Monday, December 16, 2013

Craft An Ornament of The Baby Jesus in His Manger

Young children ages 6 and up can craft this simple ornament of the baby Jesus in a manger without help from
 an adult. If you'd like to help younger children make a similar version, it is probably best for adults to assemble
 some of the parts in advance.
Top 1. Assemble and glue together mini craft sticks for the manger,
2. Tie on and string the gold beads for the hanger,
3. Glue the Easter grass onto the manger,
4. The finished first part of the baby Jesus in a manger ornament
This little baby Jesus ornament is crafted with the following supplies:
  • mini craft sticks
  • white school glue
  • thread
  • gold beads
  • Baby Jesus printable (included below)
  • flesh colored construction paper
  • paper grass
  • brown markers or watercolor paints
  • soft colored pencil in pink for subtle cheek color
   For the first part of the ornament craft project students or the teacher, depending on the age of the former, needs to glue together a small manger using mini wooden craft sticks. In the first example (1.), I have shown three possible ways to assemble the manger. Glue the pieces together using white glue and let these mangers dry overnight. If you are working with very young children, I suggest assembling this part of the craft in advance for them. (ages 2-5)
   For the second step (2.), tie a thread around the back side of the manger and glue down the edge of the thread. Let this dry for a bit before stringing gold beads on to the thread. Be generous with the length of the gold hanger so that there will be plenty of room for the paper baby Jesus that will be pasted on to the manger later. After stringing the beads on to the thread tie the end to the opposite side of the manger. 
   Glue onto the front side of your ornament a bit of paper grass (3.). I used a natural color because I prefer it but you may wish to use a yellow or gold variety of Easter grass on your own version of the ornament.
   To finish the little manger (4.), students may then color the mini craft sticks with brown watercolors, markers etc... I chose to color my mangers with a fine tipped marker to imitate the grain of wood that one might find in a wooden trough.
      Open a Word Doc and swipe in the little baby printables. Alter the page settings so that you can fit multiple images onto one page before printing them out. Because I assemble so many Christmas craft kits for young children, I print and cut batches of babies out for students to color and glue in their manger ornaments.  By these means, a teacher can print 100 baby images on as little as six or seven sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 inch standard sized paper. (You will need to trim down standard sized construction paper in advance to printing.)
   I highlighted the cheeks and elbows of my baby Jesus with just a hint of blush color before pasting him onto the manger grass.
Print your little babies on many flesh colored papers. I used pale brown and mauve colored construction papers for my samples, but you may use whatever colors you like. You may even print these images on white paper and offer your young crafters flesh toned markers instead.
The finished, assembled manger ornaments.
Printable baby Jesus, version 1.
Printable baby Jesus, version 2.

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