The Pallet Post

12 07 2013

One day before high school mission trip…All of the paperwork was filled out, all of the programming was written, and all of the supplies had been bought. (Hallelujah!!)

But instead of taking a rest, Luke (my summer intern) and I went on an adventure around town to create a Pinterest-inspired worship background. First, we had to find a free pallet. (Shreveport folks, if you need a free pallet, I can connect you!) Then, we printed and cut out giant letter stencils. Next, we experimented with white spray paint that we found in a closet before moving on to our more effective acrylic paint. We ended up staying up at the church until well into the evening!

Each night of the trip, we explored one of the “One Another” verses in the Bible. Some of our girls took responsibility for adding a new word each night, and then on the last night, we had each participant sign the board using a paint pen.

Love, love, love the result!!! Here’s the evolution of our pallet:






Mosaic Crosses

30 04 2012

At our spring retreat this year, we spent a night thinking about grace and salvation. We looked at the story of the woman caught in adultery and talked about how the message of the cross is that God makes beautiful things out of our brokenness. After singing, playing a game, and talking through this story, we divided into our small groups for a time of creative response. We gave each group a hammer, old towels, and one ceramic tile per person. We invited the youth to smash their tile into tiny pieces as they reflected on the idea of “brokenness.” (The idea was, each small group would amass a variety of different colored tile pieces in the process). Then, we passed out plain wooden crosses (we bought them for $1 at Hobby Lobby), mosaic grout, and plastic spoons, and we let the youth create to their hearts’ content! Hand wipes also came in handy (no pun intended).

If you want to do this craft for less money and less mess, check home improvement stores and ask if you can have their broken tile pieces. But for us, it totally worked to break our own tiles!

breaking tiles

Jordan's cross in progress

Remind students not to eat the grout ūüôā

one small group's completed crosses!


16 01 2012

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

– 2 Corinthians 3:18

Last night was one of my favorite youth group meetings ever. ¬†One of my high school seniors is taking a “Career Mentorship” class this semester, which means he gets to come hang out at the church for one hour every day. ¬†At first I had my doubts about how much work we would actually get done…but ¬†last week, we spent a couple of days reflecting on Scripture and devising an elaborate art project for youth group. ¬†(Side note: How much better is it to work with youth when writing your lesson plan??? You get great ideas, buy-in, and immediate feedback about whether something will work!)

Part 1.  Canvas

We started out by remembering the story of Moses: how his face glowed when he returned from Mount Sinai. ¬†We talked about how it is impossible to spend time with God and remain unchanged. ¬†(I brought up the saying, “Come as you are, but don’t stay that way,” and we discussed how this applies to the Christian life).

Earlier, we had painted two canvases black. ¬†On one we had attached vinyl letters to read, “God is…” ¬†On the other, I invited the youth to fill in the blank with Sharpie poster paint pens:

We then read 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 using a modified type of Lectio Divina. ¬†In our response time, we discussed what it would look like for us to reflect the glory of God today (hint: we probably won’t actually glow, but we want it to be just as obvious that we’ve been spending time with God!)

Part 2. Mirrors.

Self-Portrait: forgiveness

The youth divided into pairs, and each pair picked one attribute of God to reflect back into the world. ¬†Then we created mirror etchings based around each of their attributes, etching the negative space so that the design itself would shine through. ¬†(So whenever you look into the mirror, the only part that reflects back would be “Love,” “Joy,” etc.)

I got my directions from Dancing Commas (she did a fruit bowl, but the technique is the same). ¬†Here’s my quick rundown of instructions:

1. We used 12-inch square mirror tiles, marking off a six-inch square (the design area) in the middle with masking tape.

2. We provided the youth with a variety of letter stickers, and several sheets of plain vinyl stickers (which they could cut out into any shape).  I also printed out some Christian symbols, which they could trace onto the vinyl.  Stickers and stencils were a really good idea; the non-artistic youth ended up just writing their word onto the mirror with the stickers, and they looked just as good as the more elaborate squares!

3. The etching cream is really acid, so take precautions if you let youth use it. ¬†No horseplay, don’t let it touch your skin, etc.

washing off the etching cream

washing off the etching cream

4. We waited about 30 minutes before washing off the etching cream (which means they haven’t seen their final products yet). ¬†Just a warning: no matter how many mirror tiles you do, you will still have a minor panic attack every time you wash off the etching cream, because you will think it didn’t work. ¬†I promise, once it dries, it will be awesome!

I love the variety of images that were created last night! ¬†We intend to hang all of the artwork in our Youth Wing in the next week or so. ¬†And at Prayer Breakfast tomorrow, I’m going to give each of the kids a tiny mirror tile (you can get them cheap at Hobby Lobby) with a characteristic of God written on it in Sharpie. ¬†We’ll challenge them to carry it with them all day as a reminder to reflect that characteristic back into their schools/homes/etc.

the word "alive" etched into a mirror, with a tree

"Be Alive" (created by two students)

Valentine’s Day! (well, almost)

13 02 2011

At the end of youth group tonight, I handed out valentines to my youth (and counselors): Tootsie Roll pops with lips and mustaches attached! Thanks to Blonde Designs Blog for the idea…they were a big hit!

Crafty Post #2: The Gargantuan Calendar

25 05 2010

So, about a month ago, I decided that our Youth Wing needed some more decoration. ¬†And not just any decoration, either…a gigantic calendar. ¬†This was my inspiration (thanks, Jana!), and we had just enough leftover ribbon from Dinner and Dance to begin!

I had two of my youth help me draw out the squares, which we then covered with blue ribbon. ¬†And it looked…not quite like I had imagined it. ¬†I added on some of the event decals, and it looked…well, tacky.

But then this weekend, we made the date numbers using my mom’s Cricut machine. ¬†This, apparently, was the finishing touch! ¬†I’m about to have to change the calendar out for June, and I’m still looking for more creative ways to post events, but this is certainly a start, and I think it works nicely!

Slumber Party Invitations

25 05 2010

Next month, the youth and children’s ministries are teaming up to host a mother-daughter slumber party for tween girls (incoming grades 4-8). ¬†It’s going to be a super girly night, and even though I’m not the most girly-girl ever, I’m so excited about hanging out with my girls and their moms. ¬†(Plus, my own mom is coming, too!)

I thought this event required something beyond the cursory email announcements and text-message reminders that I sent out every week, so I took it upon myself to design and craft special sleeping-bag invitations for the party:

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most crafty person in the world (that honor goes to either my mother or my sister, who can create literally anything out of paper or fabric). ¬†But every once in a while, I just get the urge to go all out, and this afternoon’s project was the result:

Julie and I sat on the floor of the Fellowship Hall and assembled the invitations. ¬†First, we printed out the text of the invitation on pieces of hot pink cardstock, and we cut them into 3×8 inch rectangles (each invitation consisted of two rectangles: one for the front and one for the back. ¬†We also cut sheets of pink patterned felt in 3-inch squares (2 matching squares perinvitation), and glued the felt to the back of the cardstock rectangles. ¬†We folded the edge of the front back into a triangle shape, to show off the pretty felt on the inside.

Then, we created the little girl heads by cutting out a circle of skin-toned paper and gluing on googly eyes and yarn hair.  We glued the heads to back art of the sleeping bag, and then glued the sleeping bag paper together.

Voila! ¬†In less than an hour, we had created a whole party’s worth of sleeping girls — 19, to be exact. ¬†Hope these invitations make them begin looking forward to the party as much as I am!