We started our new term at Toddler Church in September, but I haven’t got into the habit yet of blogging what we’ve been doing each week. But this week had particularly good feedback, and took a little more preparation so I thought I’d just blog what we did.
We were telling the story of Mary pouring expensive perfume over Jesus feet and how that was a sign of how important Jesus is. I thought is might be best not to go into the nuances of Judas arguing that she shouldn’t have done it, and just kept it simple with, it was expensive perfume because Jesus is important. So the craft we had was decorating perfume pots for them to give to their mums- which also extended into nan’s, playgroup teachers, and a big sister who was off school poorly.
This one took a bit more preparation than useful. If the kids were a bit older we could have made the perfume itself with them, but as they’re only tiny I thought it might be easier to make it beforehand. It is really easy to make though- you just need a few microwaveable pots, and of course a microwave. The ingredients are beeswax, petroleum jelly, oil (should be almond but I used normal olive oil), and essential oil for the fragrance. The ingredients can all be bought online which is definitely the simplest way to get everything. The beeswax in particular could have been quite tricky to find unless you happen to know a nice bee keeper. You only actually need half a tablespoon though so I didn’t need the full amount that I ordered. This is what I used though, but you definitely don’t need more than one bar for one or two batches:
It comes in a small block that you need to melt in the microwave before you can measure it out. If you do it in short 20 or 30 second bursts then you won’t overheat it.
Once you’ve got the wax to a consistency that you can measure it out, you need to put half a tablespoon into a small pot with half a tablespoon of petroleum jelly and a tablespoon of oil.
That can then go back in the microwave, and keep heating it in 20 second bursts, stirring after each time with a cocktail stick, until everything has melted and blended together. I found that one batch made about 6 small pots.
The perfume mixture sets pretty quickly so you need to get it into your pots straight away. DON’T FORGET though to add in the essential oil at this point. This is what will make it smell nice so if you miss it out, it well just smell like beeswax, which is nice but not what you want from a perfume. I tried with white musk and lavender essential oils. The lavender worked really well and smelt lovely, but the scent of the white musk wasn’t strong enough to combat the wax. So just make sure you use something quite strong smelling. We thought during the session that you could use your own perfume to make a travel size/plane safe version of it. Or you could use the perfume tester bottles to fragrance it into more well known and less oil burner-like scents.
Back to the recipe, you need to put about 12 drops of fragrance into your mixture- slightly more or less depending on how strong the scent is. Make sure you have the pots ready to pour your hot mixture into. The pots I used were these ones, which are a perfect size for handbags, and look really cute:
So while your pots are full of hot perfume they should look a bit like this:
They don’t take long to set, so let them solidify before you put the lid on- that will prevent condensation. However, it is worth washing up the pots you used to make it in before it sets as it makes it so much easier to wash, I found that out the hard way.
I gave the toddlers a fairly free reign with how to decorate them. They had paint, coloured tissue paper, glittery letters, angels and crosses, gems, glue- lots of messy things to play with! They really enjoyed decorating their little pots though and they came up with a variety of ‘designs’. The mums got involved and made them look very professional as well.
The feedback from mums was really positive, which it isn’t always unless you ask what they thought. It came out as something that would be really good to do around Christmas, particularly for any children that have school fairs where they need to sell homemade items.
This idea was from a brilliant lady who I used to work with doing youth work in my home parish, who has brought up a couple of books full of her amazing ideas. The instructions for this particular craft can be found in Not Sunday, Not School! (Eleanor Zuercher), under the women of the New Testament section. For more ideas please buy the book and wonder at the sheer volume of brilliance contained in it.
I’ll be trying to get back into the habit of blogging more regularly from now on. Please leave a comment to let me know you’ve been!