We used the middle cones from an egg box, because they've already got a nice robe-like look about them...
So, you'll need:
cereal box card
PVA craft glue
coloured felt tips
Fine black felt tip or gel pen
cotton wool balls (for sheep)
pipe cleaner (for shepherd's staff)
Yellow and orange tissue paper (for straw)
1. First, roughly cut out the egg box cones - this makes them easier to work with. Make a mark just above the joins left from the box and draw round the cone here. Cut along the line so you get an even cone that sits flat.
2. Paint your cone bodies. We chose blue for Mary, white for Joseph and orange for the shepherds.
3. While they're drying, draw faces on some cereal box card. I'd recommend making a head template to copy for all you figures - this makes things much easier. We used an orangy-pink pencil to colour in the face and did the rest with felt tips. Cut them out (small scissors are best). Don't glue them on the bodies yet.
4. To make the cloak, lie the cone body on a piece of paper, not too close to the edges. Use a pencil to draw down one side and along the bottom edge.
5. Without lifting the cone off the paper, carefully roll it onto the next side, and draw along this bottom edge too.
6. Roll once more, and draw along the bottom edge again, and up the other side to the top of the cone.
7. To make the hood, join the top lines with a gentle curve. Cut out.
It helps for gluing later if you press your cloak around the sides and back of the cone at this stage, to crease it into shape.
8. For the sleeves, best to make a template again from some cereal box card. Draw one sleeve on the card and make it a little more flared at the end (roughly 3.5cm long).
Fold a piece of paper the same colour as the cloak and put the template on the fold like this. Cut out and open up.
9 Use PVA/craft glue to stick the sleeves around the top of your cone.
Put a good layer of glue over the sides and back and stick on the cloak, one side at a time, making sure the bottom of the cloak is in line with the bottom edge of the cone. Check it's stuck down all the way around - if it keeps popping up, use paper clips to hold it down while it dries.
10. Put glue on the back of the head and stick the bottom part to the top of the cone - some of the head will sit above the end of the cone and should be framed by the hood.
When the glue is dry, fold back the arms a little. Make Joseph the same way.
11. For the straw manger, cut out two shallow egg cups from your egg box (about 1cm depth). If you want, make one curve upwards so it's higher at the top end. Glue the bases together and when dry, paint brown.
Draw, colour and cut out a small baby face from the cereal box card. Cut out a blanket from some coloured paper. We used a piece of felt as there was some handy.
Put some homemade tissue paper straw inside (see stable step-by-step) glue the baby's chin to the top of the blanket and place him in the manger.
Make the shepherds the same way as Mary and Joseph. Bend a piece of pipe cleaner into a staff shape and glue it to the bottom of a sleeve (best to use a stronger, all-purpose glue or fabric glue for this as PVA doesn't work so well with pipe cleaners).
For the sheep, draw and colour in a face on some cereal box card and glue onto a ball of cotton wool.
Next time the Three Wise Men arrive at the stable.
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