Nativity Stable Tutorial

7:18:00 PM

I when I was young, my mom began collecting a nativity set made by Fontanini. We loved them because not only were they beautiful, they were made of rubber, so we could move the pieces around as we pleased without the worry of them breaking.

When we got married, I missed this nativity set, so I scoured Ebay and found a set (sans manger) for a steal of a deal. I had the intention of adding a new piece every year like my mom did, but because I started out with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, three wisemen, a shepherd, a sheep, and an angel, it has been sufficient. This year I will get one more shepherd, but I also wanted a stable. Fontanini stables are expensive, and though craft store stables aren't too bad, but I wanted to try and make one.

It was a fairly easy project if you have all the supplies and it only cost me $3.50 worth of moss and $0.50 worth of hot glue, because I had everything else.

Here is a tutorial:

  • 1 box used to hold canned goods (my box held 12 cans of corn)
  • 1 box used to hold produce (this box was extra sturdy, but you can double up layers of cardboard to get a similar effect
  • Brown Kraft paper (or a couple of paper grocery bags)
  • Stick and twigs
  • Brown paint
  • Duct tape
  • Hot glue
  • Modge Podge or simple Elmers glue
  • Wood glue
  • Sheet moss (I used ProFlora preserved sheet moss--Walmart)

  • Utility knife
  • Pruner shears to cut the sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Foam paintbrush

1. Create a curved base out of the produce box.

2. Cut off the corners of the canned goods box and add cardboard from the produce box for the roof. Attach with duct tape. Obviously you can make the roof asymmetrical or symmetrical.

3. Rip pieces of brown Kraft paper or paper bags. Using Modge Podge or Elmer's glue to attach pieces to the stable. Attach paper to sides, roof, back and inside of stable, but not the floor part of the stable.

 4. Attach the stable to the base with duct tape. Cover the rest of the piece with torn Kraft paper.

5. Cut sticks and twigs at various length and attach to stable with wood glue (hot glue would be fine as well) as desired. I attached sticks along the roof line, in the corners and to the back of the stable.

 6. Water down some brown paint. Paint the corners and edges of the paper. Blend together with water. This will add texture to the stable, as well as highlight the torn edges because they soak up the paint more than the parts of the paper that aren't torn.

7. Attach moss with hot glue. It helps to spread and tear the moss so you use less moss and the color isn't just solid green.


fun crafts

felt flower clips

2:21:00 PM

I've been collecting wool felt over the past couple years from old clothing pieces and little store-bought squares piece by piece. I love the feel and look of wool felt. It's so soft and rich.

Recently I've been watching old movies at night. But since I don't know how to do just one thing at a time, I started making felt flowers for hair clips and pins while I watch. It has been very fun. Here are a few:

 Red Red Rose

 Have you seen how these are made around pinterest? Its just a scalloped spiral all rolled up. Simple.

Brown and Gold Autumn Flowers

 This is just a spin off of the very simple spiral rose.

Cheerful Daisy

These are much more time consuming, but I love how they turned out.

dress up

Family Halloween 2012

2:57:00 PM

We had a good Halloween this year aside from Jack getting sick and not being able to go trick-or-treating. Total bummer, I know. At least he did get to go to preschool (before we knew of him being sick) in his costume and sing Halloween songs for us. That was fun.

Rosie was in heaven trick-or-treating. Stroller? check. Candy? check. Seeing friends and being social? check. I don't think I could have invented a better night for her. She did inform someone who was passing out play-dough and toys instead of candy that she wanted candy. Luckily, a two-year-old's high-pitched "nanny?" isn't completely understandable so I think it was okay.

This year, three of us followed a theme-- Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Wendy, and Rob was on his own being a mushroom. He wanted to be especially cool and unique for work, so he stole the idea from our nephew and won "Most Original Costume." It was worth it. He did look great.

This is our only family picture (taken on Rob's co-worker's iphone). It was taken right before poor Jack made it known to us that he really was sick and it wasn't just the dinner I made him the night before as he claimed.

"See? This is my pixie dust!" Note: one of my roommates gave the pixie dust to me when I was on a real fairy craze. :)

"Okay, Tink, let's fly!"

dress up

Tinkerbell costume

8:23:00 PM


Rosie was Tinkerbell this year for Halloween or "Bell" as she calls her. Tinkerbell is basically her favorite character, so it worked out great.

"See the crooked wings Mommy made me?" :)
with a jack-o-lantern
collecting fairy dust

Costume Construction

I made the dress with the purpose of it being a church dress but also working for Tinkerbell. I've perfected the pattern and have a how-to for the scallops that I plan on posting soon.

The tutu skirt is just some green gathered tulle sewn to stretch fabric.

The "wings" are just a piece of sheer fabric torn and pinned to the dress. I had big plans to do the hanger-and-tights wings, but a piece of fabric is so much easier. When I was young and my sisters and I needed wings for our pretend play, we tried to make the fabric extra long so we could tie it to our wrists and really flap our wings!

Shoe construction found here.
Note: I would have cut the fabric a whole inch taller to cover the shoes completely after sewing elastic to the bottom.

Sparkles came from aloe vera gel mixed with glitter and glitter in the hair secure with hairspray.

The end.

dress up

Mushroom Costume

8:19:00 PM

Rob was a mushroom this year, stealing the idea from our nephew who is a mushroom expert (and was a mushroom last year). Rob didn't want to join in the Peter Pan fun and wanted something more unique. He won "Most Original Costume" at work! It really did look great.

Costume Construction

All white pants and shirt, white face and hair.

Sign that says, "Fly Agaric Mushroom, Amanita Muscaria" just makes it officially nerdy.

Paper grass taped to shoes.

Red umbrella with freezer paper dots ironed onto it. The iron must be on a pretty low setting so you don't melt the umbrella.
Note: This works well for an adult, but I think it would fall apart for a kid. For a kid, I'd recommend that office label paper. I'm pretty sure you can buy it in whole sheets. Or spray paint works well (this is what our nephew used).

dress up

Wendy Costume

8:14:00 PM

I was Wendy this year. Mostly because I didn't want to think too hard to figure something out. Also, the idea of wearing a comfy nightgown was very appealing. I really wanted to be Mother Nature again, but I cut up the costume like a non-thinking-ahead person. It was too much trouble to make it again, although it might be my choice next year. :)

Costume Construction

Altered blue nightgown from secondhand store.

Two HUGE bows. One for hair, one for tie. I loved wearing them.

Black ballet slippers or Mary Janes.

I LOVED wearing this bow.

dress up

Peter Pan Costume

6:33:00 PM

Jack was Peter Pan this year for Halloween. He loves the movie and was very excited about it. When asked what he would be for Halloween he would excitedly declare "Peter Pan!" then add, "and Rosie will be Tinkerbell and Mommy will be Wendy and Daddy will be a mushroom."

"Think of a wonderful thought! Any happy little thought!"

"Take that!"

Costume Construction

I made the tunic and hat in a similar way to the tunic and hat I made for him with the Jack and the Beanstalk costume. (Sorry, the pictures in the tutorial are bad.) I cut the edges of the tunic zig-zaggy and made the shoulder seam longer so it would be more like a sleeve. I finished the edges using a wide zig-zag stitch.

I made the belt and dagger holder out of some vinyl I had lying around.

I scored the light green velour pants at Gymboree (girl section) for $3.

I made the shoe covers in following what I did for Rosie's shoes. I just added more fabric on the top and scrunched it together with an elastic.

The end. :)

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