Crafts

Peppermint Christmas Trees

You will need one medium-sized styrofoam cone, bag of wrapped peppermints, and straight pins. Simply push the peppermints into the cone with the pins. After you have completely covered the “tree”, you may then decorate with miniature tree ornaments, garland, etc…with a gold star on top! These are really very cute and inexpensive to make.

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Inventions

This game, which can unfortunately become expensive, involves creating things from random materials. I started buying materials from a local craft store and bought 4 of everything. It included styrofoam balls (large and small), dowel rods, animal fur, yarn, tape, colorful pipe cleaner, empty 2 liter coke bottles (a must), feathers, stick glue, etc. Divide up the teams and allow them to work on their creation. Guidlines are a good idea. Such as it has to be a robot, person, or animal. Give it a name and possibly a story. The crowd loved the inventions.

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Snowman Pots

I saw this in a catalog and it looked easy enough to make. Paint a terra cotta pot white, and the band of the pot black (for the hat). Glue on different size buttons for the eyes, nose, and to form the arch for the mouth. Use red paint or rouge to give the snowman rosy cheeks.

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Memory Lamps

You’ll need for each youth: 1 quart sized Mason canning jar or other similar jar with a lid, a battery powered window candlestick (I found them at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby around Christmas time), and a small lampshade that fits over the christmas tree light bulbs of the candlesticks.

Additionally, you’ll need decorating materials such as ric-rac, buttons, stickers, fabric paints, glitter glue pens, leather laces, lace trim, yarn, fringe, “jewels”, whatever might trim a lamp shade.

Before the meeting time, use a drill press or punch to cut a hole in the top of the jar lid that is just big enough for the candlestick to fit through.

A week or two in advance, instruct the youth to bring small items that mean a lot to them or that bring back special memories. Examples are trinkets won for Sunday School attendance, keychains or other tokens from youth trips, ticket stubs from a favorite Christian concert, ring from a bubble gum machine when you were little, token from a grandparent or other relative. Any small items that will fit in a jar.

Have the youth glue the candlestick in the bottom of the jar. Next have them paint or decorate the lamp shade. Finally, fill the jar with their memories.

I used this as a Sunday School lesson for my Jr/Sr Highs with two topics of focus. The first was “Jesus is the light of the world.” Each youth’s lampshade was unique with varying amounts of light showing through which really helped bring home the idea that each of us shows God’s love through our lives in varying degrees. Are you a dark or light lampshade? The second topic of focus was on the special memories of the youth’s items. Many of mine, as a youth leader, were from past youth camps, trips, and meetings. Several students had small items from when they were babies. This is a very special way to store those small trinkets and occassionally reflect on the memories they hold. Makes a great nightlight that works during power outages, too!

Variation: A small strand of Christmas lights can be wound through the trinkets instead of a candlestick/lampshade. If you do this, do not cut a hole in the jar lid. Also, be sure to use the small twinkling lights that don’t get hot… helps avoid fires.

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Snow Globes

To make snowglobes, you will need:

glass jar w/ a plastic lid
glitter
ceramic or plastic figurine
hot glue gun and glue sticks
water

First, glue the figurine standing up to the inside of the plastic lid. While that is drying, fill the jar about halfway with water and add as much glitter as you would like. Fill the jar completely and after the glue is dry, place the lid tightly on the jar. Turn it upside down and shake the gltter up. If the jar leaks, you may want to glue around the edges of the lid and tie a ribbon around it.

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Snow Globes Tips

I read your snow globe idea and I wanted to add from my own experience.
To seal the lids use some plumbers tape around the top of the jar before screwing on the lid. Also some glycerin added to the water and glitter helps the glitter not to clump up. Just a few drops is all you need. This can be purchased where cake decorating supplies are sold.
Good luck =)

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Memory Boxes

Cut photos of Youth Group to make a collage on large box with fitted top taped shut. After securing, in a solid fashion, pictures on all sides and perhaps large numbers for the year, put clear contact paper over the pics. They make wonderful decorations, are good conversation pieces and can be thrown around for fun. You can even put dried beans or fun rattles inside. Make smaller boxes with leftover photos that make cute storage when stacked.

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He Knows My Name

Since there are so many references to the fact that God knows us by name in the Bible, making name bracelets is a great way to convey that message and help kids remember it! Get stretchy string so that they can be removed easily, a variety of beads to accessorize and the little square beads that have a letter on each. Let the kids pick out the letters of their name and the decoration beads and create a bracelet (or necklace) with their name on it. This way when they look at it they can remember that God isn’t just a huge and distant God, but a close one who loves us and knows us by name.

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40 Year Sandals

Used this when we were talking about the Jews wandering for 40 years in the desert.

Items needed:
– Large sheets of cardboard (I used 24 pack soda crates)
– Twine

Have the kids take off their shoes and place them on the cardboard. Then have them trace their shoe’s soles on the cardboard. Cut out the cardboard, so you have the sole of a sandal.

Have the kids place their feet on the sandals. Next take a pen and mark 8 holes in the following places: one hole on both sides of the big toe, one hole on both sides of the widest part of the foot, one hole on both sides of the foot just forward of the ankle, and one hole on both sides of the foot just a little forward of the heel.

Cut two 36-inch pieces of twine for each child. To lace the sandals, start at the big toe; insert one end of twine on one side of big toe, and the other end on the other side of the big toe. Next bring the twine back up through the sandal next to the widest part of the foot, and cross the twine across the top of the foot. Insert the ends of the twine back through the sole and cross under the heel. Finally bring the twine back up through the holes on either side of the heels and wrap twice around the students ankles. Tie in a bow.

These sandals won’t hold up very well outside, but they are fun to wear around the classroom.

Hope these instructions were easy to understand. If not, I can make a jpeg of each step, please use my email address above to let me know if you need me to take this extra “step.”

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Leather Prayer Journals

I used this as my first project for Sunday school with the Jr/Sr highers this fall. So they could have somewhere to write their prayers, and throughout the year we will keep each other updated on how God has answered our prayers.

Supplies needed:
scraps of leather, glue, heavy duty construction paper (for covers), leather string (other kinds of string can be used), hole puncher, leather tools/rubber mallet, scissors, paper.

Take your heavy construction paper and use 2 pieces for your front and back cover. Punch 2 or 3 holes on the left side of the paper, make sure the holes line up on both papers. Cut regular paper to just a bit smaller than the covers as this will be your pages. Punch holes in the paper also to line up with the other holes. Use the leather tools and mallet to stamp designs into your leather then take your scraps of leather and fit it around the left edge of your papers so it serves as a binding. Punch holes in the leather where it covers the already punched holes in the paper. Use your leather string to weave through the punched holes and tie the leather to the paper. Finally, glue the extra loose leather to the front and back covers.
Since Leather is expensive I called around to some local taxedermists and got some scraps donated, since it was for a good cause. Be creative and have lots of fun with it. I just gave a basic idea to get you started!

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