Here are three simple ideas to make craft cleanup quicker and easier. Even the kids can do them!
1. Make Paint shirts by cutting arm and head holes in brown paper (not plastic) bags. The moms will thank you!
2. Rubbing alcohol will remove permanent marker from Formica tables.
3. Remove dried glue & paint from tables by placing wet paper towels on the dried materials for a few minutes then use a plastic ice scraper to scrape off.
This project is great with older children. Allow for plenty of time and the results will be breathtaking!
- Large sheets of green one inch thick Styrofoam form (florist or craft store)
- Large bag of sphagnum moss
- Picture hangers
- Dried flowers
- Cold glue gun and glue sticks
- Laminated icons of Christ
Procedure: Cut out pieces of Styrofoam to make a three bar cross approx. one foot in length. Glue pieces together (cold glue gun works best). Attach a picture hanger on the back of the cross so it can the mounted on a wall. Working with a small section at a time, glue the moss on all sides except the back. Glue on dried flowers and place icon of Christ in the center of the cross. Ask your priest to bless the crosses.
- Kathy Ozerov, St. Peter the Aleut Camp, South Central, TX
Use for bracelets or necklaces. Boys will also wear them.
- colored pages from magazines
- White glue
Cut triangle shapes from the magazine pages: small triangles for small bead, larger triangles for larger beads. Make several sizes to make your necklace interesting.
Roll the paper triangle over a pencil with the wide end down first. As the point rolls up over the broad side of the paper, rub a little glue under the pointed end. Roll tight. Hold it firmly for a few seconds till it dries, then slide the bead off the pencil.
Make a pile of beads and string into a necklace using yarn, or dental floss.
This project fits in well if you are doing a unit of creation, ecology, or even for Holy Week. Younger children can do this project in larger, openmouthed jars, or clay or plastic pots. Older kids will enjoy the challenge of a bottle or jar with a narrower opening.
- Jars, bottles, or pots
- Potting soil
- Low growing plants
- Small twigs and twine for making a cross
Line the bottom of the terrarium with about ½ in. of pebbles for drainage. Cover the bottom with potting soil. (Use a funnel for narrow openings.) Level the soil by shaking the container or using the ruler to push the roots into the soil. Straighten the plants. After all the plants are in place, add water a little at a time, moistening the soil lightly and evenly. Add the cross by wrapping two small twigs with twine.
These are great for the kids or as gifts for people in nursing homes.
It is made from macramé yarn in various colors (green, rust, gray, tan) and tied with a number of close knots for remembering the Jesus prayer. They can also be made with plastic beads with a cross at the bottom.
Directions for making them with beads:
Decide how many beads you want on your prayer rope. Typical numbers are 33 for how old Jesus was when he died, 70 for the seventy apostles, or, 50, 75, or 100. Plastic beads can be purchased in large bags inexpensively at local craft stores.
Using the macramé yarn, thread the number of beads you want on the prayer rope. You may want to tape the ends. DO NOT TIE A KNOT ON THE END OF THE STRING!
For the cross you will need 7 more beads. Thread both ends through 3 beads. Then thread each end through a separate bead. These beads become the horizontal bar of the cross.
After you thread one end through one bead, go back and put the thread through the top of third bead you double threaded. The third bead will be in the center.
Repeat for the other side.
When you have done this, the third bead that was double threaded should have a bead on either side of it and will have been threaded four times. For this reason it is important not to use very thick thread or yarn.
Then double thread two more beads to finish off the cross and tie of the end a number of times to ensure that the beads will not come off.
When everyone has finished ask your parish priest to bless them. You will probably want to also discuss appropriate and inappropriate ways of handling them. For example, they are not bracelets or toys to be twirled on the finger, etc..
(Good for teens and preteens)
- 2 Yards 1/8” leather hank – any color (gray is nice)
- Beads (24 White pony beads, 4 black acrylic rings – 10 mm, acrylic cabochons 8x8 oval crystal)
- Craft glue
Begin by gluing the 2 cabochons together back to back, set aside to dry. Clip the ends of the lace to a point. Thread on 3 pony beads and push them to the center of the lace. Using both ends of the lace, thread on 1 black ring and 2 pony beads and push them up tight against the other beads. On one side of this set of beads thread 1 pony bead on 1 lace. With the same lace go back through the bead and pull the lace through the bead and pull the lace though until only 1/8” loop is left. Push bead up close to first bead set. Repeat for other side.
Next add 1 more longer set on each side of the 2 single beads. Then add 1 more single bead as before on the sides of the long sets.
Last, using both ends of the lace thread on 2 beads and 1 black ring. Then thread 1 bead on one end of the lace and 2 beads on the other end. Thread the end with one 1 bead through the second bead on the other end.
Pull the ends tight so the beads will be tight against the others. Glue the cabochons in the center hole. Tile the laces towards the end and clip ends if needed.
(A fun activity for smaller kids.)
Kids make tasty “potting soil” for their own little terrariums.
- One large package of instant chocolate pudding
- Milk according to pudding package directions
- One small container of Cool Whip
- A handful of gummy worms.
- Crushed chocolate cookie wafers
- Dried or silk flowers
- Gummy worms
- Crushed Oreos
- Small clay pots
Make the instant pudding according to package directions. After mixture thickens, fold a small amount of cool whip into mixture and place in a refrigerator.. Crush the cookies and set aside.
Note: Do not put pudding directly into the clay pot. Fit a plastic cup inside pot first.
Fill the plastic cup ¾ with the pudding mixture. Place 3-4 chocolate chips on the top of the pudding (seeds), fill the remainder of the cup with the crushed cookies. Place a gummy worm coming out of the pudding and then place the flowers into the cup.
Tell the kids to go home and tell their parents they ate mud!
One camp had everyone decorate and paint the clay pots, using the theme of the camp.
A great project for older kids.
- White construction paper or stationary
- Tray (larger than paper to be decorated)
- Printer’s ink
- Paper cup
- Straw or spoon
- Lots of newspaper to protect working surface!
Pour ½ inch of water into tray. In paper cup, mix 1 teaspoon of ink and 4 teaspoons of turpentine. Mix well. Pour small amount of ink mixture onto surface of water. Gently stir surface of water until pleasing pattern is obtained. Lay paper on surface of water/ink mixture. Carefully remove paper from mixture. Dry paper, ink side upon a flat surface.
Have fun making dough crafts that harden into anything that you like. All you need is a little imagination and you can make yourself some amazing decorative refrigerator magnets, key chain crosses, jewelry beads, and anything else that can be molded.
For dough – flour, flour sifter, liquid measuring cup, measuring cup, warm water, colorful paints, brushes, and cookie cutters
For refrigerator magnets – strong magnets and craft glue
For key chains – key rings and paper clips
Here is the dough recipe and how it is prepared:
- Stir together ½ cup of salt with 3 cups of sifted flour. Slowly add between 7 ½ - 12 fl. Ounces of warm water.
- Mix together to make a soft dough.
- Kneed until smooth, then leave it in a plastic bag for half an hour before using.
- Form dough into crazy art using cookie cutters or use your own creativity.
- Bake your pieces at 340˚F. Bake until hardened. Larger pieces take longer. Between ½ - 1 ½ hours.
- Paint and decorate your crazy dough art and let dry.
Tip: For extra shiny dough art, gloss them with a clear gloss paint after dry.
Refrigerator magnets: When the dough has been cooked and is cool, have the youth color and decorate the pieces as desired and attach a magnet to the back of them using an appropriate craft glue.
Key chains: slide a paper clip into the top of the formed piece of cookie dough before baking (make sure it is in far enough so that it will not fall out), and have the youth decorate the cooked and cooled dough as desired. Finally, slide a key chain ring through the paper clip.
There are also many other things that can be done with cookie dough. Have fun and be creative.
-Lisa Nenson, Camp St. Nicholas, Saskatchewan, Canada
Balloons, newspaper, paper glue, and materials to decorate the eggs with
- Blow up a balloon into the shape of an Easter Egg.
- Cut newspaper or other scrap paper into strips.
- Dip them into any paper glue.
- Form a layer of paper strips all around the balloon until completely covered. You will need 7 layers of paper strips.
- Let dry and decorate as desired
This craft lends itself many opportunities to be very imaginative. Again it calls for a creative mind, but here are some tips to get you started.
- 6-8 pieces of plain 8 ½ x 11 inch paper for each
- 1 piece of a heavier grade paper (construction paper will do) of the same size
- a hole puncher
- glue, markers, paints, and glitter
- icon prints
- Fold all pieces of paper in half so that you form a booklet, inserting each into the other.
- Take the piece with the heavier grade and place it on the outside of the booklet so that it forms a nice outer cover for the prayer book.
- With the hole puncher punch 2 or 3 holes along the outside of the booklet to form a binding.
- Cut yarn as needed and slide it through the holes and tie them so that you form a nice binding. Tie it good enough so that the book does not fall apart.
- Decorate the outside with the Icons, markers, paints, and glitter.
- Designate two sections of the prayer book one for the living and one for the dead.
- List all the people who are living and in need of prayer in the first section and the latter in the second section of the book.
may also want to photocopy and paste in prayers as desired.
-Linda Witz, New Mexico
While waiting for campers to arrive and register, have campers personalize and decorate plastic tumblers. Provide several hot glue guns, buttons, sequins, stickers, decals, ribbon, glitter, and a variety of paint pens. Items could be donated by parishioners. The tumblers are used frequently during the day and are hung up with clothes pins from a long rope. A five gallon water cooler sits near by.
- large sheet of heavy duty clear plastic (from a craft store)
- Ream of 8 x 11 paper
- Orthodox clip art book
- Stained glass paint (from craft store)
Cut large sheet of heavy duty clear plastic into 12 inch squares. Make patterns of crosses and other religious motifs on 8 x 11 paper. Orthodox clip art book is a good source for ideas. Have campers trace patterns on to the plastic sheets with a permanent black marker. Using stained glass paint, have campers fill in their designs. These easily stick on to glass windows and look beautiful when the sun shines through them.