|The christmas story has so many various crafts associated with it, and so this craft offering is more specific to just this one part of the story. After a good browse round the internet I found almost no craft project about pregnancy itself, so this craft tries to highlight the idea of pregnancy as a precious time.|
|The construction is very simple but if you are using glue rather than thread you may need to give the glue a moment to dry.
Start by cutting the body shapes from fabric. if you fabric is stretchy then you can probably just cut rectangles, but if you want to make Elizabeth out of non stretchy fabric you will need to give a little room for her belly.
the body shape needs to be made into a tube by sewing or glueing down the raw edge.
|If you wish to give you character a cape (as traditional statues of Mary often have) then cut this next and attach it to the neckline.|
|The next piece is the head. this is made from plastic strapping. you need about 20cm of strapping per head. the strapping needs to be bent into shape but you may want to spend a little time making sure it’s straight first. strapping tends to hold it’s shape well once it’s there.
Pictured is the shape for the strapping. the middle loop will be out head and the side pieces will hold it upright in the body. to help it hold it’s shape use an elastic band where shown (in blue).
Generally speaking the strapping may lose it’s shape if you don’t immediately insert it into the neckline.
|Once the head is in place you want to secure the neckline to stop it coming out again.
If you are working with needle and tread do a quick gather stitch round the neckline. if you are working with glue then form a ruffle neckline by adding a second elastic band over the fabric.
|Now it’s time to add the head scarf. Cut the shield shape from the chosen fabric. This is a glueing task. Add a line of glue to the straight edge and glue the fabric to the inside of the head shape by bending the headscarf over the front hairline. This is easier to do than explain to do and sticks quickly.
Also cut a piece of ribbon or thin rectangle of fabric for the belt. Tie this around the body, directly below the head strapping.
|Lastly comes the bit with the real discussion. give each child a square tissue and a pen. talk about how pregnancy is a time of waiting, a time of promise, just like advent. As you discuss the ideas of waiting and hope that come with pregnancy get the children to decorate their tissues with key words or idea. try and encourage them not to make this a ‘I want Santa to bring me’ exercise.
When the tissues are decorated roll them into balls and place them inside the characters you have made. If suitable end in a time of prayer, pray for the hopes and dreams that these tissue babies hold, and for the mothers around the world who are holding the hopes and dreams of a new life inside them.
|Here Elizabeth has a shaped body buy Mary has a tube, it makes Mary look about 4 months and Elizabeth about 6 months into her pregnancy.
If you want to make this into an entire nativity set then you will need a few adaptations. Make the boys headdresses (if they have them) rectangular, sticking them to the outside of the head only. You could even add a stick and a beard. Angel wings made from wired ribbon would work well, as do strips of paper or ribbon around the head as hats. Finally, if you wish, craft a baby by following the same process but making the body shorter and head smaller.