Art from the Heart!

This Nativity is easy to make from recycled cardboard and other found materials.

2015 December 005

List of supplies needed:

Ruler and pencil                                                                               White glue and old paintbrush

x-acto knife or super sharp scissors                                             Tape gun or double sided tape

medium weight cardboard                                                             Sparkly paper for star-or see below to make your own

One-sided scrapbook paper, 2 sheets                                          Believe, or other inspirational word, rubber stamp

Decorative scrapbook paper, 1 sheet                                            Printed Bible verse or Christmas carol verse

Coordinating solid cardstock, 1 sheet                                           Sheet music or scrap that coordinates with paper

For the Madonna and child image, I used the Silent Night stamp Impressions by Paper Inspirations in Kalispell, Montana. The Believe stamp is by Inkadinkadoo. I’ve also found images I liked from old Christmas cards or you could hand letter any verse or saying you wanted to use. If you aren’t sure about your handwriting, write it on a scrap of card stock until you get it right and glue that in place.

I stamped the Silent Night Impressions rubber and brown archival ink (not pigment) to stamp the image onto a scrap of tan cardstock. I used my tape gun to apply the image to a scrap of brown cardstock. This elevates the image slightly and makes it a focal point.

Press the Ctrl key and click on the links to take you to a PDF file to print the three templates:

Nativity center piece   Nativity side pieces  Nativity Star

You can print the patterns and trace them onto lightweight cardboard or make your own background shape. You’ll need one center piece and two end pieces. I up-cycle the cardboard on the back of notebooks. This weight is sturdy but easy to cut.  You can also use cereal box cardboard but I suggest you glue two pieces together.

My best tip for gluing cardboard is to cut out the largest shape you can and apply a thin layer of white glue over each surface. Place the pieces together and put them under a heavy book or cutting board over night. Trust me, you won’t regret it. The piece will dry flat and will look so much nicer.

The next step is to wrap a light weight, one-sided scrapbook paper around the three pieces. I use a subtle patterned paper, most of it won’t be seen. You could even use scraps of paper or cut apart a brown paper bag and use that.

Place the cardboard piece down on the wrong side of the scrapbook paper. Cut around the shape leaving a margin of about 1 inch. This will allow enough paper to wrap over the edge and glue down securely. Use a bone folder or your fingernail to trace on the scrapbook paper, close to the edge of the cardboard piece. Making a score line like this will help ease the paper over the edge nicely. Brush a thin layer of white glue or Yes glue generously over all edges. Fold the edges over and wipe away excess glue.

For the other side, trace around the cardboard for each piece. Glue this piece to the back of each cardboard piece.

For the Bethlehem star, I free-handed an eight-pointed star. You can draw your own or use the template I made. I glued a pearl white paper to a heavier white cardstock and cut it out.  I then rubbed glue over the front of the star and dusted it with Prisma Glitter from Hero Arts to make it really sparkle. You can find Ultra fine premium glitter at most craft stores. I then glued it, off center, to another star cut out, I kind of like the affect.

The next layer of paper goes only on the front. It can be one-sided or a heaver, two-sided scrapbook paper. I liked the “Journey” and glittery design already printed on the paper. The Journey reminds me of Christ’s journey he made, being born as a baby and descending into heaven as Christ the King.

Using the templates, cut on the inside of the line. You can use a paper cutter for this, just line up the cutter on the inside of the pattern line. This will allow about a 1/4 of an inch of the background paper to show. It makes a nice “frame” around the final paper on the front. Use the tape gun to adhere the paper to the front of the three nativity pieces.

Punch two hold on each side of the center piece and on the inside edge of the outside edge pieces. I just used rope to thread through the holes and tied a square knot at the back. Tie it a little loose so you can close the flaps for storage or to place in an envelope for mailing.

For the verse on the bottom edge of the center panel, I print lyrics from Christmas Carols or Bible verses on my computer onto resume or kraft paper. Adhere to a piece of card stock and then adhere using a tape gun to the center panel. You can use pop up dots to adhere the star so it is slightly raised above the center panel.

I added details to the stamped Madonna and child stamped image with a Q-tip and chalk. I added pink to Mary and the baby Jesus’ cheeks. I added a pale blue chalk to the blanket in the center close to the baby’s arm and Mary’s neck.

I hope you enjoy making this Nativity, feel free to contact me with questions about the directions.