Alphabet Wall: Making…j is for jar

I’d been thinking about doing a papier-mâché craft for some time but don’t relish the idea of standing and stirring starch mix over a hot stove. I mean, if I’m spending time stirring something over a stove, it’d ideally result in something to eat, haha! 😛

Anyway, simplicity is my vade mecum, and stuff requiring more than ten steps or ingredients, I abhor. So here’s my wonderbee version of a ten-step parent AND toddler friendly papier-mâché jar craft!

Part I: 1-minute papier-mâché mix
You will need: Old newspapers (lots!), plain flour, water, a jar or cup.

1. With your child’s help, spread your floor with newspapers. 
2. Tear up strips of old newspapers and set aside.
3. Mix 1 part flour to 1 part water. Stir with your fingers till there are no more lumps in the mix. Quick, hey? 😉

4. Dip the strips of newspaper into the flour mix and paste over your jar/cup. Keep on pasting till you figure you’ve got enough layers of newsprint (about seven?) to make a reasonably sturdy papier-mâché jar.

5. Leave it out to dry in the sun for a couple of days. (sorry we have so few pics of this process. First my hands were too sticky to handle the camera, and then I was too busy scrubbing dried and caked flour mix off the floor and our hands!!) 

Part II: Jar decoration
You will need: Crepe paper, scissors, glue, craft foam, stickers or other embellishments.

1. Pop the cup or jar out.

2. Normally, most people paint the papier-mâché craft, but I chose to wrap it in crepe paper this time. It was just…neater.

3. Cut out the letters j, a and r from the craft foam.

4. Have your child paste the letters and decorate the jar further with stickers or any other form of embellishments he or she would like.

5. Jars were used for several different purposes in Old and New Testament times. For Bible lesson ideas, you could:-

  • Compare and contrast what people used jars for in biblical history versus what we use them for in daily living today (e.g. contain dry grain or liquids, versus ink markers! 😉 ).
  • Compare and contrast with objects we use today for the same purposes (e.g. water bottles). 
  • Read John 2:1-11 with your child, a popular Sunday School story of Jesus’ first miracle.

10 steps, 10 items, easy peasy! 😀

Note to parents: Up until recently, the story of Jesus turning water into wine had always been to me, very simply, a miracle of water to wine. However, when I went to look it up again as the object lesson for this week’s alphabet craft, the phrase “stone water jars, the kind used by Jews for ceremonial washing” caught my attention to go delve further. Click here if you’d like an interesting read on the significance of the jars.


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