Crafts

Crayon Creations

Gather old broken crayons for this art project. Before the meeting, separate the crayons by colour. Use a knife to make shavings out of them. You also will need scissors, wax paper, newspapers, newsprint, markers and an iron. Place several newspapers in the table to protect it. Start the meeting by discussing Christian symbols. On the newsprint, have the kids draw as many Christian symbols as they can think of (cross, fish, chalice, etc). Ask why they think these symbols are used by Christians and why they are important. Ask everyone to choose a symbol that has special meaning for him/her. Give each kid two 7″x7″ sheets of wax paper. Then place one piece of wax paper wax side up in the for of your chosen symbol. Be sure you leave a 1″ border. The final step is to place the other sheet of wax paper, wax side down, in top and seal it with a warm iron. The crayons will melt and create a stained glass symbol.

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Christmas Cards and Bookmarks

Inexpensive way to make Christmas cards and Scripture bookmarkers for the elderly of your parish. This is a great service project as well as craft.
Start collecting old Christmas cards from your parisioners or family. You’ll need colored construction paper or foam paper, whichever you prefer. Start cutting out all the old cards (pictures, words, anything you see that is worth salvaging). Then using the construction paper or foam paper cut each in the size of a small card or bookmarker. Using what you cut from the old Christmas cards, start creating your own creations. Use use glitter pens or bright colors to write scripture quotes as well. Also glue small parts of the picture (for example if you have a tree, glue the tips of the branches and sprinkle glitter, making the picture come to life.)
You can give them out at a neighboring nursing home or to the older members of your congregation who you know are living alone. Also we had so many Christmas cards made, we sent a group to the armed forces to be sent to people overseas for the holiday with no one to write to them.

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Cross Of Tiles

We have a local pottery store where you can get 4″ x 4″ tiles ready to paint. I plan to have the Sr. High Youth each “paint” a tile and then have them fired (the store will charge us $5 per tile for this). Then we will put the tiles together to make a cross on one of the walls in our youth room (and do so in a way that we may add more tiles each year). Another less expensive way to do this is to make tiles out of colorful paper with smaller white squares on them. The youth can then decorate their “square”. Use all of the decorated squares to make a cross.

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Christmas Tree Decoration

Our youth group was asked to prepare something to add into the gift bags that are given to “Shut-ins” in our parish. We bought the cheap plastic, glossy (or matte) Christmas tree balls and decorated them. We used the metallic gold and silver pens (the “gel” pens do not work very well) and the pen-like glitter glue. The kids had a great time and the receivers had a wonderful Christmas decoration to brighten their day!
HINT – use egg cartons to hold the finished balls until they dry!!

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Hand Print Fun

Decorate the Teen/Youth room by putting each of their handprints on the walls. Include their name and year graduating from high school next to each set of hands. Use different colors of paint. It will be neat for the younger teens to come in and see who has been there. Include the new teens each year.

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Little Angels

Fast, Easy & Inexpensive (about $1.30 each)

(1) cut 40 lengths of yarn 15″
(2) tie the bundle in half with scrap piece of yarn; fold bundle in half at the tie
(3) tie 1″ from fold (this will create head)
(4) using six strands on opposites sides, braid to about 2″, know at end (these are the arms
(5) tie 1.5″ from head (this will create the body
(6) hot glue ends of arm lengths at the waist tie; hot glue cross over joint (you can get these little crosses at all Christian bookstores)
(7) hot glue small silk flower at “neck”
(8) using wired shear ribbon, fold four times a 15″ length; hot glue at center to hold; fan to create wings
(9) hot glue wings on back

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Happy Baskets

You take a blown up balloon and some Elmer’s glue that is diluted with water and some yarn – you’re trying to make a basket. You wrap the string that is soaked in the Elmer’s glue and wrap it around the balloon let dry. Then you get some customized bath salts and a scented candle some shredded colored paper (to fit the occasion) and then some chocolates or candy of some sort. Place the shredded paper in the bottom of the dried yarn basket and arrange your candle and gospel track or whatever you want in there. Get some colored cellophane or netting used for wedding rice bags and wrap your basket in it and tie with a ribbon.

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Crayon Meltdown

Materials Needed:
Rocks or bricks, crayons, newspaper or other table coverings, oven, potholders or towels.
In this craft you melt crayons onto rocks or bricks. Like all crafts, you will want to test this out before doing this as a group. First you need to collect, wash and dry your rocks or bricks. If you use rocks, collect only smooth, light colored rocks. Next, heat the rocks or bricks in a 250F oven for at least 30 min. Cover the work area with newspapers and use the potholders to transfer the rocks from the oven to the front of each artist. Use discarded, stubby, crayons to “paint” the surface of the rocks or bricks.
Depending on the artistic abilties of your group, you can achieve very nice results. You can use the bricks to create a little brick youth walkway in a garden area. Kids and adults both have fun melting the crayons on rocks. Needless to say… they’re HOT so BE CAREFUL!

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Potato Bulletins

Print up your youth bulletins as usual, but don’t include a cover page. Hand them out to the youth group and lay out potatoes, knives and other cutting tools, inks and paint, markers, etc and have them make potato stamps and design creative covers for the bulletins. Gather them, mix them up and hand them out again to different people than the creators as they leave.

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Candle Rolling – Advent

Just before the Advent season starts, our parish holds a day for all the families in the Church School to come and make Advent Wreaths. They use styrofoam blocks for the base, and work greenery around the (purchased) candles. There is also a teaching unit about the meaning of Advent, as a season of preparation for the birth of Christ.

With our youth group, which is aimed at the early teens, we rolled beeswax candles. This is amazingly simple to do, and you can get about four candles from a single sheet of beeswax if you’re clever. It sounds expensive, but it worked out to roughly four dollars per kid (allowing five candles).

You will need the sheets of beeswax, wicking, and most likely a hairdryer or two. Wax needs to be kept at room temperature or it either melts or freezes and becomes difficult to work with.

Start by cutting the wax into the size and shape desired. A rectangle or square will result in a straight column; a triangle will give you an edge spiralling around the candle. If you use the triangle, make sure that the edge which forms the top of the candle is cut straight across, so that it’s easier to light the candle. Measure out the wick to exactly the height of the candle, and press it into the inner edge of the wax, offset by 1/2″. (Why? Two reasons: you need a wick sticking out the top to light, and because beeswax has such a low melt point, you can damage your candle holder if the wick runs to the very bottom of the candle.)

Once the wick is aligned with the wax, roll steadily and evenly away from you. The wax tends to adhere to itself. If you’re having trouble, or the edge of the wax starts to break up, use the hairdryer to heat it up a bit. It doesn’t take much.

If you have an edge spiralling around the candle, you can go a step further and flare it out a bit by pinching the very edge gently with your finger tips.

And voila! The Light of Christ, given for you.

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