Welcome again to the Winter Bazaar, I'm worried that by posting so many Christmas crafts you'll think you have to have a craft idea to join in but not true. Games, activities, recipes, gift ideas, tips for getting through the holidays without stress, all sorts of things are welcome it's just that I've been in a horrendous crafting mood lately and can't help myself. Crafts are my thing right now.
This is my most prized Christmas decoration: a piece of glass with a nativity scene etched onto the surface with an grooved oak stand to hold the picture upright.
My photograph isn't the greatest--you wouldn't believe how hard it is to take a picture of a piece of glass, you're getting the shine off the surface or my reflection or any number of other issues but you can see the basic elements of the design.
The nativity sits on our dinner table and looks beautiful with votives around it or sprigs of berries around the bottom.
It looks difficult to make but really it isn't, and it looks so sophisticated you've got to give it a try. Order a piece of glass from a local glazier (they'll round the edges for you and everything) and if you know someone with a router than can bevel the edges on an oak plank it's just a matter of carving the design so that the glass is exposed to the etching cream in the proper places.
Here's what you'll need:
* one 8 1/2 by 11-inch piece of 1/8-inch thick glass (thinner is better, as thicker glass distorts the template as you're carving)
* one 13-inch piece of oak, lightly stained and sealed with the edges beveled and a groove along the top.
* etching cream
* clear Contact paper
* razor blade or Exacto knife
* the template
1. First, click and download the nativity scene template and print it off. It will print of in an 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch format.
2. Put the template underneath the piece of glass, printed side up, and carefully secure it to the glass with tape so that you can see the design easily through the clear glass. Be sure to position the template far enough from the lower edge so that all the feet don't get hidden down in the groove once the glass is being displayed.
3. Cover the top of the glass completely with a sheet of clear Contact paper, folding the plastic around the corners if necessary. No glass should be exposed but you should still be able to easily see the nativity design stuck to the back through the clear plastic.
4. With a razor blade or Exacto knife carefully cut through the Contact paper, cutting out the areas of the design that are black. This will be detailed and will take several hours but with a steady hand you should be able to easily cut away the plastic, leaving the "black" areas of the template open in the Contact paper and ready to be etched.
5. Once the design is carved into the Contact paper, make sure the edges of the plastic are secure by gently but firmly pressing down all the cut plastic edges. You don't want any of the etching cream to leak into places it shouldn't go.
6. Gently brush etching cream onto the design in a generous layer and allow it to sit for five minutes, or whatever the manufacturer's directions on the bottle might say.
7. Rinse with warm water, remove the Contact paper and template and buff with a towel. Slide the piece of glass into the groove on the wooden plank and it's finished!
Not the quickest project, but it is really the most beautiful thing when it's done. Just keep it high up from little hands--you don't want it broken after all that work!
Have you entered this month's Write-Away Contest? The theme is "My Favorite Day."
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