I saw the idea on one of my favorite blogs, Little Bit Funky yesterday and knew I had to try it. Bonus: I already had everything I needed on hand (I changed it up to fit what I had around the house already.)
You were supposed to use a shoebox for the manger, and cover it with construction paper. But the only shoeboxes we have around are from Matt’s and Luke’s athletic shoes, and they are HUGE. So…. I went digging through our recycle bin and found what I needed: a Honey Grahams box, and the box from Matt’s Cream of Wheat (gross.) packets. I turned those inside out & taped them back together with packing tape (which we never have when we need to actually pack something because I’m always using it for crafts or to tape books back together.) I turned it inside out so I wouldn’t have to cover the outside, and then cut scrapbook paper to fit the inside, with a little overlap. I cut some yellow tissue paper into strips and we were ready to go.
We used old tights that haven’t been worn in who knows how long– Tobin picked creamy colored ones, and Sarah used some brown tights, so they both have a Baby Jesus that looks just like them. Tobin and I just read a book from the library about a little boy who was disappointed that he couldn’t find an angel for the top of his tree that looked like him – because he was African American, and all the angels are ladies with blond hair. So Tobin really wanted both he and Sarah to have a baby Jesus who looked like them. And if you like that concept, you should totally listen to “Some Children See Him” on Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn’s Christmas album. Love the whole album, but that’s my favorite.
In the tutorial she drew hair on, but I tried something different. I tied a knot in both ends, and left some excess material on the “head” end. I cut those into strips to make a little tuft of hair.
The kids glued the paper lining into the manger, filled it with “straw”, and then helped me stuff their babies with fabric scraps. I drew on the faces and they were ready to be swaddled (with blankets cut from cotton batting left over from Christmas presents I’m making).
I think they came out super cute, and the kids were enchanted with them – and played with them for the rest of the time Sarah was with us. Cute, easy, and using recycled/re-used stuff. Yippee!
She’s saying “Cheeeeese!” Isn’t she a doll?
p.s. In case you’re wondering why Tobin is half-naked… No, it’s not warm here. It’s actually freezing, and sleeting rain as I type. But Tobin likes to go shirtless. Even in dead winter, when I’m wearing several layers, I can hardly keep a shirt on him some days. He’s a Nebraska boy, what can I say?