|The story of Anna does not hold any obvious craft elements, however, the the idea of contemplation, spending time with God, journeying to a known goal and prayer are wrapped up in the use of labyrinths. There are many ways to make a labyrinth, and while the most memorable are often large scale, finger labyrinths are often used as a way of calming children and those in times of stress. Here are 3 ways to make your own finger labyrinth. Once you have finished your creations try them out using the prayer Jesus taught his disciples.
Use the titles below to jump directly to the method you wish to use or read on for all the ideas.
When you talk about sewing with children you expect it to be far too time consuming to complete in one session. However, the simplicity of this small finger labyrinth mean’s it can be completed in about 20 minutes, which is actually quite acceptable for many kids ministry groups. The trick is to be prepared.
|The children will be sewing 2 lines to create a basic 5 path labyrinth.
Pictured is a Round Woodgrain Mini Flexi Hoop (3 inch) – these cost very little to buy and are quite sturdy for small hands.(mine cost £0.67)
I used material designed for cross stitch so the holes were there already but any material would work.
I used a simple piece of embroidery thread (I didn’t separate it so it’s 6 strands thick)
and as I had a bit of extra time I added a tiny button in the middle.
|Print the design and trace it onto the fabric using a pencil. To be honest it doesn’t matter if this shows a little. you may want to use a window of light box to make this easier.
Position the design in the hoop and roughly trim the excess (we can always neaten this later, but if it’s too small and they pull it out it may be hard to re-position), if you trust the children not to pull it out neaten it to about the level pictured here.
|Pre thread the needle and put a small knot in the end of the thread. If you are working with younger children then double the thread over and knot both ends in one knot. This will prevent the needle becoming un-threaded. I would also put the tread through the pattern at the starting position.
Working from the edge use backstitch following the line to the middle, there is no need to tie the thread off at the end of this line, simply bring the needle up at the end of the other line and start line 2. Tie a knot at the end of your stitching and you are done.
If you wish you can add a button or sticker to the middle of your Labyrinth.
If stitching is just too much time, or too much expense, for your group then this is a much faster and cheaper craft alternative. By scoring paper to make ridges, bumps and guidelines you can create a simple Labyrinth from nothing more than stiff paper.
To make the one pictured I used : some brown parcel paper (you want stiff paper), some paper to mount on, a labyrinth printout, a slightly blunt pencil, some sticky tack, a glue stick and some funky foam (craft foam sheet).
|The foam sheet is going to be your working surface, it will allow you to create a nice ridge in the paper. If work on a hard surface the ridge will be almost invisible.
Put your brown parcel paper ontop of the foam and then place the printout ontop of that. Place a small amount of sticky tack on the edges of each layer to secure in place. Now comes the decision. if you want your finger to follow the ridge you need to draw a slow firm line on the labyrinth printout pathway. If you want the ridges to be the labyrinth walls you need to follow the walls of the labyrinth on your template.
|Work slowly making sure you don’t move the layers and that you draw one continual line. if you draw too many lines it may not work.
When you have completed your drawing remove the sticky tack and check to see if you need to deepen any ridges. Don’t worry about getting pencil on the brown paper you will only see the one side.
|Trim leaving a good border and add a small amount of glue to the edges of the paper only. Mount your labyrinth onto paper and test out.
If you want the sheet used for mounting then the PDF is here – pictured size A5
| Scrapes / Snakes
The obvious thing to do is to make a finger labyrinth out of clay or something similar like plasticine.
Again you can work your relief in 2 ways. The first is to scrape out your design. the second is to form a thin rope or snake and build up the walls.
Either use the worksheet to get the starting shapes of the labyrinth and draw it freehand onto the base or if you are pushed for time then give the children the bases ready made, print the design onto card, mount it on something sturdy, and get the children to build the walls rather than carve the pathways.
If you use plasticine then the kids can take home their creations immediately. I wouldn’t use salt dough for this activity as it tends to crack more.