Posted in Christianity, Life

Life in Bible Times Projects

This summer at church, we have put all the kids together to learn some things about life in Bible times. I was put in charge of writing and language related topics and used this as an excuse to get around to some projects I’ve wanted to do for a while.


First, the failed project. Deep in a box in the shed was buried a kit for making papyrus I received as a gift probably more than a decade ago. How cool is that? Why did I wait so long to make use of it?

You soak the papyrus, and roll it flat, and soak the papyrus, and roll it flat, several times. Then layer the pieces and stack heavy things on them and let them dry.

It was really interesting to see it change texture during the process, but by the time it completely dried…

Yeah.

I can see how it would work. It’s very thin now, and in places the pieces do stick together. But obviously this is not right. Perhaps it was too old to work properly. Perhaps I did something wrong. Who knows. But I’m glad I finally tried it anyway.


Also while learning about writing, I smashed up some pottery to let the kids write on potsherds. It was more fun than you might expect.


And the project I’m very pleased with:

Is this completely historically accurate? Absolutely not. Do I still love it? Yes.

I made the prayer shawl, which was pretty simple, the main part is one big rectangle. Then embroidered the letters on the blue part. This was a little harder; I can’t write Hebrew. So I printed it out and pinned the paper to my fabric then embroidered right through it. The tedious part was getting the paper off. I recommend wetting it and letting it dry, then tearing it away gently. And having something with a small point like a seam ripper nearby to pull at the pieces that get stuck.

I purchased the tassels for the corners, as well as a leather strap and 3D printed tefillin/phylacteries. Watched some Youtube videos to figure out how to tie the straps and put them on. And then became a VERY HAPPY NERD.

We certainly could have looked at pictures of these things. But as I said, I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while anyway, so the class gave me motivation to make it happen. I loved putting this on and getting an idea of how Jesus might have felt doing so.

For the kids, I gave them small foldable boxes and let them decorate them, then we put in slips of paper with one of the verses that go in tefillin printed on it (I used Deuteronomy 6:4-9). At Walmart I found a roll of two-sided velcro for organizing cables, and it worked great to cut a piece sized to each person’s arm, and cutting small slits for the velcro at the bottom of the boxes let everyone wear their phylacteries.

Resources I used:
Printable Hebrew phrase for the prayer shawl: https://www.judaiquilt.com/How_To_Make_A_Tallit.html?fbclid=IwAR3WKo7KcRCwHex0BYG342fIY4vZg79jhSmYuH0t4ksmOPzkP89p623uWbE
Tassels: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1121250170/tzitzits-4pc-thin-wool-threads-choose?ref=yr_purchases
Long leather strip: https://www.etsy.com/listing/643735514/cow-leather-lace-super-soft-and-supple-3?ref=yr_purchases
The 3D printed tefillin were also from Etsy, but unfortunately they are no longer available and neither is the shop. I guess I got them just in time.
Videos for tying tefillin knots: https://www.youtube.com/user/danrabbi/videos
Putting on tefillin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvmRQimCtn4

2 thoughts on “Life in Bible Times Projects

  1. That is so neat! You are wonderfully creative, and you are using your talents in ways that serve our Lord.

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