I know it’s rushing the season, but for those of you who celebrate Christmas, it’s time to get started on making a nativity scene, so that you have it ready to display during the holidays. This set is from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures, which has patterns and directions for making Mary, Joseph, the infant Jesus, 3 Kings and a shepherd and his sheep.
In this post, I show what the scene looked like in my studio, before we took photos for the book.
The nativity figures are fun to make and can be as simple or decorative as you want. I especially enjoyed coming up with the costumes for the three kings. Their gifts are different beads that look liked containers.
For the photo shoot, I made the manger from curved pieces of driftwood, creating an arched structure. The back drop is a dark purple piece of felt with sewed on star sequins.
Bayberry branches and dried foliage were the right scale for trees and brush. I used beach stones to fill gaps and build up the surrounding landscape. A pail full of beach sand covered the plywood base and the straw bedding was dried beach grass.
The photo below is the one Rob and I chose for the book. We used a different photography method, which gives a more dramatic nighttime effect. We took the photo at night, in a completely dark room. During a long expose time of about 10 seconds, Rob “painted with light”, pointing and moving a small flash light around the areas he wanted lit up. We repeated that many times, until we had a good selection of photos from which to choose.
I’ve already heard from several enthusiastic people who are in the process of making or have competed a Nativity of their own. And I’m sure that each set of characters will be as unique as their maker!