Welcome to another episode of Crafts for the Craft-Challenged! Last time, altered Altoid tins; this time, it's a simple spool doll nativity. I chose this craft for our MOPS group so that the moms would have a somewhat childproof nativity for their kiddos to experience the Christmas story. This post will get you started with Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Once you conquer those, feel free to move on to the rest of the cast of Christmas with Spool Doll Nativity, part 2, which covers the shepherds, the wise men, and an angel. Click on any of the pix to make them bigger if you need the details...
Supplies: you'll need a hot glue gun, 3 spools (2 around 2 inches and 1 around 1 inch), 3 doll bead heads (I got these prepainted 1-inch ones off of Craigslist), some hemp cord or other string (about a 12" piece), and some fabric scraps. I used 3 linen pieces that were cut a little over 3" x 4" for Baby Jesus' wrap and Mary and Joseph's headpieces and 2 scraps of corduroy that were about 1 3/4" x 4 1/2" for their bodies.
Step 1: If the labels on your wood spools are old and loose, I'd suggest peeling them off so that they don't cause a head to fall off later! Then hot glue the 3 heads onto the 3 spools. By the way, I found tons of spools by searching "wood* spools" on eBay.
Step 2: Glue the fabric pieces around Mary and Joseph for their bodies. I liked the frayed look, so I trimmed them at the exact size of the spool. Feel free to leave your fabric a bit longer and fold it under if you don't want the fraying.
Step 3: To do the headpieces, fold back a bit of the 4" edge on a linen scrap. I anchored that fold with a dot of glue in the center, mostly to help me find the center. Then put some hot glue on the head to adhere the headpiece to Mary or Joseph's scalp. I then glued at the edge of the spool covered by the headpiece so that the linen would lie down. Finally, I made 2 folds in the back and anchored each of those with a dot of glue for more aesthetically-pleasing folds.
Step 4: To differentiate Joseph from Mary, wrap a 12-inch piece of hemp string around his waist and knot it in the front. Feel free to secure the knot with a dot of hot glue-- I'm a firm believer in using plenty of hot glue!
Step 5: Baby Jesus was the tough one to figure out, so check the pix above. My linen scrap had a selvage edge that I loved, so notice how I lined up the piece to make sure it would show on the final fold. I started by putting a dot of glue at the back of the base of the Baby Jesus spool to secure the back of his swaddling clothes. Then I flipped him over and folded down the edges triangularly (is that a word?) and glued them along the front. If your scrap is just a bit big, like mine was, you can fold under the edge that wraps around his face so that he peeks out just right. Next (3rd pic), you fold over one of those triangle flaps and glue it down and finally, fold over the flap with the selvage edge and secure it with hot glue.
You did it! Hope your kiddos enjoy their very own spool doll nativity!