Crafts

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.”

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.

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.

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!!

Coffee Cup Messages

If your church has a coffee hour before or after worship, and uses styrofoam cups, then try this out. Have your youth group members use coloured markers to write messages on the cups. The messages can have phrases such as “Jesus Loves You,” or “You’re Special”, or you can advertise upcoming church or youth activities. Just be careful not to get any marker on the rim or the inside of the cups. Also good for church fellowships get-togethers and picnics, etc.

Cookie Jar Gifts

Choose a favorite cookie recipe. In a mason jar, measure out and layer each of the dry ingredients. Begin with the sugar (white then brown for color contrast)then the flour, baking soda, salt,etc. Top with the chocolate chips, nuts, etc. Cut out circles of fabric, about 2 inches larger than the diameter of the jar. Place the vaccumm seal on the jar, the cloth, and then tighten the ring on the jar. Attach a card that lists the “wet” ingredients that will need to be added in order to make the cookies. Include cooking temps and time.

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.

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!

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.

Graduation Hand Prints

This is a variation on the Hand Print Fun idea. Every year in May we celebrate Graduation Sunday for our graduating high school seniors. We present them with bibles during morning morning worship and then during Sunday School they put their handprints on a wall in our youth room. Each senior signs their name, the school they graduated from and the year. Each year all seniors each have the same color handprint.

It’s turned into a 7 year tradition at our church and the new kids love to compare everyones handprints and what schools everyone went to and they still love finding my handprint on the wall. Some kids have already got me to promise to save a particular color for them. We even remodeled out youth room but that was the one wall we left untouched.

Hand Print Fin – Twist

Instead of putting the hand prints directly on the wall, you could get a couple big sheets of butcher’s paper and attach it to the wall. Then put the hand prints onto it.

Then the kids could sign and maybe write a favorite passage next to their hands.

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.

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.

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.

Homemade Silly Putty

I got this recipe off of the internet and then adapted it to the youth group. This shows how you can take two harmless simple ingredients and make something really cool. Just like allowing God into your life, you can achieve some really cool results.

Bowl number one: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of elmers white school glue and 1-2 drops of food coloring. (If the color is really dark it will temporarily stain the users hands.)

Bowl number two: 1/2 water and 1 tablespoon of borax (20 mule team borax laundry booster, found in the laundry aisle at wal-mart)

Pour the borax/water mixture into the glue and water. Instantly you will see a coagulation occur. Lift the blob out of the bowl and start working it in your hands. (When God starts working with you it takes a little work to get you started)
There will be a watery substance left over in the bottom of the bowl.
The more you work with the substance, the better it gets. (God is constantly working on you)
You can shape, bounce, stretch and pull the silly putty all you want but when you lay it on the table, it immediately begins to melt back into a puddle on the table. (If you don’t allow God to keep working on you, you will start to “melt back into a shapeless blob”)

Store in an airtight container.

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.

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).

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!

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

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.