Monday, November 14, 2011

shepherds and angels

I didn't take many pictures for our nativity this week. I wanted to take some big group shots and those are always more time consuming.

The angels come to the shepherds to announce the good news and the shepherds were afraid.

The angels praise and worship God, announcing the good news of Christ's birth.
The angels' robes are made from the curtains I bought at Goodwill. I basically folded the curtain in half and cut out a T shape for the robe. For the neck I cut a hugely oversized hole, which I used fleece to bind and then I ran a ribbon through it to gather it. The wings (which really can't be seen) are scavenged from the girls' play clothes. The flower halos are fairy wreaths that I made for the girls years and years ago and the tinsel halos are shaped around wire that I padded and taped (to protect their little heads) and then covered with Dollar Tree tinsel.

The taller girl in the back is wearing a robe that I bought ready made at GW. I think it was originally intended to be a swimsuit cover-up. I think I am going to modify the neck on it a bit I thought the tie would cinch it enough but it is still too big. 

I found this copper and brass bugle at the thrift store years ago. It has been used as a plaything by the girls and I use it in our decor as well. I thought it would make an excellent prop for the angels.

The shepherds watched their flocks by night.
Do you see the donkey with Eeyore ears? We should really make a grey fleece robe for our donkey!! I found the Eeyore ears at GW for a dollar. The little girl is wearing a lamb costume although you would be hard pressed to recognize it as such. It is from our existing stash and they are awkward to use. However, they were made by my fellow teacher's mom. She passed away two years ago so I think we will keep the lamb costumes for now.

The shepherdess is wearing a robe made from a blanket which is tied in place with a DT fleece scarf. I found the scarves were a bit wide so I cut them in half and doubled our belts. Her hair piece is that great striped fabric which doesn't show much in this shot. I found really soft leather belts at Goodwill that I cut up to make head bands. I am particularly pleased with the way they turned out.

This little shepherd is wearing one of the robes made from a skirt. It is way too long but I figured they would be. Now that I've had these robes on the little ones, I can modify them to the correct length. I really had no idea how long they needed to be. K very willingly let me use her as a dress mannequin but she is obviously much taller than these children are.

Skirt robes are simple. You simply sew the waist of the skirt in from the sides leaving a big enough hole for their head (zippered skirts are great because then you can make a smaller hole and have a neater looking neckline). Then you  cut holes immediately below the waist for the arms, if the fabric is non-fraying you are done. If the fabric frays, you zig-zag around the armholes or bind it with tape. The result is baggy robes that look great cinched with a belt.

What I like about this mix and match costume method is the women who help with costuming often come up with great variations on themes. His mantle is a crocheted scarf that was in the belt pile and is then tied at the waist with a fleece scarf.

I have to tell you about their staffs. Hubs and I rather enjoy the fantasy scene and have been going to Ren Fests for as long as we've known each other. Walking staffs are always very appealing to us but always very expensive. Around ten fifteen years ago, we stopped at a cutlery shop at an outlet mall. They had these sticks for around twelve dollars. Typically, they lean in the corner gathering dust. However, a couple of years ago, I realized that they would be great staffs for our shepherds so out they came for costumes.

It can be rather funny to put these things in the hands of little boys. Some of them immediately begin acting like jedi knights, so one always has to be careful. I think they add tremendously to the costumes.

I will be sharing at:

Strictly Homemade Tuesday


  1. This is a beautiful post. Your actors and photographs have recreated the account so well. That bugle is such a wonderful find, one of my favourite photo compositions is a child with an instrument. The wonder.

  2. Adorable photos. You are so talented.

  3. Cute as buttons they are. Boys will be who they are. I always think of them as a nest of puppies sparring with each other.

  4. You are amazing!! They all look precious!
    Love the bugle shot ♥
    Oh and the eyeore ears!!

  5. those angels are the cutest! Love the bugle shot too!

  6. I hope your time and talents are appreciated--you did a fantastic job with the costumes & the photos!

  7. They really look spectacular. I wish I could bring my children to your production.

  8. WOW! Your story with pictures is just STUNNING!! Everyone is so cute. Great job on the costumes too!!