Lighted Outdoor Yard Decorations

The Three Wise-Men

(also referred to as the Three Kings, and as the Magi) were always a part of the Nativity scene. The story of a visit of Wise-Men to the Christ Child is told in the bible in St.Mathhew 2:1 tells us: "...Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem . . ." This Bible passage doesn't state how many wise men actually came from the east nor does it mention their names or their method of travel. It is only assumed they traveled by camel and they could have easily traveled by foot. The Bible doesn't claim these men to be kings, however it is speculated they were at least learned men and perhaps even astrologers.

The word costume is used to describe the different body types for these Wise-Men and the other yard decorations.These wise men are constructed using the basic-pattern-1 and adding the facials features and hat desired.



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. Wise-men have been depicted with elaborate garb or subtle clothing.

Fabric for face, 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.


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

These wise men are made very similarly but will change the gift they carry, the hair applied and possible a hat variations. Make the basic-pattern-1 and add the following to create the face, hat and optional arms.


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


On the pattern paper, draw a 2 inch by 5 inch rectangle and cut out 4 pieces of body fabric. 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 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 Wise-men don’t have any facial features. I just have light brown skin as a face shape, then added beards around the edges of the face.

Now 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 was finished because I didn’t want the yarn to get caught in the seams when I was sewing up the body etc.


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.


The head on the Shepard, Drummer boy, Joseph, Mary and the Wise-men 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. The circumference of the 8 ½ Top circle 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.

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.


Another Decision. My arms are simulated with trumpet sleeves with flat hand sewn directly onto the costume holding the gifts.

An arm is a tube that trumpets at the end TRUMPTED SLEEVE/ARM

To make a trumpeted sleeve, cut a triangular piece. . The arm length is going to be approximately 2/3 the height of the body. 4 foot body is a 2 foot arm length that has seam turned ends already accommodated. Draw a line five inches long, mark a point 24 inches from the 5 inch line. Draw a 14 inch line centered just below the 5 inch line. Draw a line that connects the end of the 5 inch line to the 14 inch line on both sides. Add 3 inches to the length of the 14 inch line straight down. In other words do not extend the line outward to make a larger triangle but straight down. This is adding the hem to the sleeve/arm. Cut two, Turn under ½ inch one each end of the short side of the arm. Sew length wise to make a tube. Turn the bottom of the arm up 3 inches to form the hem of the sleeve/arm.


To make hand that holds something, trace around your own hand with your fingers together and thumb wide apart. Shorten the hand slightly to a stubby round mitten. Add 5 to 6 inch piece for the wrist and arm area. Cut two

Put the wrist area of the hand inside side( with the thumb up) on the sleeve (with seam down) and sew up the endThen position the arm about 1/3 down from the seam at the top in the middle of the side piece and slip stitch to side piece.

Cut out a gift. A square box from gold colored fabric, a vase shape from purple fabric etc. What ever your imagination has in mind for the gift the Wise-men brought.

Position the gift piece about one half way down from the top in the middle of the body front. Zig Zag in place.

Bring one on the hand around and position in the middle of the gift with thumb up on the outside edge of the gift. Zig Zag in place securely. Repeat for the other hand.

WIREPut wire into one side of the pocket in the top of the Wise man. 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 the Wise man the same as above.

All this is left is the STAND FOR THE WISE-MEN which include a video for installing the outdoor decorations.

We welcome your comments on anything on this web site.

We welcome any relevant site(s) that would like to link to this site. We value an exchange of links that would benefit both sites. Please fill out our VALUE EXCHANGE form for site inclusion.


If you would like to link immediately, then let us know you have linked for a reciprocal link.

How do you Decorate for Christmas?

Show and Tell Christmas, or just see what others do.