Friday, February 28, 2014

7 DIY Lenten Crafts & Books ~ Wreaths, Crown of Thorns, Mercy Crosses, Crucifixion Art, Books~ Artful Friday Lenten Blog Carnival {with linky}

Cherished family rituals, parish events, beloved books, scripture reading
 and my own deep reflections, written and pondered
 related to the liturgical season of Lent,
 fill my thoughts, my to-do lists and my plan book
 as we enter this holy 40 day stretch.
Here, in QT form, is a collection of a number of our family
 Lenten memories,
activities and resources.

~ 1 ~
Crucifixion Art

Last year during Holy Week, my kids made these
lovely paintings.

Here's all you need in terms of supplies~
You already have everything in the house! 

The super easy,  how- to is right here.:

Enjoy  painting while you read one of our Lenten book  picks below!

~ 2 ~
Lenten Wreaths

Here's a  simple, no -frills but extremely lovely decoration to remind and instill  
in us all to 
which I found at A Blessed Journey
and adapted for our use.

Above, are the items needed to create the wreath.
 Again, all were purchased at The Dollar Tree. 
As you can see, you start with a
simple wreath (about 10 inches in diameter), purple ribbon
 (  I picked up dark and light  shades for my kids to choose.) and purple card stock.

About to wrap the ribbon around wreath:

Adding letters to the card stock "mini banners."
I love the "Sticko" brand. 
And here, affixing the card stock "mini banners" so they 
hang from the center.

And hanging from the door inside of our most lived in room,
so that we can enjoy it often:

~ 3 ~
 Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy Crosses

                    We began with simple foam cross cut outs as well as a package of 
 foam-y flower stickers. :

Easy and time saving during a busy week.   
Both items obtained at The Dollar Tree. 
 Love The Dollar Tree, don't you? 

The kids glued a cross on each of two  pieces of pastel card stock. 
They then  wrote key words  from the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, after an in depth discussion of ways that, as a family, we could endeavor to accomplish as many of  the Works as possible during Lent. 
And of course, during Ordinary Time as well.
 There's a great explanation of the Works of Mercy at this site. 
Every time they/we accomplish a Work of Mercy,
 they'll stick a flower on the cross;
 by Easter, hopefully, the crosses will be covered!

Not an artistically challenging project for either of my kids, as they are 11 and almost 14, BUT the faith and  the service meaning behind the project is, of course, of utmost import and will serve as a tangible  and visual reminder of living the way of the Cross this season.


~ 4 ~
Play Dough Crown of Thorns

 Step 1: Create 3 strands with any colors of play dough.

Step 2: Braid 

                                                         Step 3: Form crown

                                                    Step 4: Add "thorns"  (toothpicks)

Completed crowns:


We'll be removing "thorns," representative of our sacrifices, symbolically easing Christ's suffering  by doing so, throughout these 45 days.  Since Lent has only been  underway for a couple of days now;  there's still time do this with your kids if you have not as of yet. ~:) 

~ 5 ~
Books we've come to live in and love during Lent

Amon's Adventure
 continues the story began during Advent 
with the same beloved characters
 in Tabitha's Travels 
Jotham's Journey
Bartholomew's Passage.

This is a family favorite that sweeps us back to the time surrounding
Jesus's Crucifixion and provide a front row seat people,
the events, the circumstances, the injustices, the betrayals and the loyalties.

~ 6 ~
Our favorite Bible

The Fireside Catholic Youth Bible

I've mentioned this Bible numerous times here in liturgical season activity
(it's also well read and refereed to during advent as we create our Jesse Tree )
Product Details
 We read also very frequently the  Concise Bible History 
 to clarify and to reinforce settings,
Biblical figures.

~ 7 ~
Resurrection Eggs

A dozen bright and colorful plastic eggs, each containing an item 
which symbolizes Jesus's life, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension
are perfect for every age. 
Honestly, my kids' level of understanding at their ages is beyond the
symbolism conveyed through each;
yet each time we sit and talk "Lent,"
they still enjoy the discovery
 within each egg as well as reading the 
corresponding scripture verses in our Bible 
Symbols include a purple cloth, a piece of wood representing the cross, 
dice, coins and of course one empty egg representative of the resurrection.

Please visit Jen's for more QTs!

~ Also, friends a reflection of mine
 on the Lenten season, giving up and failing: 
The Dark Night of the Soul:
Why a Failing Lent Really Isn't

For my previous "Artful Friday" posts, 
you might like to click below.....
They're all here if you'd like to dust off something from the archives:

 ( knitting, winter crafts, the theater and piano)

And, my son's popular  guest posts on crafting rocket balloons,
 both of which include instructional videos:
I hope you get a chance to click over and enjoy one of his posts!

Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

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Until next time,



  1. Great ideas & resources, Chris! I especially like the Lenten wreath; it's a great reminder *and* a nice simple decoration! I really like the plan of preparing our hearts *and* homes for the seasons.

    1. Thanks so much Katharine!
      I very much appreciate your visit and kind words!
      So agreed...preparing hearts as well as home is a wonderful goal!

  2. Great ideas Chris. I love the Resurrection Eggs. There is a book called Benjamin's Box that goes along with it.
    About a little boy that collects things along the walk to the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
    Anyway - Great post.
    Great pics.
    xx oo

    1. Em,
      Hey thanks for the info!! I will definitely check that out, friend!

      I always love your visits!! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Chris, wow, I am so impressed by all of the great activities you do with your boys! So meaningful and fun too. I also loved your reflection on the "failed" Lent. Thanks for the reminder as we gear up for another try. :) I can't join your link-up. I'll be doing a blog fast for much of Lent, only posting a few column repeats. But I am going to try to keep reading, ingesting more than adding to the conversation. God bless your Lent!

  4. Aw, thanks, Rox! Well, over the course of many Lenten seasons, we've tackled these...I like to keep it simple and no frills though, too!

    Thanks for your visit and your kind words on the crafts and the reflection....

    I'll miss you online during Lent, but admire your sacrifice in being absent in the virtual world!

    Thanks for stopping by, friend!

  5. Wow! I saw you on Modern Mrs. Darcy, and you have some great things on here. I love the crafts. I don't have a button or link to add, but just wanted to let you know I like your blog!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping over,Betsy! I love MMD's blog...just found it recently and what a treasure!

      I truly appreciate your visit!

  6. My girls are going to love painting the crucifixes; I am looking forward to trying that activity with them. Thanks for co-hosting Keeping Love in Lent. I am preparing my post for the link up. And, I am following you now, so I look forward to reading your blog.

    1. How nice of you to take the time to say hi, Elisa! So happy you can join the link up!! I really look forward to reading your post and I;m heading to your blog now to visit!

      Thanks so much! Can;t wait to see pics of the crucifix art//enjoy!

  7. Lots of great ideas, Chris! You are such a creative person. I especially like the wreath. Is that snow I can see through your window?

    1. Hi there Sue!
      Aw, you're so sweet..... It actaully only looks like I'm creative bc these are all my Lenten ideas smushed into one mega post. But THANK YOU, Sue, really, for the kind words! I appreciate them!

      YES, that IS snow and this pic was taken LAST Lent....we were still recovering from a massive blizzard at that point. We're narrowly missing a huge storm here now! yay. It was predicted to bury us, but it looks like the whole thing's been downgraded to practically nothing! You know we've had too much snow this winter when your kids are thrilled that we're not getting any!

      Thanks for visiting friend!! I hope you get to link your Lenten posts too!

      Take care!

  8. Great ideas here :) thanks for sharing...

    1. Thanks for taking the time to visit, Claire!

      God bless!

  9. Wow great ideas. I love the thorn. Such a great visual. I also love the Resurrection cross. I think I will do that with my daughter.

    1. Sherri~
      Thank you so very much! I greatly appreciate your visit and your kind words!

  10. Chris, as always you share a wealth of resources and fun with our faith! So inspiring! We are reading Amon's Adventure this year and I really like your Works of Mercy crosses! I'm pinning this post to me Lent Pinterest board :)

    1. Aw, thanks, Tracy! Enjoy Amon..we began it all over again on Wed and I simply love slipping back in time and reliving it year after year.

      Thanks for your visit. friend!

  11. Chris, you have inspired me to a little more crafting...I have all the materials for the Lenten Wreath and I love the crucifix watercolor activity! We don't have Tabitha's Travels, yet. Thank you for linking it!
    Have a very blessed Lenten season!

    1. That's wonderful..enjoy!
      And you made my day with your lovely comment!

      Thanks for visiting!

  12. What great ideas!! We will definitely be trying some of these this year. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

    1. Carrie,
      Thanks for your lovely words and for taking the time to visit!!
      I so appreciate being featured among the many lovely crafts last week at your hop!


  13. Thanks for linking up with me Chris. I am glad to be a participant, but didn't know I was actually hosting a carnival link up ;-) Your ideas are all so wonderful and creative, your boys have one great mama, God Bless you and wishing you a very blessed Lent.

    1. Meredith~

      Thanks so much for your super kind words, friend!
      Love that you took time to visit!

  14. Some wonderful ideas!!!! My favorite has to be the Crucifixion painting...perfect for a kids' project OR turn it into an elaborate and elegant art piece! Beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Pier, so very much! I love your enthusiasm and I'm flattered by your kind words!
      I visited your new blog and I LOVE it! Wow, you have a new follower!

    2. Of course!! I've been reading you over at Sarah's blog for a bit, thought it was time to say Hi!! God Bless you :)

  15. I am absolutely not crafty, and assumed the big scary craft stores would be the only place to go for wreaths like that. Glad to know I can just pop over to the dollar store!

    1. Grace~
      Terrific...! Happy to hear you might be tackling this one with your's so easy ( and individual! Each of my kids' wreaths came out quite differently! They ran with the idea!

      Thanks so much for stopping over Grace!!

  16. There's a wealth of Lenten ideas in here! But I'm totally loving that crucifix painting one. I've been thinking about doing some art with my kids - especially since my PreK-er is now home too - and I think we can all do this one while still staying in the Lenten mindset. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Wow, love to see pics of the paintings when you are done, Janice!!

      Thank you for stopping over!

  17. Chris, thanks SO much again for your hard work for the Link-Up! :) These are GREAT ideas, by the way! I will try to get the kids to do the crucifix painting. I have been feeling so exhausted lately that I feel like we have a LOT of Lenten-activity-catching-up to do! God bless you and your family!

    1. Tina~
      You're a doll to stop by!!
      Thanks so much, friend...listen, you guys have been through a tremendous amount. Your loss speaks to Lent so greatly, Tina....So maybe this is not the year for cuteness and creativity...
      You can only do what God give you!

      Thanks Tina for the kind words...:)
      "see" you in blogland soon....: ).

  18. You know, no matter how many times I read this post I realize that I skimmed over something the last time! So many wonderful ideas!!

  19. Chris, this was one of the most viewed posts so far in my Lenten Linkup. I am featuring you tomorrow on my 5 Days of Observing Lent Day 4. :-)

    1. Lisa~
      Wow....lovely news!

      Thanks for stopping over and giving me the good news!

  20. Stopping by from the BIS linkup--what great ideas! I think the crucifix art would be perfect to do with my kids, even for my non-crafty self!

  21. This is such a great round up. Beautiful watercolor!!


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