Washi Nativity Scene


I recently made Christmas cards featuring the Wise Men inspired by beautiful Japanese paper dolls, since I have created a whole Naivety scene.

You will need:

  • White, light-weight card
  • A selection of patterned/colourful paper (small scraps can be used)
  • Any embellishments you choose (I used beads, gold and silver pen, felt-tip pen, embroidery thread, coloured wire, sequins)
  • Glue stick or double sided tape
  • Blank card or paper
  • A picture frame

What to do:

    1. Print or trace the body template onto the white card.  Cut out as many as desired.
    2. To make the robe:
      1. Cut paper 4cm x 8.5cm.  Place so it is taller than it is wide.
      2. If desired, fold down the top of the paper a little to make a collar.
      3. Place the paper right side down and then place the body on the centre, so the head is above the top of the paper.
      4. Fold one side down over the shoulders and crease along the edge of the shoulders but no further.
      5. Fold the rest of this edge along the vertical side and ease the paper where the angle changes.  So that the fold is almost horizontal.  Carefully stick to the body.
      6. Repeat on the opposite side.
      7. Add any decorations you choose.
    3. To make a figure kneel:
      1. Before folding the robe, measure 3cm down the straight edge of the template and cut off the excess.
      2. Dress the doll exactly as above.
      3. Turn over and fold up the excess robe.
      4. Fold at an angle of 45° so the excess sticks out at a right angle to the body.  Fold in the opposite direction you wish it to be as this is the back.
    4. To make the headdress:
      1. Cut paper 2.5xm x 5.5cm.  Place so it is taller than it is wide.
      2. If the paper is single-sided, turn so that the white/plain side is showing.
      3. Fold the top edge down about 1.5cm down and turn over.
      4. Fold the top edge down about0.5cm and turn over.
      5. Fold the top corners down to create a angle of about 45°, turn over again.
      6. Carefully stick to the head.
    5. To make the turban:
      1. Cut paper to 7cm x 2.5cm.  Place so it is wider than it is tall.
      2. Fold the long sides in so that they almost meet in the middle.
      3. Fold in half length ways so you have a long thin strip.
      4. Place it behind the head.
      5. Fold one side up over the face at an angle about 45° and repeat with the other side.
      6. Fold the uppermost strip down behind the turban and tuck into the strip at the back of the head and repeat.
      7. Carefully stick to the head and decorate as you please.
    6. To make the obi (optional, it is the sash worn over a kimono and I’ve given Mary one as a nod to the inspiration ):
      1. Cut paper to 3.5cm x 2.5cm.  Place so it is wider than tall.
      2. If the paper is single-sided, turn so that the white/plain side is showing.
      3. Turn the top edge down about 0.5cm, repeat for the bottom edge.
      4. Turn over and fold around Mary with the ends to the back.
    7. To make the manger:
      1. Cut paper to 10cm x 2.8cm.  Place so it is wider than it is tall.
      2. If the paper is single-sided, turn so that the white/plain side is showing.
      3. Draw a horizontal line to mark the centre (1.4cm down) and a horizontal line 0.6cm above and below this line.
      4. Draw a vertical line 4cm in and a vertical line 6cm in.
      5. Fold along the central, horizontal line and then open out again.
      6. Cut along the vertical lines at the top, stopping at the first line to cross it.  Repeat at the bottom.
      7. Fold the top right section along the uppermost horizontal line, leave the middle section and fold the left section.  Repeat for the bottom section.
      8. Trim the edges of the folded in sections so they are no wider than 0.6cm.
      9. Fold in half along the central horizontal line and place with the folded edge to the top.
      10. Fold the ‘arms’ over so the cross in an ex shape.
      11. Turn over and trim any paper that sticks out and trim the ends of the ‘arms’ parallel to the top edge. Turn over.
      12. Cut out a circle of white card about 1cm in diameter and a circle of yellow/gold card or a sequin about 1.5cm in diameter.
      13. Stick the circles behind the manger to create the head and halo of the baby Jesus.
    8. To make the star:
      1.  Cut paper to 2cm x 2cm.
      2. Mark the central point and fold the corners in so they meet in the middle, creating a smaller square.
      3. Pull the corners out again and fold so that the points stick out.
      4. Turn over.
    9. To make a sheep:
      1. Cut paper to 2.2cm x 2.2cm.  Turn to create a diamond shape.
      2. Fold in half to create a triangle.  Turn so the fold is to the top.
      3. Fold the bottom point behind.
      4. Fold the right point down at a shallow angle to create an ear.  Fold a little bit of the ear to the back.  Repeat for the left point.
      5. Decorate as desired.
    10. Add any other decorations you desire.
    11. Arrange on card or paper and frame as desired.

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Body template


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