January 2023 Craft: Finding Your Peace Painting

By Captain Jan Pemberton
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Cascade Division

When we are looking for peace or a break from the ordinary in our lives, we often gravitate to a hobby that gives us peace and lets us disconnect from the stresses of the world in which we live in. Some of us love the great outdoors, enjoying activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing, and some of us enjoy the outdoors in other ways, such as watching nature from the comfort of our homes or campsites. However, not everyone is cut out for the great outdoors, some due to mobility, health, and such. When those of us who are not outdoorsy look for something to give us peace, we turn to other activities such as playing an instrument, coin and stamp collecting, sewing, embordering, and painting.

Today we are going to explore the world of painting. Remember, we don’t have to be Rembrandt, Van Gogh, or any other famous painter to enjoy our hobby. All we need are some simple tools, inspiration, and time.

Below are instructions to paint a simple background with your favorite memory verse or inspirational quote.

Supplies needed:

  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Primed Canvas
  • Pencils
  • Paint Markers, if desired
  • Ruler or stencil
  • Paint remover for brushes
  • Table covering

Instructions:

  1. Paint the entire canvas with desired background color

2. Draw the intended image for the background and paint the image with desired colors.

3. Add your favorite scripture verse or inspirational quote.

4. Have fun with this craft. Make it your own and put your personal spin on this project. Remember, no matter your interests, allow God to use them for His glory and use the talents He has given you.

Download printable craft directions

December 2022 Craft: The Victorian Top Hat

By Captain Gin Pack
Centralia, WA Corps – Northwest Division

There are so many things I love about the Christmas season. For me, it feels like an all-senses adventure; there are beautiful sights to see, smells to breathe in, special treats that bring us back to special memories. Nearly everywhere you go, little whispers of Christmas carols play in the background, and there is certainly no shortage of things to do during the grinding season of Christmas in The Salvation Army.

Merriam Webster defines flourishing as to “grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment”. Sometimes during what we longingly call the “busy season” may feel like we are just grinding along, surviving and not flourishing.

However, I have often found that even if the season feels like we could not jam one more thing into the schedule, the one thing that is like a balm to a tired, existing, toy sorting, kettle counting, bell ringing soul, is the gift of time with a friend or two. If you have a regular group that meets through all seasons, this is a fantastic opportunity to find a place to flourish even in the busiest of seasons.

The wonderful thing about this project, is not only is it budget minded, but it allows for a time of fellowship and creative freedom, it also is wonderful display piece as a center of a table or even just around to add a little décor to your space. This project is also an excellent opportunity to gather supplies and spend intentional time with one another and all it requires is a little preplanning.

The supplies you will need are:

  • #10 can
  • A lager ceramic plate or a plate charger, or any other item such as foam board or wood cut into a circle that is about 50% greater than the mouth of the can
  • Black matte spray paint
  • Inexpensive embellishments such as Christmas tree picks, pinecones, sparkly snowflakes, I often find the perfect ones at dollar tree or other similar stores.
  • Wide ribbon
  • Hot glue
  • An additional item I really love, and I think it brings a beautiful element to it is a product called “SnowTex”. I purchase mine from Amazon, but it can be found it local stores as well. It adds a snow texture to any medium you’re working with.

My husband and I have been blessed to serve in our community where we serve a hot meal a few times a week. Because of this, we often find ourselves with those large #10 cans. If you do not have access to these cans, feel free to check in with local restaurants, places who do serve community meals or head to your local stores. Many of them carry certain items in those big cans. You will want to collect as many cans as you have people or as many as you need for festive decorations and centerpieces.

Once you have collected the cans, make sure they are clean, the label is off, and any excess adhesive or buildup has been removed. Once they are dry, take your plate, making sure it is clean and free of debris. Then glue the can to the plate using hot glue or something like E6000 and then spray paint. Once the paint is dry, it’s time to decorate!

I prefer the look of the Victorian top hat with a large ribbon at the base of the hat, felt or other textured material is a nice touch. After the ribbon is glued into place, the rest is really up to you how you want to decorate it. I tend to prefer a “theme.” Some really easy but beautiful ones are:

  • woodland (use berries, twigs, pinecones, and a little bit of the snow-tex),
  • frosty (use a little glitter either in white or blue and attach glittery snowflakes),
  • or even something like a pre-purchased little church ornament can make it look spectacular. It really is that easy and your hat can be as unique as you!

Corrie ten Boom said: “If the devil can’t make us bad, he will make us busy.” If that quote does not cut a little too deep and meet me toe to toe. I, myself am so guilty of waking up, a day full ahead of me and before I know it, I am headed back to bed having only checked off half of my list and offering my meager offering to the Lord of a whispered prayer before I drift off to sleep only to lather, rinse, repeat.

My sweet sisters, the Lord delights in you! Psalm 149:4 says, “For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” Take this very sacred time when the whole world is grinding along. God calls us to flourish and delight in Him, to be intentional and mostly bask in the gift of creation as you too, create something masterful. I have always found that some of the most beautiful moments have been when I have planned ahead, and then let creativity develop. I pray that in this season, you do not just get swept away with all that there needs to be done but that God calls to you flourish.

Download the printable version of the craft

November 2022 Craft: Handmade FLOURISHING Paper

By Captain Jennifer Swain
Administrator for Program for the San Diego, CA Adult Rehabilitation Center

Supplies*

  • recycled paper
  • large bowl
  • towels
  • sponge
  • seed packets
  • 2 small wooden frames
  • grease splatter screen
  • blender (should be exclusively used for this project)

*Most supplies can be purchased inexpensively at the Dollar Tree, but the blender is a great
opportunity to shop at your local Salvation Army thrift store!

How to…

  • Create your paper mold by cutting the wire mesh out of the splatter screen and stapling it to one of the frames. The other frame should remain loose to work as your mold. You’ll hold them together to use them in the mixture.
  • Tear your recycled paper into 1inx1in pieces. Fill your blender threequarters full with water and then add a few handfuls of paper.
  • Blend until the paper is pulpy and wet.
  • Pour your mixture into your large bowl and repeat the process.
  • Add as many seed packets as desired to create texture.
  • Once your large bowl is full of mixture, which should be mostly water, dip your frame into the bowl and move it around. Lift it from the bowl, ensuring all of the mesh is covered with the pulp mixture, and allow some water to strain before moving it to your towel.
  • Once placed on the towel, press on the mesh with the sponge to remove excess water (squeeze water from the sponge back into the bowl).
  • Remove loose frame and turn frame with mesh over onto the towel and gently pull paper off onto the towel.
  • Leave paper to dry for 24-48 hours before cutting into fun shapes to give away!

You can encourage yourself, and others, to FLOURISH by planting these, or framing them, as a reminder that God can use all there is of us to create something BEAUTIFUL!

“I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation…” Philippians 4:12 TLB

Download printable instructions of this craft:

October 2022 Craft: Ordinary Truth Affirmation Cards

By Captain Jessica Stevens
Family Care Director – College For Officer Training

Materials:

  • One set of affirmation cards per person. Download the affirmation cards
  • One ordinary container (mason jar, Tupperware, takeout box, bowl, recycled tissue box)

Directions:

  • Cut affirmation cards out.
  • Customize blank cards according to individual need.
  • Place cut out cards in ordinary container.
  • If desired, decorate container.
  • Place in an ordinary place in the home: kitchen sink, nightstand, near bathroom mirror.
  • Choose one affirmation card a week, and speak it out loud to yourself at least once a day. Let the truths of God’s love become more real to you in ordinary time.

Questions for Connection:

  • Which of these Scriptures and affirmations resonates most with you?
  • Are any of these truths hard for you to believe?
  • Who in your lift might benefit from hearing one of these messages? how can you speak truth into their life?
  • Describe a time in which you needed to hear one of these messages. How might this message have changed your situation?
  • How can you modify your thoughts or response to draining duties?

Download printable directions of this craft

August 2022 Craft: Lights Shining in the Darkness

By Jacqui Larsson, Territorial Social Justice Ministries Director
Territorial Social Justice Department

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:40

Basic Idea:
Men, women, and children who are caught in trafficking situations are imprisoned, bound, tied to the person who has them in their grip, oppressing them from the freedoms God would want each of us to experience. We are surrounded by people in need, we see the hungry and destitute people on the streets, those who are sick and suffering, but we are often blind to the world of human trafficking as, although it happens all around us, it happens in the shadows, in places of darkness, and increasingly on the internet behind closed doors. Just as God saw Hagar in the desert and appeared to her, offering comfort, and calling her by name, and just as Jesus saw the outcasts in society and crossed boundaries to talk to them and offer love and healing, so we are called to open our eyes and see the hurting world around us. May we look in the darkness and see those in need as we shine God’s love into the shadows of despair.

The rubber bands, twine, string, or yarn in this craft represent the imprisonment of those trapped in human trafficking. The act of cutting these from the jars, represents what God can do through us, “to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7). The light placed inside the vase/jar, represents His healing and restoration – creating a new life of beauty. The light shining through the vase represents the love of God, like rays of sun, shining into the darkness.

Pray silently through each step of the craft you will be making. Think about those who are suffering. Pray that wherever they are, they may find freedom and healing. Pray that God would open our eyes to see those around us who are hurting, and that we would be his hands and feet for the trafficking victims and survivors hidden in the darkness!

Supplies:

  • Vases or Jars – various sizes (places to buy: Dollar Store, Walmart, TSA Family Stores)
  • Straight Razor to remove stickers from the bottom (optional)
  • Something to create lines on the vases – various thicknesses of ⦁ rubber bands, twine, string, or yarn (maybe not too thin)
  • Scissors
  • Krylon/Montana Cans Spray Paint in the color of your choice
  • Gloves (optional – if you don’t like getting paint all over your hands and nails)
  • Tea Lights

Instructions:

I have to start by saying that I am not a “crafty” person, in fact I think this is the first time in my life that I have sat down by myself and created a craft in my spare time – so if I can do this craft…anyone can 12 There were moments of frustration for me as a “crafting newbie” (my blue paint did not cooperate) but as I put this together I intentionally used the time to pray for those caught in trafficking, and the moments of messiness reminded me that life is messy and the journey of a trafficking survivor is often filled with twists, turns and challenges! I hope you enjoy the process as much as I did!

  1. Use a straight razor and scrape off any price tags and remove any sticky residue with soap and sponge, giving it a good cleaning overall.
  2. Tightly wrap the rubber bands, twine, yarn, etc. around the vases/jars – far apart or close together. Feel free to overlap them, leaving a cute criss-cross look.

(If using yarn or string, tape the ends on the underside or the inside so they stay in place.  Don’t place the tape on the outside of the jar where you will be painting.)

  1. Cover an area in newspaper so you’re ready to paint! Spray one coat for a more sheer, frosted look. Spray more coats for a more opaque look, but paint each coat lightly, waiting 5-10 minutes in between. Let dry. (My blue spray pain was a different brand and did not work well, so I covered it in gold which gave an “interesting” two-tone effect).
  2. After the paint is fully dry cut the rubber bands, twine, etc., off.

My rubber bands were very tight so when I cut them, they “pinged off” and I had to go back and remove some of the paint, but it came away from the glass easily. The blue/gold paint left a slightly jagged line (because of the paint layering), but looked beautiful when the tea light was lit.

  1. Place tea lights inside. And…enjoy the beautiful rays of light shining into the darkness! So pretty!

Chorus Suggestion:
To be like Jesus!
To be like Jesus! This hope possesses me, 
In every thought and deed,
This is my aim, my creed; 
To be like Jesus! This hope possesses me, 
His Spirit helping me,
Like him I’ll be.

(Song #328, The Salvation Army Songbook 2016 North American Edition)

Enjoy your beautiful vases! I hope that every time you light yours you will remember those trapped in human trafficking, spend a little time in prayer for them, and seek God to guide you in ways you can make a difference in their lives.

Download printable directions for this craft:

Note: Check out this month’s Bible Study, To Be Seen By God, and this month’s devotional, Eyes Wide Open, that coordinates with this craft. Also check out the resource Red Flags and Responses.

July 2022 Craft: Suncatchers

By Becky Luke
Corps Program Coordinator
Ray & Joan Kroc Center, HI – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division

Supplies Needed:

  • Coloring pages printed on basic white printer paper. Picture needs to fit in the mason jar lid. If your coloring pages are too large for the mason jar lid, custom print at a lower percentage.
  • Mason jar lids (wide or regular mouth)
  • Any type of oil – this is the element to make your coloring page translucent
  • Cotton balls
  • Scissors
  • Twine or Ribbon
  • Glue – Tacky Glue
  • Paper towel – to protect work area and absorb excess oil

Instructions:

  1. Color your coloring page using watercolor paints, markers or any other material you choose.
  2. Once colored, use a cotton ball to apply oil to your art. Make sure to cover all the paper. You don’t have to drench the paper, just cover completely. Dab excess oil up with a paper towel or tissue and allow to dry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Using the mason jar lid, trace a circle around the art and then cut the circle, inside the line so the art fits inside the mason lid.
  4. Apply a little bit of glue inside the lid and place the art in the lid, art side facing outward.
  5. Wrap twine around the lid, tie a knot to hold in place. Leave at least 4″ of twice and tie a knot at the top so you can hang your sun catcher.

Download printable instructions of this craft.

June 2022 Craft: Sea Glass Ideas

By Major Nancy Helms
Spiritual Care Director – College for Officer Training

Any of the ideas below can easily be made from sea glass/pottery.  If you can’t get to the beach to find your own, you can purchase it in bulk at a good price online.  It might be faux, but that’s okay. Make sure to look for smooth pieces that aren’t too big.  If you want to be exact with the technical pieces like the cross or hummingbird, you can tape a template to the other side of the glass and then remove it once pieces are glued in place.  Really, you can make anything you want with a good template.  For the song and notes, I just glued pieces onto a scrap block of wood I previously sanded down.  My manger scene is made with sea pottery, but you can use glass, too.

For pictures you will need:

  • Small frame (purchase at Joanne Fabrics or Michaels)
  • Sea glass
  • E 6000 glue
  • Or a block of scrap wood
  • Windex and small cotton device to remove excess glue

I also enjoy creating temporary sea glass stackers. I find it to be good spiritual therapy. I pray for myself and others as I place each piece in the stack. It reminds me of the body of Christ, and how we all fit together to form God’s Church.

If you aren’t crafty, but like coastal décor, it’s fun just to collect glass and place it in jars, vases, bowls, etc., to place around the house.

Sometimes, I will take a piece like this, that has a little groove and rub it between my fingers while I ponder God’s amazing grace and deep ocean of love for me.

Note: Check out this month’s Bible study, Transformed Treasures, and this month’s devotional, Sea Glass and Souls, that coordinates with this craft.

May 2022 Craft: Scavenger Hunt Masterpieces

By Major Noelle Nelson
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Golden State Division

Note: This is a group activity with craft and Biblical application.

This activity works well for one group, several smaller groups (like at a retreat), or even for a Zoom event! In this case, at a regional Women’s Ministries Mini-Retreat held on Zoom, each Corps group created their own ‘masterpiece’ and shared the final project for everyone to see. The ‘crafting’ element can be especially appreciated by ladies who may not be into traditional crafts.

Basic idea:
First, the ladies scurry to find the items on a list. Then they work together to create a ‘Masterpiece’ sculpture with the found items! (but they don’t know that part yet…)

Supplies:
⦁ String and/or tape (to hold things together if needed)
⦁ A list of random items
⦁ Camera to photograph the ‘Masterpieces’ (phone camera is perfect)

Scavenger Hunt:
The ladies will work in teams. Create a list of random, but not hard to find, items for the ladies to find. Ten to fifteen items is good, but you can do more depending on the energy/motivation level of your ladies. You will be reading this list to them, one item at a time.

Sample list:

  1. A pen
  2. Something brown
  3. A mint or piece of gum
  4. A bobby pin
  5. Something green
  6. A book
  7. Something from nature
  8. Lipstick or lip balm
  9. A food item
  10. A napkin or tissue
  11. A stamp
  12. Something made of fabric
  13. Something red
  14. A rubber band
  15. Nail clippers

Note: Each group only needs to find ONE item from each category (example: a group of 5 ladies only needs to find one nail clipper, not 5 individual nail clippers)

Read one item at a time, giving the ladies time to scurry about looking for the item. Once each group has the item, move on to the next item. The same item cannot be used more than once. For example, a tree branch (something from nature) cannot also be the ‘thing’ that is green. They must find something else that is green.

Once all items have been found, announce to the ladies that they will now use these items, and ONLY these items (plus the string or tape if needed), to create a one-of-a-kind Masterpiece! Three to five minutes should be enough time for the ladies to work together to create a fabulous, or fabulously silly!, work of art. An extra ‘touch’ would be to challenge the ladies to name their masterpiece creations, like in a museum. If working with only one group, the ladies can make suggestions for a title and vote on it!
Make sure each group photographs their Masterpieces. Perhaps you can print them for a ‘Museum of Masterpieces’ display to hang on the wall in inexpensive frames. Tack on a little sign with the chosen name(s) of said Masterpiece(s), and you’ve got a winner for all to admire and enjoy!

Biblical Application:

There are days when we feel completely put together. We look good, we feel good, and we have confidence enough to conquer the world! But then there are the days when we feel like a hot mess. Your hair is not cooperating. It’s 10 pm and your child has informed you that the popsicle-stick-art project is due… at 8 am tomorrow morning. Somehow a red towel made it into the laundry, and your husband’s white undershirts are now a vibrant pink. Not much is going right, life is hectic, and, frankly, you feel like you’re made up from bunch of random stuff just thrown together. But, just as we took random stuff and created a fun masterpiece, God takes the seeming randomness of our lives and turns it into something of great value. On the days when we feel the most worthless, like the contents of the ‘junk drawer,’ God does not throw us out! He redeems every part of our lives to create a beautiful masterpiece.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Right now, the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. He is forming you, molding you, and shaping you as you bring the love of Jesus into the world. Take heart, ladies. For you, my friend, are a MASTERPIECE.

Chorus suggestions:
⦁ Change My Heart, Oh God
⦁ Spirit of the Living God

Attached are some samples of completed Scavenger Hunt Masterpieces.

Download printable instructions for this craft activity:

April 2022 Craft: Resurrection Garden

By Lt. Faith Hartt
Klawock, AK Corps – Alaska Division

As Easter approaches my thoughts wander to the garden that early Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene was overjoyed to see her risen Savior. What better way to draw emphasis to Christ’s redemption for believers than a mini model garden scene of the resurrection?

Supplies:
⦁ Large bowl or pot
⦁ Moss
⦁ Flowers and plants (real or artificial)
⦁ Potting soil (if using real plants)
⦁ Small pot or cup
⦁ Small decorative rocks
⦁ Large stone
⦁ Cross

Instructions:

  1. Begin preparing your Resurrection Garden by placing rocks and soil in the bottom of the bowl or container that will hold your garden.

2. Take the small pot and place sideways in the bowl in the location you want for the “tomb.” You can glue rocks on the rim of the cup if you like.

3. Place rocks on either side of the “tomb” so the pot doesn’t roll back and forth while you decorate. With your leftover decorative rocks you can make a tiny stone path.

4. Arrange the plants and lay out the moss over the top and sides of the tomb.

5. Lastly, place the cross on your mini version of Mt. Calvary behind the tomb. Then take the large stone and put it next to the entrance.

Enjoy your Resurrection Garden! I hope that every time you look at it that you would be filled with the strength and hope that comes from knowing that our Lord Jesus conquered death. He is alive forever and ever, Amen!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Download printable instructions of this craft:

March 2022 Craft: Umbrella Holder for Towels or Flowers

By Major Vicky Villanea
Santa Maria, CA Corps – California South Division

NOTE: This craft is in both English and Spanish

Materials/ Material:

⦁ 10 Palitos de Elote
⦁ 1 Gancho de Alambre
⦁ Tela
⦁ Pistola de Goma y goma
⦁ Cinta
⦁ Cinta Floral
⦁ Decoraciones: cordon, perlas, flores, etc.
⦁ Alicate
⦁ Alambre grueso y delgado
⦁ Tijeras

⦁ 10 Skewers
⦁ 1 Wire Hanger
⦁ Hot Glue Gun
⦁ Hot Glue Sticks
⦁ Fabric
⦁ Ribbon
⦁ Floral Tape
⦁ Decorations: pearls, flower, diamonds, etc.
⦁ Pliers
⦁ Thin and Thick Wire
⦁ Scissors

Step 1: Cut the top of the skewers. Join the 4 skewers together to form a triangle. Next use a good amount of glue and wire to join the triangles and add support.
Paso 1: ImageJuntamos 4 palitos formando un triangulo. Ponemos bastante goma y alambre alrededor para soporte.

Step 2: Form an arch with thick wire and bend the ends to hook them together. Place 37 cm of wire and form a half arch.
Paso 2: Formamos un arco con el alambre grueso y doblamos las puntas para enganchar entre 37 cm de largo y formamos un medio arco.

Step 3:Place the wire on the previous triangle and bring down 6 cm on both sides to make a curve
Paso 3: Montamos el alambre en el triángulo y bajamos 6 cm de los dos lados

Step 4: Join the first triangle with the arch by gluing the arch on top. Place 3 skewers on top of the wire with hot glue to form a basket.
Paso 4: Formamos la curva para el triángulo que va encima. Ponemos 3 palitos encima con goma y van a quedar sobre el alambre para formar una canasta.

Step 5: Cut 8 skewers to be 8 cm long. Join 2 skewers with hot glue that will form a V shape: having 4 V shapes in total.
Paso 5: Cortar 8 palos de 8 cm cada uno y unirlos de dos en dos en forma de V.

Step 6: Take the wire hanger, cut the sides with pliers to use only the hook, and stretch out the bottom part. Glue the hook to the triangle and add the thin wire for support.
Paso 6: Con el gancho de alambre, corten el alambre de los lados con alicates, y estirar el alambre.

Step 7: Place the V shape skewers on the triangle arch in the way that the V shape skewers will be taller than the arch forming the peaks of the umbrella
Paso 7: Con los palitos en forma de V coloquen en el triángulo en manera que los palos sean más altos para formar los picos de la sombrilla

Step 8: Wrap the whole shape in floral tape to add support
Paso 8: Envolvemos todo el triángulo en cinta floral para fortalecer la forma

Step 9: Cut fabric to the size of the triangle
Paso 9: Cortamos tela al tamaño del triangulo

Step 10: Form the triangle with the fabric using hot glue on the peaks of the triangle cut towards the middle, fold the fabric, and glue down
Paso 10: Forramos primero el triángulo con goma los extremos y en los picos cortamos hacia el centro y doblamos la tela y pegamos

Step 11: Once everything is covered giving the shape of the peaks, cut the triangle on the backside, and glue the fabric to the first triangle
Paso 11: Cortamos el triángulo de atrás y pegamos a los lados tapando el primer triángulo

Step 12: Once everything is covered, decorate the way you would like
Paso 12: Una vez todo este forrado lo decoramos con sus detales

Tú eres mi refugio; tú me protegerás del peligro y me rodearás con cánticos de liberación.  Salmo 32:7

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Download the printable version of the directions for this craft.