Mary-and-Joseph
Lighted Outdoor Yard Decoration



Mary-and-Joseph would have to be two of the most amazing people - not merely because of what happened to them, but in their responses to those events.Text: Matthew 1: 18-25.

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge sing "Joseph and Mary" by Ralph Vaughan Williams. 1997.

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Mary-and-Joseph are front and center in our yard with snowman and Santa placed on the extreme ends. Joseph is made tall like the Shepard and Wise men and Mary is made small like the Drummer Boy (she is kneeling). Mary can have extra material toward the back which is brought out to look like her legs from the knees down are behind her. I put a cradle in front of these two figures with a wrapped baby doll, behind them is the

Drummer Boy and behind them to the right is the Sheppard. Over to the extreme right are the three Wise Men.

The word costume is used to describe the different body types for Mary-and-Joseph and the other yard decorations. Mary-and-Joseph are constructed using the basic-pattern-1 and adding the facials features and hat desired.

MATERIALS-SUPPLIES for Mary and Joseph

Make the pattern with Basic-pattern-1.

Fabric color depends on the costume. Suggested fabric would be a cotton polyester mix usually about $1.50 to 2.95 per yard. Double knit fabric is also good but make sure you can see light through it or it will not illuminate. Working class people like Mary-and-Joseph often wore light colored clothing with no adornments.

Fabric for the face of Mary-and-Joseph, is a remnant, usually 1/8 yard and miscellaneous colors for eyes mouth etc. The best fabric is the same as the body or felt can be used for eyes, mouth and nose…not for the face.

A piece of 8 to 10 gauge wire to fit the bottom and top of the costume, approximately 30 to 34 inches.

Five feet 1 inch PVC pipe,

One 3” toilet flange, one 3” to 1 ½ inch bushing and one 1 ½ to 1 inch bushing; all plumbing connections.

One male adapter, one female adapter, one “T” and three end caps all for the 1 inch PVC

One box 100 count outside mini lights.

Four metal tent stakes and four metal garden stakes.

This yard decoration is fairly easy to make once the basic pattern is made.

FABRIC for Joseph:

Fabric comes in standard sizes…usually 45 inch width or 60 inch widths…some more some less but most 45 or 60.

For a 5 foot Joseph costume use the measurements in the basic-pattern-1

You will need 4 yards of fabric 45 inches wideYou will need 3 yards of fabric 54 inches or greater

Joseph is made very similar to the wise men but is just standing next to Mary. Make the basic-pattern-1 and add the following to create the face, hat and optional arms.

FABRIC:for Mary

Fabric comes in standard sizes…usually 45 inch width or 60 inch widths…some more some less but most 45 or 60.

For a 5 foot costume using the measurements in the basic-pattern-1

You will need 3 yards of fabric 45 inches wideYou will need 2 yards of fabric 54 inches or greater

Mary and Joseph are made very similar to the wise men have no arms. Make the basic-pattern-1 and add the following to create the face, hat and arms

THE HEAD for Joseph

The head on Joseph is the same as the head on the large snowman. The crown of the large snowman is used as the head piece,to make this pattern. Cut one. THE HEAD for Mary

The head on Mary is the same as the head on the small snowman. The crown of the small snowman is used as the head piece. See making the crown on the small Snowman hat instruction to make this pattern. Cut one.

TABS for Mary-and-Joseph

On the pattern paper, draw a 2 inch by 5 inch rectangle and cut out 8 pieces of body fabric, 4 for Joseph and 4 for Mary. These will be your tabs to secure the costume to the ground.

Place all body and hat pieces on the selected fabric and cut out.

THE FACE for Mary-and-Joseph

The face is an oval cut in half or a triangle with a very round point. Draw a line 6 inches long, make dot in the middle and draw a line 8 inches long forming a “T”. Draw a line from the top of the 8 inch length to the end of the 6 inch side, then to the other 6 inch side…a triangle. Round the tip of the triangle forming the chin. Use the top of a lid as a form if necessary. Cut one.

My Mary-and-Joseph do not have any facial features. I just have light brown skin as a face shape, then added a beard around the edges of the face for Joseph and none for Mary.

Put the top edge of the face on the top edge of one of the four body sections. The top of the face should be slightly smaller than the top edge of the body pattern. Only the top edges of the face should go over into the seam allowances. Pin in place and zig zag again around the face (or glue and let dry). Do NOT use fusible webbing to secure the entire face. Then turn your fabric to the wrong side and cut away the fabric 1/8 inch from the zig zag or glue that is behind the face. Zig Zag on the wrong side again or glue edges down securely. This creates a face that will illuminate when lit.

The facial hair can be added now or later. I add the beards after the entire piece is finished because I didn’t want the yarn to get caught in the seams when I was sewing up the body etc.

ASSEMBLE THE BODY for Mary-and-Joseph

Now assemble the body by sewing the two side pieces onto the face body piece and then the back piece onto the two side pieces. Use a serger to finish the edges or zig zag all raw edges together. If necessary, zig zag the edges twice. Remember the wind. The seams must be very secure.

Turn bottom of this body up ½ inch and press with iron. Then turn the edge up 1 inch again, press and sew. Leave about 3 inches open (don’t sew) in the middle of the back piece. This makes a pocket for the wire that will hold the form of your body.

Fold the long ends of your tabs to meet at the middle and press, then fold in half and press. Sew together.

Fold each tab in half and place on the inside or wrong side of costume at each seam just above the pocket or hem stitching.. Sew on top of the pocket or hem stitching and sew securely in place. I sew across this 3 to four times to make sure it will stay. These will take a lot of abuse outside, so if you want your costume to last, make it secure.

Head for Mary-and-Joseph

The head on the Wise men, Drummer boy, Joseph, Mary and the Shepard are all the same. The variations in color and added adornments come from you. The head simulates the wrapped head scarf of the Middle east.

The Top pattern piece will have a short gathered piece all the way around. On the sides of the head the scarf will cascade down and around to the other side.

FOR JOSEPH

Find the circumference of the circles for the head. Pie(3.14) times the diameter).The circumference of the large circle is 8 ½ inches making is approximately 22 inches. To add gathers add ½ of this amount to the length of this measurement; 33 inches. The gathered piece will be 1 inch wide when folded so 2 inches.

Draw a rectangle 33 inches long, 2 inches wide then add seam allowances (the ½ or 5/8 inch all the way around the rectangle). Cut out the pattern, then cut out one in fabric. Sew the short ends together, then fold in half with wrong side together and baste around the entire piece.

FOR MARY

Find the circumference of the circles for the head. Pie(3.14) times the diameter).The circumference of the small circle is 7 ½ inches making is approximately 19 inches. To add gathers add ½ of this amount to the length of this measurement; 29 inches. The gathered piece will be 1 inch wide when folded so 2 inches.

Draw a rectangle 29 inches long, 2 inches wide then add seam allowances (the ½ or 5/8 inch all the way around the rectangle). Cut out the pattern, then cut out one in fabric. Sew the short ends together, then fold in half with wrong side together and baste around the entire piece.

SCARF FOR Mary-and-Joseph

To add the draped scarf piece the measurement from one side of the head draped the distance the scarf is to hang to the other side of the head is needed. Each one of my costumes has a different drape but it does not have to be that way; they can be all the same. To add a drape that drapes under the chin of the face slight you will need at least a 24 inch long piece. The scarf width should be at least 6 inches, in this example we will be using 8 inches.

Draw a rectangle 24 inches long and 8 inches wide. Add the seam allowances. Cut out the pattern then cut out one in fabric. If you are using fabric the frays your will have to bind the edges of the long side of the drape. There is one of two ways to accomplish this. Serge the edges or press under ½ the long seam allowance then fold and press again the same allowance and sew. In this example it would be folding up ¼ inch, then fold on itself another ¼ inch and sew in place.

Baste the short side of the drape and pull to gather to about 6 inches or less. Pin onto the head of the Wise man on the side between the back side seam and the front side seam on both sides of the costume. Baste in place.

Divide the short gathered piece in four equal parts, then pull the basting on to match the circumference of the circle. Baste in place.

Baste around the outside edge of the circle. Divide the circle in four equal parts. Gather the edges. Match the four equal parts with the seams on the top of the body adjusting the gathers to be equal all the way around. Sew onto body. REMEMBER : there is a 1 inch seam allowance here.

Cut down the short gathered piece and the draped piece to about ¼ away from the seam. Zig zag or serge the edges of the one inch seam together leaving about 3 inches open in the back. A good idea, if not serging, to zig zag twice. This is the pocket for the wire.

MAKING ARMS or HANDs (optional) for Mary-and-Joseph

I didn’t add hands and arms to my Mary and Joseph costumes but if you want to follow the instruction on the Drummer Boy, Shepard or Wise Men; the links are at the bottom of the page

If you want it to look like Mary is kneeing add extra fabric to the sides and back of the costume. Draw the extra fabric on the side to round to the back piece. The fabric will need to be an extra 18 inches long and does not require a wire, just hemming.

WIRE for Mary-and-Joseph

Put wire into one side of the pocket in the top of the costumes. Move it through the pocket until it pops out the other side. Overlap the wire about 2 inches. Tape the entire 2 inch section the duct tape making sure to cover the ends of the wire securely with the tape. I use a white tape color.

Insert a wire in the bottom of Mary-and-Joseph.



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