Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Away In A Manger...Christmas Book Activity: Day 9

My daughter made a manger/baby Jesus ornament just like this last year at church.
(I do believe that we have the most dedicated and loving Nursery leaders in all of Christendom!)

She loved it so much that she ended up carrying it around with her.
It was so special to her, and seeing it on our tree was special to me.

So, we made a few more to go along with our family's reading of The Animals' Christmas Eve.

The animals in this book retell the story of the first Christmas to their fellow animals--every Christmas Eve after their masters have retired.

And there is the sweetest illustration of the baby Jesus, which this ornament captures perfectly.

Here is how you make this "Away In A Manger" craft:

Here's what you'll need:
14 wooden craft sticks, 4 1/2 in. long
white felt
spanish moss
yellow (straw-like) raffia
doll pins cut in half
a hot glue gun

First, place two craft sticks 2 1/2 inches apart.

I placed them on a piece of construction paper and marked the measurements with a pen, making it easier to keep my sticks parallel and to keep each side uniform.

Spread glue on the top half of each stick, and lay five other wooden craft sticks across your
two sticks like this. Use the top edge of your paper as a guide to keep everything aligned.

If you are using hot glue, you might want to add the glue as you go.

Repeat this process to create the other side of your manger.

When both sides have dried, pick up both sides of the manger and hold them together with the smooth sides facing.

Line up the legs so they are next to each other but not directly on top of each other.

Now, open the manger in your hand like you are opening a greeting card.

Add a dab of hot glue to the "joints" on the underside of the manger.

It will dry quickly in your hand, so make sure that you have your manger positioned the way that you want it.

Tie a small amount of raffia around the "legs" of the manger just to hide the glue.

Set your manger aside. Pull out your doll pin, which has previously been cut in half.

(Note: You can also use an extra wooden craft stick instead of a doll pin, if you do not have access to a saw. If you do this, just add some batting around your clothes pin to create a "body", and continue following the instructions as shown.)

Cut a piece of white felt that measures 2 1/2 by 2 inches.

Wrap your baby Jesus in it and glue to secure.

Add a face with markers if you wish.

Add a small bit of glue to the inside of your manger and line the manger with spanish moss.

Place baby Jesus lovingly in the shown.

You might choose to glue your baby Jesus into the manger.

I did not because my kids like to play with him.

Adjust the moss until he is nice and comfy.

When you are finished, you should end up with something like this.


  1. Jos I am off to the mall today and I am picking up all these craft needs to make your Christmas craft for me and the girls for this Saturday. We will also be making the entire manger characters. Thank you Jos...this will be great for us to make. Love you guys...hugs & kisses.

  2. that is so totally adorable. I love looking at each day

  3. I made these for my primary class (CTR 6) this year....I put the manger together, they glued the swaddling and moss. Thank you for the cute idea!