Submitted by Bonnie Searing of Utah
"Swing Beneath Bethlehem's Star"
I needed a small gift for eighteen girls in my church group. I wanted it to be meaningful, but had no budget for it. I went to the craft store for ideas but everything was more expensive than I had hoped. The salesclerk told me about a glass ornament that you can put things in, and the baby-shower-favor plastic babies, but they had sold out. I don't really know how it came about, but this is what evolved from my adaptation. I got the stars at 50% off at Big Lots and had everything else on hand. The whole project cost me $2.50!
One Gold Plastic Star ornament
One wooden Popsicle stick
About 12" yellow (or a mix of yellow and brown) baby yarn, (or you could use a small amount of raffia)
About 20" narrow gold braid
One 2" square of gauze
A very small piece of pink play dough (if you make your own salt dough, omit the oil)
Four lengths of twig approximately one inch each (I cut mine from the very thinnest growth on my peach tree), these work best if they're dry/brittle
A glue gun
First you need to mold the baby out of the pink dough. I made the head about the size of a pea. The head is all that will show, so the body can just be a little blob to fill out the gauze. This will need to dry overnight or in a warm oven until it's completely hard.
Use a wire cutter to cut the Popsicle stick into three pieces, and glue the edges to make the manger shape. Cut pieces of yarn and glue them to the manger, arranging them to stick out a little. When the play dough is dried hard, wrap it in gauze (tuck the edges underneath) and glue it into the manger on top of the yarn.
Cut the braid into two equal pieces about 10 inches long. Loop each around the manger, gluing the ends together underneath, making the "swing." Secure the twigs to the bottom with glue, crossing them to make the manger legs, then hold them carefully until the glue hardens.
You're almost done! Now, place two blobs of glue on the "arms" of the star and hang the loops of braid over them. Hold the star from the top until the glue is completely set so it will hang naturally.
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