Away in a Manger: The Animals

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Away in a Manger: The Animals
Total Time 1 hour Ages all-ages

No créche is complete without a few creatures great and small. Your kids will quickly figure out how to adapt the basic shapes shown here into a splendid menagerie.

To get the instructions for making the entire manger, click here.

What you'll need

  • FOR THE SHEEP:
  • 2 black pipe cleaners
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Jumbo cotton ball, unrolled
  • About 7 feet of superbulky-weight white or off-white yarn (we used Wool-Ease Thick & Quick by Lion Brand; unravel it slightly for a fluffier look)
  • FOR THE CALF:
  • 2 tan pipe cleaners
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • 2 to 3 jumbo cotton balls, unrolled
  • 15 to 20 feet of bulky-weight brown yarn (we used Homespun by Lion Brand)
  • Tacky glue
  • Fine-tip permanent black marker
  • 5-mm sequin for eyes

How to make it

  1. Step 1

    The Sheep:

    Fold one pipe cleaner in half. Bend it to form a nose and ears. Twist the ends to secure.

  2. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 2

    Bend the folded pipe cleaner to form a ½-inch-long neck, a 1-inch body, and a tail (trim it to about ½ inch). Cut the second pipe cleaner in half. Wrap each piece around the body to create legs. Fold the ends up so each leg is about ¾ inch long.

  3. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 3

    Twist one end of an unrolled cotton ball into the base of the tail and wrap the body.

  4. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 4

    Tie one end of the yarn around the neck and wrap as shown, covering the cotton. To finish, knot the yarn over itself at the tail, trim, and tuck the end under the wrapping.

  5. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 5

    The Calf:

    Create the same basic form as the sheep, but make the body and nose longer, use two 6-inch pieces for the legs, and bend each leg to form hooves.

  6. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 6

    Starting at the tail, wrap unrolled cotton balls around the body and once down the length of the nose.

  7. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 7

    Tie the yarn around the neck. Wrap the head, leaving the cotton tip of the nose and the tips of the ears exposed. Glue as needed.

  8. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 8

    Wrap the body and the legs, stopping at the hooves. Wrap extra layers around the back legs to create bulky haunches. Finish by wrapping the tail. Knot it tightly just before the tip, trim to 1 inch, and unravel the end.

  9. Away in a Manger: The Animals - Step 9

    Use the marker to add tiny nostrils. To add eyes, cut the sequin in half and glue in place.

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