Manger Diorama Ornament

Manger Diorama
Stars will play a major role in this tree. I found it the perfect shape to go back to again and again as it not only represented the star in the east the Wise Men followed, but brings some elegance in as well. I love to use paper mache boxes as a way to add some dimension, so this little star shaped box was a perfect inspiration.

I looked and looked for something I could use as a diorama, scouring every craft and hobby store in the area looking for miniatures, but found nothing. So I had to make it myself.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 1
Hot glue two popsicle sticks together to make the floor of the manger.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 2
Cut the glued popsicle sticks to about 1 1/2 inches, and cut two more popsicle sticks, just a single width this time, to the same size. Glue the single popsicle sticks to the edge of the floor of the manger, to create the sides.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 3
Glue two more popsicle sticks to the ends to create the head and foot boards. Trim to get the right size.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 4
To make the legs of the manger, cut the rounded ends of the popsicle stick off at an angle. Cross two legs and glue them to each other, then glue them to the bottom of the manger. Repeat for the other side.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 5
To make the manger look less recognizable as popsicle sticks, I painted it with a thin brown paint, then hot glued excelsior inside to make the hay.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 6
I made baby Jesus by wrapping a wood bead in a scrap of fabric, then glued him inside the manger.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 7
Paint the paper mache box. Then, to hang this star charm over the manger, poke a hole in the top point of the box. Thread the charm on the ribbon you’ll use to hang the ornament, then thread both ends of the ribbon through the hole. The hole just needs to be smaller than the charm so it won’t pull through.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 8
When pulled through the other side, tie a knot to use as a hanger.

Manger Diorama Tutorial Step 9
Use more hot glue to keep the manger in place.

This worked out to be a really cheap craft – probably about $3 once you amortize some of the costs – that it would be perfect for churches or youth groups, or really anyone old enough to work a hot glue gun. The popsicle stick manger is a little fragile, but that’s another thing that’s great about making this a diorama – a fragile ornament gets a little more protection and a whole lot more pizazz.


I shared this with: Tatertots and Jello