"$uper" frugal living. "$aving" money...one idea at a time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cinnamon Stick Nativity Ornaments

 I love these nativities.  I wish I could take the credit for coming up with their design....but I can't.  My mom taught me to make them...and her sister taught her to make them....etc.  But, they are BEAUTIFUL and always a HUGE hit at the annual ornament exchange I attend.  So...I thought I would share the joy and teach y'all how to make them.

Here's what you need:

 5 cinnamon sticks, about 3 inches each

1 whole star anise (find in bulk spice section or latin markets)

2 pieces of star anise

3 whole cloves (just need the little ball part)

1 small piece of cinnamon stick


glue gun

Step #1
Glue bottom of stable to sides
(leaving a little overhang allows for easier raffia installation)
(also, for this step, I try to find sticks that have a nice definite line down the middle)

Step #2
add two stick of cinnamon for the roof--
one at a time; lined sides facing down

(this is where you can use your cinnamon stick that either

don't have a nice line down them or are twisted)

Step #3
tying the raffia--
what you are looking for is a crisscross in the front

(it's kinda hard to describe exactly how to do it...just play with it until you get it.)
tie in the back and cover the knot with a dab of glue
if it seems to be slipping off...place a small dab of glue on the side to secure it
then, trim the excess raffia

(repeat on all 4 corners)

it should look like this on the back when you are all done with this step


Step #4

Glue on the star (anise)

Step #5
putting together Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus
for Joseph-
break down an extra cinnamon stick until thin; glue on a clove ball
For Mary-
look for a taller, thinner piece of star anise (as compared to the baby Jesus)
turn in on it's end; glue on a clove ball 
For baby Jesus-
(I forgot to take a picture)
find a shorter, wider piece of star anise (as compared to Mary); 
turn it on it's side; add a clove ball

This is what they should look like all together-
(keep in mind that they should be both proportionate to one another and also the stable)

Step #6
Glue the Holy Family into the stable
(turn around to the back and secure them by adding more glue 
where it won't be seen from the front)
Step #7
tie a loop of raffia for the ornament hanger
glue on the back.
Trim any excess raffia and pull off any hanging glue strings
(please excuse my ugly tree)

This is a very forgiving craft (which is why I love it).  
They are meant to be a little rustic and so perfectionism is not needed here.
Do what you like...what looks good to you.

They will be beautiful no matter what!



  1. Looks fabulous!! But way too crafty for me (I am craft challenged). Thanks for sharing :D

  2. Wow! Such a cute and pretty simple idea. I am pinning this for the future because I know I won't get to it before Christmas this year. These would be awesome to put with neighbor gifts too.

  3. I love it! Thanks for the great how to!

  4. Lisa helped me make these ornaments this year for all my friends! I love them too!

  5. I love this idea! I never thought about making my own nativity scene. I'll have to save this for next year!


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