Thursday, December 19, 2013

Everything's cuter in miniature.

I love nativities.  Big, small, fabric, wood, detailed, simple.  I love them all.  It took years for me to get my first one - an awesome wooden puzzle cut and hand painted by my brother in law.  

My kids adore it.  

I wanted a one with little figures I could set out.  Two years ago my mom gave me the play mobile nativity.  My kids adore that one too.  

Sometimes it includes Batman.  

Sometimes it includes lalaloopsies.  

(and yes, we have to pinch hit for a lost wiseman now - we use a playmobile pirate.)

I REALLY wanted a nativity that was a little more for decoration than playing... two years ago a family in our ward (I don't know who.  Was it YOU???) did the 12 days of Christmas with us and anonymously left us a piece of a nativity every night for 12 nights until we received the baby Jesus last of all. 

It was amazing.  Thanks, whoever that was.

Last year, I was staring at my stash of, well, random stuff, trying to decide on some homemade presents when all of a sudden the random items congealed together in my mind to create this:

Which is interesting since it's pretty rare that the finished product in my head matches the finished product in real life.  BUT there you go!  Here's how to make your very own mini nativity:

1. Two wooden peg people
2. A wooden wheel
3. A teeny tiny wooden ball
4. A teeny tiny wooden spool of thread minus the thread
5. A small wooden star
6. A short wooden dowel that is the exact diameter to fit in the hole in your wheel
7. A hot glue gun
8. Ribbon scraps
9. What is this stuff?  It's like that really fine, delicate yarn stuff that you crochet doilies and ornaments with.  Whatever.  I got it at a thrift store like a million years ago.

So let's make a mini nativity, eh?

Step 1.  Wrap it.
1. Use the thin yarn stuff to wrap the star.  I just wrapped in all directions in between the points until the middle was mostly covered and I thought it looked cool.
2. Wrap the tiny spool of thread minus the thread in a very thin ribbon.  Use the hot glue gun to secure it.  Wrap the peg people bodies in wider ribbon.  You may need to use two strips.
3. Wrap the peg people heads in complementary ribbon.  For Joseph (the brown and green one) I just used one piece and glued it around the sides of the head and then pinched it together in the back and stuck a little hot glue there.  For Mary (the blue one) I glued a piece of ribbon right down the back (starting at the forehead area) and then glued another piece from side to side over that one.
4. To finish off Joseph, I glued a piece of ric rac around his head - you know, like you usually see shepherds.

Step 2.  Unite mother and child.
1. Take the teeny tiny wooden ball and hot glue it on top of the threadless spool of thread.
2. Now hot glue the tiny baby to the front of the Mary peg person at an angle, like she's holding it in her arms.
(Note: I did it this way because I was using wooden pieces I already had in stash.  There are likely baby peg people out there somewhere, but I liked how tiny/newbornish this looked)

Step 3.  Form the base.
1. Hot glue the back of the star to the top 
2. of the front of the dowel.
3. Stick some hot glue on the other end of the dowel and shove it in the wheel hole.
4. That's it.  You're done.

Step 4.  Put it together.
1. Glue Joseph onto the wheel just forward from the star pole.  I glued him to the left of the pole so the baby would be tilted in his direction.
2. Glue Mary next to Joseph.


You could totally glue or tie some twine or that thin yarn stuff (???) to the top and hang this on your tree.  

Or you could just set it out on your coffee table and let people say "awwwww..." because no one can resist a miniature version of anything.

You can also skip the entirety of this tutorial and only do steps three and four and you'd end up with a natural wood mini nativity, which I also like.

And have you seen this one at Target??  So cute!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

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