My hands should be busy upstairs in my little studio, preparing for Saturday's craft fair. But that's not what I want to do right now. I got sidetracked when I was going through a container of crafts from a previous year's season.
I came across Baby Jesu'.
He never fails to make me smile. He certainly isn't the biggest, splashiest, most useful or difficult item I've ever made, but he is my favorite. It's been so long since I first started making Baby Jesu' that I can't even remember if it was from a pattern or just something I saw that was an inspiration. He also gets the biggest reactions from the customers.
I want to show you how to make one for yourself. It's also a great project to do with kids that are old enough to handle a low-temp glue gun. Here's what you're going to need:
Small swatch of peach or flesh colored fabric (cotton or cotton blend)
One 3-inch mini grapevine wreath
Small amount of Spanish moss
Small amount of fiberfill stuffing
4 inch square of linen fabric
Heavy duty wire
1 small wooden star
Small artificial leaf and berry
Let's get started. First you're going to lightly trace around your finger on the piece of flesh colored fabric. I used my finger in this photo but actually it works better if you trace around your thumb. That way you get a nice plump Baby Jesu', the breastfed version.
You'll have something that looks like this:
Don't worry about being perfect. A multitude of sins can be hidden under the swaddling clothes. Sew along the line using a small stitch length.
Carefully cut out the shape close to the stitching.
Use the eraser end of the pencil to turn the shape inside out.
At this point I iron the shape flat so that it will look neater when it's stuffed. Grab a small amount of stuffing and push it into the fabric using the pencil.
Stitch the open end of the tube closed.
Cut the 3 inch square of linen fabric and fray the edges. (You can use any type of light colored fabric for his swaddling clothes). Pull the bottom edge up like this:
Pull the right side over.
And then the left.
At this point you can take a few stitches to hold the wrap from unfolding or you can add a touch of glue to hold each fold closed. I use the glue, it's easier.
Glue a button towards the side, use a marker to make two eyes.
Sometimes the top of the head looks a little bumpy. I put a small amount of glue on top of the head and fold the fabric over.
If you want to get fancy you can dip the point of your pencil into some white paint and put a little dot on the edge of his eye, like this:
Here's the bottom of the 3 inch wreath. I've put a tuft of Spanish moss to cradle the baby.
I didn't have any wire in the house for this tutorial, but this will give you an idea of how you get the twist. Just wind it around a fat pencil or a marker. Use a snip to cut it to the right length.
Twist one end of the wire to make a flat spriral. Glue this to the wooden star which you have painted gold.
Put a big glop of hot glue on the back edge of the wreath to hold the wire upright.
Put a small amount of glue on the back of the baby and lay him in his nest. I also embellish with a small artificial leaf and a berry.
He looks so sweet on my entry hall table. Ufortunately the wise men had previous engagements, so I found two wise rabbits to watch over the child.
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You can do this project with a group of neighbors. If you don't sew have one of your sewing friends make the babies ahead of time. Gather together with all the elements and have a Baby Jesu' making party!
I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Give me a shout out if you'd like to see more of this type of thing in the future.
By the way, this is Post Number 400!!!