This beautiful rustic crochet nativity set is a perfect addition to your holiday decor. It’s lovely and chic to display during the holiday season and perfect for little hands to play with as well. Make one of these gorgeous nativity sets for yourself and make one to gift away this year! This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! 

This crochet nativity pattern surely has been a labor of love. Over the past 5 years it has grown from a small family of 3 to a whole set of 14 pieces!

This year, we introduced a new one: a sweet little donkey.

rustic crochet set free crochet pattern nativity set

This pattern is simple, so even advanced beginners can make it. It’s rustic, yet modern, so it compliments all styles and trends, and it’s perfect for little hands. The best of all worlds!


What you need:

suggested hook: Size F hook (The hook exact hook size doesn’t matter, just make sure your gauge is very tight, you shouldn’t be able to see stuffing or spaces between your stitches.
Fingering Weight Yarn: I suggest Palette Yarn by WeCrochet. It’s my absolute favorite and I love the finished look! It is a 100% wool and has a gorgeous, rustic flair. I just love it and I only use this yarn for my sets!

For Holy Family Mini Set (free patterns)
Hare Heather (taupe manger, bottom of Joseph
Oyster Heather – Mary’s Cloak, Baby Body
Briar Heather – Joseph Body
Wheat Heather – Faces
Marble Heather – Joseph Cloak, Mary Body

These are my suggestions for alternatives, I haven’t used these personally but I think they might make a good substitute if you would rather not use the yarn I have suggested.

Mix and match Bon-Bons
WeCrochet Comfy Fingering
Lion Brand Heartland (This is a larger gauge yarn but you can use the smallest hook you can, your pieces might be a big bigger)
WeCrochet Lindy Chain
Paintbox DK Cotton
Sheepjes Catona

Small Weights/washers/rocks:
I highly recommend putting small weights in the bottom of each figure to help them stand up better. Some crocheters have used washers with great success!


nativity shepherds free crochet pattern

three wisemen rustic crochet pattern free

FREE Nativity Mini Set Patterns:

Baby and Manger

The entire set includes 14 total figures: Along with the free pieces, you get 3 wisemen, 2 shepherds, a palm tree, a small laying sheep, a donkey, an angel, and stars backdrop.

You can get the PDF in my shops: 
Whistle and Ivy Shop

You can also get the pattern included in the Whistle and Ivy all-access pass! The ENDLESS BUNDLE includes the entire library of patterns PLUS courses, videos, printable and more! 


happy crocheting and Merry Christmas!


crochet rustic nativity set free crochet pattern

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  1. I purchased the nativity pattern last year..sheep and donkey were not included . I know they are new this year. Is there a way I could but just the patterns for those two new figures?

    1. Hi Karen! Updates are included in your original purchase! Please email me a proof of purchase and I will get you and updated copy – Bethany (at) whistleandivy (dot) com

    1. If you bought it, you get the updates as part of your original purchase! Please send a screenshot of your receipt to my email: Bethany (at) whistleandivy (dot) com

  2. Hi. How do I get the donkey as a stand alone. I have all the other patterns
    I have the other patterns downloaded and saved on my pc but cannot see how I purchased them…

    1. Hi Erica! You will need to email a proof of purchase and I can reply back with the pattern! If you got it on Ravelry, check your inbox I sent out an update already.

  3. I love this nativity cal. I made several throughout the years but can’t find my patterns 😞 I am ready to make a new set! I’m not sure if I registered for the cal right! Are you selling this nativity pattern on Ravelry? I find it easier to access my patterns there. Thank you, Linda C

  4. I purchased the pattern on Etsy in Dec 2019.
    How will I be able to get the update?
    I have made this set in t-shirt yarn and it has been on display in an op shop window for the past 2 Christmases.

  5. Beth, I absolutely love the look of this set! I bought it last year, and it is almost ready to move in to the stable that hubby made. Will I be notified if other figures are added to the set? Thank you so much for this beautiful pattern.

    1. Where did you buy it? I will send out a notice via email to everyone on my list, I will also send out a notice to everyone who bought into my shop, except those who opted out to be notified, and then on Ravelry all update emails go out automatically when I update it. I also post on Instagram and Facebook, so hopefully you will see it!

      1. I’m 99% certain I purchased it through your site, though I can’t seem to access my account. Not to worry though, I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Thanks!

  6. Hi, Bethany!

    Thank you for the wonderful pattern and the wonderful project.
    I made 4 sets of ‘ Naitivity Set Mini ‘.
    I live in Japan, so I’m not good at English. but I could understand the pattern and enjoyed crocheting, I think.

    But the 13th row of Manger was hard to understand.
    So, I’m looking forward to next month’s CAL. I would like to join!

    Now, I’m going to start knitting the 5th set as a gift.
    It will be a full set. This is a request from the kindergarten.
    Before CAL, I’ll finish crocheting. So, I’ll crochet for myself at next month’s CAL.

    I’m really looking forward to the new animal pattern.
    Thank you!

  7. Bethany,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful nativity set. I have arthritis in my fingers so it’s very difficult for me to crochet tightly but I really want to make this for my grandaughter. I am on a fixed income and need to use the yarn I have. I don’t have the green that is suggested for the wise men. Do you think I would use a burgundy color instead? Thanks again for this beautiful pattern. Blessings to you & your family.

    1. Hi Lisa! I think burgundy would be gorgeous. I used colors that I liked for me, but you should definitely use colors that work best for you :) Share a photo if you can!

  8. I 💜 this pattern. This year I finally made the shepherds and wise men. The whole set is amazing and gorgeous. I tried the sheep, but I need to do some fine tuning. I was reading the comments about the dimensions of the crèche, but I never found them. Do you have those measurements? I was going to have my FIL make me one. I’m excited for the CAL. Thank you!!!

  9. Hi, I am so excited that you created a new piece for the nativity set! I can’t wait to see what it is. To refresh your memory, I made the set for my grandson Carter last year. We were wanting to add a cow, donkey and camels. Carter is thinking it will be a cow. 🤞. 😂. We thank you for working so hard to create and share. Waiting and watching from Kansas. Thanks Susan

  10. I’m excited to see the new item 😄😄 I started on manger baby Jesus & then Zlife got busy 😭 lol thank you for sharing hope you are doing well Mrs. Dearden much love 🤗

  11. I’d hoped to order a creche but will need to find one that can work. Would you be willing to share the measurements of the one you had available before? Thank you!

    1. Yes I can! I am so sorry, our family life (and hubby’s new work schedule) is a bit chaotic this year, I was pretty sad when we concluded we wouldn’t have the time resources this year. But we have had so much demand that we will work on a bunch though next year and hopefully have a bunch for next season.

  12. Are you planning to add any new characters to the full set this year? This is one of my favorite sets, and I’ve made tons for friends and family. They are asking if there any new characters to add!

      1. I’m so excited about your new piece! Do you have an estimate about the date it will appear? I have made your nativity for the last two years and have the pattern. Will we be able to purchase the pattern for the new piece separately if we already have the pattern? We are making a trip to Israel two days after Christmas and I would love to make a set for our leader.

        1. Yes! We will be doing it the first week of Dec. I wanted to get closer before announcing it, and make sure I have the pattern polished.
          You will get the new addition as part of your pattern purchase! I will send out an email with instructions to get a new updated copy when it launches.

  13. Please, help! I purchased your complete pattern but don’t see any information on how much of each color to purchase for each figure.


  14. I love this pattern and have made the whole set for my niece who collects nativity sets from all over the world. I don’t understand the palm tree 🌴 instructions . I have made it and blocked the top but don’t understand the next part about slip stitching them together. Thank you

  15. Hi. Just love your nativity set. Is there a pattern for a donkey available? I have made some gor gifts and just wondering. Thank you