hot glue pipe cleaner wrapped spools together, ends touching and secure. Hot glue to the "front legs" of the donkey. If desired, wrap another whole or pieces of a tan pipe cleaner around any bare wood showing on the spools and hot glue in place!

Wrap a tan pipe cleaner around another clothes pin for the donkey's hind legs. Hot glue ends.

Wrap any remaining wood showing other than the 2 wooden "legs" of the clothespin donkey, using pieces of pipe cleaners if necessary to fit. Hot glue in place.

Optional: Wrap a gold pipe cleaner around the donkey, as pictured. This will help hold Joseph and Mary on the donkey's back!

Bethlehem Pin Figures


Please, if using as a toy, BEWARE of poky metal pipe cleaner ends, thus for older children, adults, or just decoration.


Enjoy and thank you!

By Erin R. from Seffner, FL

Bethlehem Pin Figures


clothes pin figures

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