Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Manger Tutorial

As we do the Jesse Tree during Advent, M will put one piece of yarn (hay) in the manger per night.  On Christmas Eve, baby Jesus will go in the manger on top of the hay. 

I have received a couple of emails with questions about how we made our manger.  It is so simple, I’m almost embarrassed to show you. :) 

First, start with a small cardboard tube:blog pics 040

Cut it in half lengthwise:blog pics 042

Cut one of the halves in half again, width-wise:blog pics 043

Trim both of the small pieces just a little bit.  Then staple one to each end of the large piece:blog pics 046

Look, a manger! :)  I cut a square of brown felt with pinking shears and glued it to ours:blog pics 048

It’s not the most elegant manger ever, but it works!  You could also use a square or rectangle box for the main manger part (think a box from a bar of soap), and cover it with paper or fabric, or paint.

For baby Jesus, I simply cut two flesh-colored pieces of felt in a peanut shape, sewed them together (you could use glue) and stuffed them with a bit of fiberfill.  I drew a face on him, then swaddled him in square piece of blue felt and glued everything in place:blog pics 041

It works for now.  When M is a bit older, we may do something a bit nicer. :)  You could use a baby Jesus from a Playmobile or Little People set if you have one!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Fantastic - I love simple crafts like this! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Okay, I think you just talked me into it with this adorable manger.

    Question. Since the tree is felt, how do you hang the ornaments? Sorry if you explained already.

  3. I am so looking forward to getting Thanksgiving over with, so we can get on with Christmas. I can't wait to pull out my full manger and nativity set!

    Love what you did here it turned out great!

  4. Hi Nicole

    We will be joining you in preparing a manger for baby Jesus this year. Savvy knows that Christams is because it was the day Jesus was born and I think having a manger by the Christmas tree is a perfect way to remember the reason for the season.

    I am happy that you were able to take on board my suggestion of a size sequencing activity. They turned out so well. You are very kind to share your printables and I think your activities would be enjoyed by so many little people all around the world.

    Thank you for sharing the free homeschool printables site. I am definitiely going to check that out.

    Your Mr Linky idea of using your art box idea is awesome. We would love to join you with this. I really like the criteria of having art that is solely child directed, and where the materials (which are changed regularly) are accessible. Savvy is going to have a ball with this and Blakie might even get in on some of the action too!

    I think the name you have come up with is perfect. The only title that came to my mind was: Out of the box creations. I like "out of the box" because it reminds me of the idea of thinking outside the square and the children are thinking outside of the norm, creating at their leisure. Anyway, I still think the title you came up with is perfect.

    I love stopping by your blog, it is ALWAYS inspiring and a great read.

  5. I like this idea for a nativity craft. I'm going to have to try and do it.


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