Crafts

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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Scripture Cards

You’ll need some colored card stock / construction paper 6″x6″. This square size makes the card more unique, you may make it any size. Find someone with a computer. Ask if they could print Scripture in a 4″x4″ box, then cut the paper 5″x5″ so there is a 1/2″ space around the text. This could be bigger for more drawing space. Have youth draw/color a design around the scripture. Glue this sheet on the card stock / construction paper. There should be a 1/2″ of colored paper frame. Laminate when done. Leave a 1/2″ of laminate, punch 2 holes on top corners and tie a string or ribbon for hanging. Great gifts for the elderly, Mothers / Fathers Day Christmas or any special day. Have fun. Another idea is instead of scripture, have the youth do a WWJD design or make their own fun logo and hang in their room.

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Jesus Grams

Jesus Grams are a fun Christian way to show God’s love and the senders love during Valentines Day. Get a person with a computer to design a Jesus Gram front and a back. For the back, We used 1 Corinthians 14 for our scripture references and had space for a personalized message. Use red or pink paper and glue candy to the front. (sturdy paper is best) This is also good for a fundraiser (suggested donation 1.00).

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Screen Printing

This is a great idea to help your youth groups really feel like a group. Get someone artistic (preferably one of the youth) to design a funky logo for the group. Or you could have a competition to see who can design the best logo. Get hold of some screen printing screens (talk to schools or anyone you know who’s crafty). Trace the logo onto plastic adhesive, cut out the image so that the logo creates a hole in the plastic, and then stick the sheet of adhesive onto the printing screens. Get the youth to bring along t-shirts, material, underwear – whatever! – and everyone can have a go at printing the logo. The paint to use is reasonably cheap, and the screens are easy to clean up. The youth will come away with something they’ve made that identifies them with the rest of the group, and most likely they would have had a lot of fun doing it! (Check with someone who knows how to screen print before you do this activity, to find out exactly how to go about doing it.)

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Nature Candles

Two kinds of candles that are easy and fun to make.

Supplies:
– crock pot to melt wax
– wax available through craft suppliers
– wicking
– styrofoam bowls
– 16oz cold cups
– sand
– things from nature
-ice
– crayon shavings

SAND CANDLES — tape the wick to the bottom of the styrofoam bowl. Fill part way with sand, have kids make a mold in the sand. Pour wax into the sand mold, add leaves, glitter, grass, flowers, petals, etc. Let set (3-4 hours). To take candle out of mold, break bowl and brush sand away.

ICE CANDLES– Tape wick to bottom of cup. Fill the cup with ice. Pour wax into cup. Add leaves, grass, glitter, flowers, etc. Let wax set. (3-4 hours). Gently tear cup away letting the water run out of the candle. YOu will have a candle with natural holes. NEAT! To add color to the candles have the youth use crayon shavings. Add those after it is poured into the mold.

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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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