The last couple months I've been keeping pretty darn busy, doing a lot of cool stuff! Making Emo Pumpkins for Joann Fabric, celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary, hosting family, celebrating Thanksgiving, and most recently, putting on a craft night for my MOPS group!
Whew!! a really satisfied whew, not an exasperated whew. This is what I love.
We made Nativity sets for our craft night. I fell in love when I saw these rustic nativity sets from Kennakee and ThatsSewPersonal Etsy shops, and was inspired to try putting together one of my own.
A lot of pieces to assemble! All for one craft too, holy moly. In hindsight this was probably not the best option for a large group. Oh well, we had a good time!
Here's how we made our Nativities. It looks like a lot of directions, but that's just because there are 7 characters and a sheep and all their accessories. Get your glue gun cooking, roll up you sleeves, and let's roll!
- Seven 1 1/2" wooden ball knobs, found mine at Hobby Lobby
- 3/4" round wooden ball, Hobby Lobby
- 2x2 board, 96"long, Home Depot
- 1 1/2" x 3/4", 6" long
- 1/4 yd. white burlap
- 3"x 9" muslin fabric (optional, for Jesus' swaddle)
- Four 1x1 wooden blocks
- 46" jute cord, cut into two 15" and three 8" pieces
- 8" stick, from a tree ;)
- Craft paint in light gray, medium gray, and dark gray
hot glue gun, paint brush, sand paper
I really wanted to use the power saw for this project, but Jason in his infinite wisdom wouldn't let me anywhere near it. So aggravating! What?? You want a wife with all her fingers still attached? such artificial standards men have these days. I begrudgingly let him cut all the boards for me. Thanks, Babe, you are probably right about me and saws. Gimme a high 9!
However you get it done, get the 2x2 board cut into 7 pieces, or bases.
Three 5"- Mary, Wise Man #1, and Wise Man #2
Two 5 1/2"- Joseph, Shepherd
Two 6"- Angel, Wise Man #3
Cut the 1 1/2 x 3/4 board into two pieces
2 1/2"- sheep
You can eyeball it on your own, or download the templates I made here, and here. The Angel wings and Mary's veil are burlap, and Jesus' swaddle is the muslin.
3. Assembly Time!
All the characters follow the same steps.
Paint a 5 1/2" base with one light coat of medium gray. I made my coat light so I could see the wood grain underneath, and it would be easier to sand once dry. After a couple minutes it should be dry enough to sand the edges, and some other spots here and there, and glue a large wooden ball "head" on.
Paint a 5" base light gray, one light coat like Joseph! Sand the edges and glue a head on (here after S&G!). Gluing on the veil is a bit tricky, my advice is to start conservative with the glue and add dots here and there until it looks right! I glued the top and back of Mary's head first, then added glue to the sides of her head, and sides of her body.
Paint the 3" wood block white. S&G* the small head on. It might help to sand down one side of the ball so it rests flat on the block. Glue the swaddle to the base, leaving enough room for it to fold over Jesus' head a bit, and crisscross over his body. I did this on one set, and decided I liked it better without. There was just a lot going on between Mary's veil and Jesus' blankets, haha. Totally personal choice! Finally, glue Jesus to Mary.
*see Mary's directions
Shepherd and Sheep
Paint one 5 1/2" base dark gray. S&G. Glue the stick to the front and tie a 15" jute tie around Mr. Shepherd's waist. Paint the 2 1/2" block and one 1x1 wood block white. Sand the edges and glue the block "head" to the sheep.
Paint a 6" base white. S&G. Tie a 15" jute tie around his waist and glue the wings on the back.
Wise Men and Presents
Wise Man #1- paint a 5" base light gray, S&G.
Wise Man #2- paint the last 5" base medium gray, S&G.
Wise Man #3- paint the last 6" base dark gray, S&G.
Tie three 8" jute ties around three wooden blocks, and glue one to the tallest Wise Guy.
For kicks I made a set in color as well as the grays. Which one is your favorite?
I had such a great time crafting with my MOPS ladies! By the way, if you have preschoolers and you've never been, MOPS rocks! They have them all over, and it's a fantastic friend base and support group. I heart my MOPS <3.
Have a great week! Happy December!!