Religious arts & crafts allow crafters the opportunity to showcase the symbols of their faith, and the opportunity to craft an expression of their faith into tangible form. In this manner, religious crafts provide a way for the faithful to proudly acknowledge their beliefs, and profess their love for their god or gods. This is usually done by referring to their religion’s main textual tenants or predominant symbols.
Which religions use art to express belief?
Religious arts & crafts, as commonly thought of in western society, is concerned primarily with Christianity. For this reason, the common symbols of Christianity, the cross, fish and loaves, angels, Jesus Christ, etc., are commonly incorporated into American art projects. Another popular theme is to incorporate scripture quotations. Arts & crafts are well known within the Jewish tradition as well. Jewish crafts typically focus on the most widespread symbols of Judaism, and include the Star of David, menorahs, and other icons of the belief. Jewish sayings are also frequently featured.
Ideas for religious arts & crafts
Religious arts & crafts are designed to serve as decoration for one’s home, office, vehicle, or church. Although religious features could be showcased in virtually any type of art or craft, these are some popular ideas:
1. Beaded Crafts: With a set of beads and string, pipe cleaners or safety pins, the devotee can create cute, creative religious works. The possibilities for these crafts are almost endless, and are great for the whole family. These beaded creations can be designed as jewelry, decorations, and other adornments. Virtually any religious symbol is possible with this versatile craft idea, from the Star of David to the Shroud of Turin.
2. Paint Your Own: Try to let your creative side out and paint your religious items for decoration and display or even for use in a religious service. Special ceramic paints are great to use for painting, decorating, and personalizing ceramic crosses, angels, and even scenes from the Bible. Personalize these paintings with names, birthdays, and scripture to make wonderful personalized gifts.
3. Cross Stitch & Embroidery: While it may take more skill and expertise, with a bit of practice most devotees can become experts at creating needlework. Religious needlework is especially noteworthy as it can combine both graphical images of crosses, angels, doves, and Bible scenes, as well as scripture, Bible verses, and other words of inspiration. Some more popular options for religious cross stitch and embroidery include religious pillows and Bible covers.
4. Stained Glass & Suncatchers: Stained glass art is popular for religious arts & crafts projects since stained glass is usually associated with churches and places of worship. This does not mean that you need to be a church to afford stained glass. Far from it, inexpensive stained glass kits are readily available in most hobby and craft stores, and can be used by those without any previous experience.
5. Ornaments & Window Hangers: Ornaments and window hangers are often quite simple to create; in the absence of specialized skills, all you need is some imagination and a dash of creativity. Ornaments may be designed specifically for the Christmas season, or may be year-round crafts that can be hung anywhere, even from your rearview mirror. Look on the Internet for some fun ideas for religious ornaments, hangers, and other crafts.
6. Handmade Jewelry: Most religious people will happily wear the symbols of their faith as a personal reminder of their faith and devotion. Handmade religious jewelry is very popular, and can include anything from resin angel earrings to homemade metal crucifixes. Brooches, necklaces, and bracelets are also very popular, and while they are generally designed for women, men are becoming increasingly comfortable wearing fine handmade crucifix necklaces.
Looking for resources for making religious arts & crafts
Many arts & crafts shows will feature quite a bit of religious craftwork and artwork. While there are rarely shows designed specifically for this niche market, a very high percentage of artisans & crafters feature work that includes a religious focus. If you are not able to attend any shows, do not give up hope. When looking for other ideas for religious projects, head to your local Christian bookstore or specialty shop. These stores will almost always maintain special sections dedicated to arts & crafts supplies of a religious nature. These stores also typically have finished pieces ready for purchase and gift giving. If you are more adventurous, go to a hobby store and convert a secular hobby kit into a testament of your faith.
Steve Dolan loves arts and crafts and has been creating beautiful projects for years. See his exciting new ideas for religious arts and crafts at Religious Arts and Crafts
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