The story of three wise men visiting Mary and Joseph on the night of the birth of Jesus would not be complete without their gifts. The Bradley House Museum asked me to outfit their Magi for a live nativity scene and I set about to making three wise men gifts.
Making Three Wise Men Gifts
was very easy. Props are really important for volunteers. It gives them a purpose and something to do with their hands. I recommend that each player in your nativity scene have a prop of some kind.
Starting with two different shaped wooden boxes from the dollar store, I spray painted both with hammered antiqued gold. I lined each with contrasting colours of felt in jewel tones of burgundy and turquoise. Different shapes and contrasting colours are important in the theatre of the nativity scene. It helps the audiences eye distinguish them better.
For Melchior, I used a box with a photo lid. I removed the wood piece and just left in the plexiglass. For Melchior’s gift of gold, to the turquoise felt, I stitched some large gold clay beads and glued down amber coloured gems. I wanted it to sparkle and draw attention.
For Balthazar I used a box which lid was curved. Before I sprayed, I masked off the metal hinges. Because the box was deep, I fitted a piece of plastic underneath the felt to raise it up. Balthazar’s gift is Myrrh, an aromatic plant resin. You can find it at places that sell incense, but I didn’t have time a Christmas for extra shopping! Instead I used rock sugar!
For the final wise man, Caspar I decided the real Frankincense was not as important as a container. I looked at real metal burners with exotic shapes, but many of the jars were too heavy. If a child was playing Caspar, he might drop it.
Instead I inverted a large plastic Christmas ornament into a medium round paper box from the dollar store. Using a glue gun, I beaded a generous amount around the ornament and as it cooled I used my finger to smooth the bead. Perfect!
I used the same metallic spray to lightly coat it, but it was missing something. Printing off a braided tattoo pattern, I trimmed it and used ModgePodge to glue it down. A light coat of gold latex paint was transparent enough to show the design and give some texture and weight to the bottom of the props.
Finally, all the costumes from my shop, FeeFiFoFun Costume Concierge, were personally delivered to the Museum with the props, ready for their debut for the Canadian Historical Christmas Live Nativity Scene.
This project, making three wise men gifts, was fun and inexpensive to do and I can’t wait to see them in action! If you need costumes, accessories or need some advice or inspiration for costume DIY please visit my facebook page . No question is tool silly and all will be answered!