Hannah Overman Koch

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby Jesus Ornament Tutorial

     Recently, I was trying to come up with a nice Christmas ornament to make with the 2nd graders I work with on Wednesday's nights at our church. I just wanted to do a baby Jesus ornament, that much I knew.   I did some research and could not get satisfied on anything.  Nothing was hitting me at all.  I discussed this with our children's minister and she was telling about this beautiful baby Jesus ornament she had made years before.  I loved the idea, but I didn't have several of the items she used.  So, finally I decided to try to make this adorable ornament with what I had on hand!  With thinking outside the box a little, I figured it out.  Below is my version of a...

Baby Jesus Ornament

The following instructions are to make a very special handmade ornament with your family, a children's group or for your very own tree!  Hope you find it as adorable as I do!

Materials list:  
3/4 inch wood disc for face
3 inch square batting
fabric scrap approx. 1 inch in width and at least 10 inches in length, with ripped edges
 ripped sandpaper,100 grit shown here
ribbon for hanging approx. 7 inches 
Brass wire for halo (optional)
colored pencils 
white glue
hot glue gun, glue sticks (please follow safety instructions)

Take your wooden disc and lightly shade whatever background color you choose and simply draw 3 curved lines.  Two for the eyes, delicately closed of course, and one for the mouth, with a slight smile. 

I used light skin tones for the background and dark brown for the eyes and mouth.  Or simply leave the wood natural.  Once this step is complete, set the wooden face disc aside.

Batting Folds

Your wooden disc face will be inserted on top of the bottom point (after folded), with the back point exposed behind it.  However, I do not permanently insert the face until the end.  But use the face as a reference on your folding in the next 3 steps.

**You can use white glue for these steps or hot glue.  
Doing these steps with children, white glue, of course.  It will be reinforced with the fabric in later steps.

Step one:  Turn the 3 inch square batting on point, apply a small dot of glue and fold the bottom point to the top point, leaving some space for the wooden face disc. (pictured above)

Step two:  Apply a small dot of glue to the right corner.  Fold the right corner over to the left.    Remember to leave space for the wooden disc face.  

Step three:  Apply a small dot of glue to the left corner and fold the left corner around to the right, wrapping around to the back to make a swaddled blanket. At this point, you can check how your wooden disc face will sit snugly within the batting pocket you just created.  Adjust accordingly.

Fabric Tying

I used fabric I had on hand that I thought would be most appropriate for the theme of this ornament. I went more for subdued colors and patterns, less bright and contemporary colors.  Use whatever strikes you!

Lay the fabric strip out with the swaddled batting on top and wrap once around the swaddled batting and bring end to meet on top.

Tie a square knot or double knot on top of the swaddled batting with the fabric.  Once tied, trim the fabric ends with a seam ripper.  Adjust swaddled batting to your liking.

Sandpaper Bedding

The sandpaper is to resemble the hay bedding Jesus was laid on in the manger.

Simply rip your sandpaper by hand anywhere from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches in length. Apply small dots on the back centers of two of the strips.  Attach the 3 strips together and fan out so they will cradle the baby. 
**This is another step where you can use white glue with children.

Ribbon application:

Bring your ribbon ends together and hot glue to center of rough side of the sandpaper. Once complete, set aside.

Brass halo instructions

I used 16 gauge brass wire, cut approx. 7 - 8 inches.  Next you will need to wrap something small and circular, like a bottle neck.  (Brass wire can be hard to bend by hand in this thick gauge - bring on the elbow grease!)  Bring the ends of the circle together and bend them down.  I used round nose pliers for this step, but any small pliers will do.  Straighten the ends of the brass wire, trying to keep them as close together as possible and trim if necessary. 

With a hammer and steel block or another hard surface to hammer on, flattened the halo slightly.  This step can be optional as well.

Another alternative for a halo is pipe cleaners!

Final Steps:

**Hot glue needed for next steps**
If you are doing this activity with children, these are the steps adults should complete.

Apply hot glue to ends of brass wire and insert into swaddled batting. 
Apply hot glue to the bottom back of the wooden disc face and insert into swaddled batting pocket.  Adjust halo and face accordingly.

The photo above shows the step before assembling the baby together with the optional halo and swaddled blanket.  Simply insert wooden disc face by instructions above if you chose to leave out the halo.  (Either way it's adorable!)

Turn the baby ornament over and apply a generous amount of hot glue on the fabric portion.  Finally, adhere the baby ornament to the sandpaper and ribbon component, you did a few steps earlier.

And there you have your very own Baby Jesus Ornament!

Other options for this ornament could be;
baby's first Christmas (minus halo and sandpaper)
Symbolize each grandchild for a Grandparent's tree.  Simply individualize each grandchild through the fabric choices.
Angel (replace the sandpaper with wings you created or angelic looking silk leaves!)

handmade ornaments for the young and old on this artist holiday-

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