Las Posadas

Las Posadas is a Latin American tradition representing Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. As part of this celebration children take turns to look after models of Mary and Joseph. ‘Posada’ in the Spanish word for ‘inn’.

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

2 hours + drying time for paint + Modroc

Adult Supervision Needed

Yes

How to Make

  1. To make the head and body for a figure, carefully push a cocktail stick into a 4cm polystyrene ball, push the other end into the top of a polystyrene cone. Make another figure in the same way.
  2. To fill out a body shape, tear of 3 sheets of kitchen towel as one long piece. Fold the paper along the middle then scrunch it into a long strip. Hold the end of the paper at the top then wrap it around the cone. Stick down the end of the paper with masking tape, with a couple of extra pieces to hold it in place. Cover the second figure with kitchen paper in the same way.
  3. To add more weight and strength to the figures, cover the heads and bodies with a layer of Modroc. For each figure, cut 6 x 10cm wide strips. One a time, dip the strips into a bowl of water, squeeze out any excess water then press the strips onto the head and body, smoothing down each piece then leave to dry.
  4. Paint both the heads in a flesh colour. Leave to dry.
  5. To cover the bodies with clothing, choose 1 x self-adhesive felt sheet colour for each figure. Cut the length of the felt sheets into fringes, making 2cm cuts, 2cm apart all the way along. Peel of the backing paper then carefully wrap the felt sheets around the bodies, with the fringed edge at the top to help shape the felt around the necks. Tie some twine around the middle of Joseph’s body for a belt.
  6. To make 2 pairs of hands, cut off 3cm from both ends of 2 wooden craft sticks, paint both sides a flesh colour then leave to dry. To make the arms, cut 2 x 8cm x 6cm self-adhesive felt pieces for each figure. Peel off the felt backing paper then place one of the hands along a 6cm side on the sticky surface, overhanging the edge by 1cm. Fold over the felt with the wooden hand sandwiched in the middle. Trim the folded felt sleeves into a wedge shapes making them thinner at the top. Attach the arms to the bodies with double-sided tape.
  7. For the hair, brush glue onto the heads stick strands of wool on top, cut longer strands for Mary. As the back of the heads won’t be visible, just stick wool at the sides near the front.
  8. To make Joseph’s head covering, stick a 3cm x 1cm felt strip to cover the front of the head. Next, peel off the backing paper from a whole felt sheet, place it with the longer side over the top of Joseph’s head then carefully fold the sides down over the top of the body. Fold and press the felt together at the back to make the head dress shape. The sticky underside will help to hold the arms in place. Press a strip of double-sided tape around the head then wrap am 80cm length of twine over the top. For Mary’s shorter length head covering, cut a piece of felt 20cm x 12cm, peel off the backing then press it over the head and tops of the arms. Or, if you prefer use a whole felt sheet for a longer style.
  9. Glue small wiggle eyes onto the faces. Paint a mouths and noses. Glue some wool pieces to make a Joseph’s beard and a twig for a walking stick. Glue a 5cm felt circles underneath the figures to cover the polystyrene cone bases.

Top Tip

Wrap up Mary and Joseph safely in a piece of rolled hessian or fabric, or keep them a bag when they travel to different houses.

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