Wednesday, December 7, 2011

create your own nativity scene

"the stars in the sky shown down where he lay..."

i was on a mission to make matilda a nativity scene this year. as a child i was fascinated by my grammy's nativity and wanted matilda to have one of her own. i wanted something handmade that would be unique but not too delicate. here's a guide to how i created mine, but there is so much freedom here to make it your own.

here's what you'll need:

-wooden game pieces. i found these at michael's. the smaller pieces that i used for the wisemen and the shepard + sheep are called "boy game pieces." i can't remember what the larger pieces were called (the ones i used for mary and joseph) but they are sold in packs of two verses the three that come in the smaller pieces.
-white pipe cleaner + cotton balls for the sheep.
-acrylic paint + tiny paint brush for painting faces.
-felt for the clothing and crowns.
-garden wire to string up the angel.
-the angel wings i found at joann's.
-popsicle sticks + moss for baby Jesus' bed and the manger.
-glue gun + sticks.

how to:

for the clothing i cut thing strips of felt and simply wrapped the felt around the pieces, hot gluing as i went. same for the crowns, rolling the felt around the top of the little heads. for the faces i just winged it. you could create whatever kind of intricate details you would like. i also embellished mary with a glittery wooden star and joseph will a belt.

the easiest way to assemble the manger is to lay 11 popsicle sticks in a straight row and then super glue one vertical stick all the way down on both sides of the rows to hold them together. i did this to make two walls and then glue gunned two sticks across the top of the two walls to hold them together. i then glued sticks all the way down the back to create an open manger.

for the sheep i cut two tiny pieces of the pipe cleaner and folded them into a "v" i then glued the v's upside down on the bottom of one of the "small boy" pieces to create the legs. i then hot glued cotton to the body to cover the flat bottom of the piece in the back.

for the angel i took a little wooden peg and glued the gold wings to the top. i then wrapped floral wire around and around the "neck" to create a halo. i took some more wire and attached it to mary and joseph to allow the angel to suspend in the air.

that's pretty much it! it was a fun, fast project and matilda has had a lot of fun playing with it. it was one of our advent surprises!

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mwimp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mwimp said...

ok now it showed up - so i deleted the previous comment, lol! i luv it - i'm gonna print and save for next year and make a piece each night leading up to baby Jesus in the manager on Christmas. thanks so much for this post!

Lesley said...

@mwimp glad it's working! that is such a sweet idea and totally attainable too. each piece took just a minute or two to make. merry christmas!

Karen G. said...

Adorable! Love it! Couldn't be more cute. Makes me miss my pre-school teaching days.

Claire Kiefer said...

I'm always impressed with your craftiness. I'm hopelessly uncrafty. This is so cute!

Flamingo said...

I am linking this tonight from my blog....Very very cute!! Thanks for sharing!

Your Southern Peach said...

This is so cute! My son has been asking for a nativity set he can "play with" since my other is a ceramic.

I have also seen these wooden pieces on Etsy for anyone else looking.

Thanks for the great idea Leslie and Merry Christmas!

Melanie said...

So cute! I'm embarrassed that I don't own a nativity. Now I can just make one.

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Thank you for sharing :-)

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