3 Kings off to a late (or early?) start

3 Kings RPG If you have been watching my blog, you may have noticed that I don’t tend to do things the easy way.  If there is something I can make for our own family set, I do.  I spend a lot of time making Catholic Printables, but sometimes I just need to make stuff, with felt, scissors and glue. I’m not an expert sewer (wow, did I just call myself an artificial, usually underground conduit for carrying off sewage or rainwater ?) but I have decided that the little flaws in my sewing projects are what make them so unique.

You see, I am intrigued with the Elf on a Shelf tradition (is this really a tradition or is it as new as I think it is?).  I recognize that it’s fun, and not a small amount of work for the…um, choreographers, and I like how some people have altered the mischief-making to more virtuous behavior. Some people discover the Elf reading Scripture or doing good deeds, while others explain that the Elf is really reporting back to Santa or St Nick about our good deeds or general behavior.

Another trend in our Catholic homeschooling circles, is to convert the Elf on a Shelf …into the 3 Kings. The 3 Kings wander around the house looking for Baby Jesus, who obviously isn’t in the Nativity yet. Sometimes this journey around the house happens during the 12 Days of Christmas, making their big discovery on the Feast of the Epiphany.

nativity by the fire

Well, given the homemade Nativity I made for Bill before we had kids, I decided to make our own custom set of 3 Kings. Since it took me a little longer than I thought…I may just wait until Christmas to let them loose on their journey.


I used my previous Felt Friends Tutorial pattern  (it’s FREE for you too!) and the same materials with a few little modifications.

Because I needed to make THREE of them, I decided to sew the bodies with a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine. NO, this is NOT a no-sew project!  Maybe fabric glue could be used, but I did it old school.

I learned how easy it is to sew along the lines (before cutting out the pattern) from my Handprint Jesse Tree. See how I cut out the body AFTER I sewed the complete body form? I opened up a slit in the back, to stuff the pipe cleaner, magnets and stuffing. I figured if Build-a-Bears can have a seam, so can my Kings.

3 Kings Tutorial 2

I made the figures about 1/2″ bigger all the way around (from my Felt Friends pattern) to accommodate my Nativity figures and to add the only magnets I could find at Walmart.

(See what I learned about magnets below!)

The pipe cleaner body skeleton helps to arrange the figures in different position (helpful for their exploits around the house) and the magnets in the hands and feet help them scale our metal front door and the fridge… and stick their hands together if they should need to zip-line down the stairs.


This is the first King, waiting for his friends.



I bought decorative ribbon at the fabric store and decided to sew the embellishments on the front surface of their robes, before I sewed them on the figures.

3 Kings Clothes

I think the bling adds to the King look, don’t you?

I learned that the felt costumes add bulk and the Kings don’t move or pose as easily as I had hoped. I did purposely use broadcloth for the bodies, to cut down on the bulk and improve the strength of the magnets in the hands and the feet. 

I learned that the magnets from Walmart are not that strong…and sometimes I need to add a magnet on the outside of the fabric (broadcloth body, not felt!) to improve the magnetism, if I want the hands to really stick, or the King to stick to the fridge. Maybe Earth Magnets would be better?

Off to do the other stuff I have been neglecting…but expect some adventures with these 3 Kings once I let them loose!

3 Kings PRG

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