Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How we Made our Model of the Tabernacle

Please read my Disclaimer post before reading this one. :-)

To make our Tabernacle model we first went to the craft store and found a bunch of stuff we weren't really shopping for! (and that stayed at the store)


But we also found things we needed. We talked about the project and planned it out before going to the store. Since we intended to send it later to my parents, our model had to be easy to take down and put up again. We looked at pictures of other models online to give us ideas, and decided to use a foam base as in my friend Laurie's model. We also assigned one of the holy articles to each child to make out of sculpey clay, so one of the children was tasked with the job of finding the sculpey clay in the store, and another couple of them picked out the paint colors we'd need (small bottles of acrylic paint for painting the holy things).

Here G and G are picking out the felt coverings for the Most Holy Place. We got four different colors to correspond to the four different coverings ~ white for "linen of the finest quality", gray for "goat's hair", red for "ram's skin dyed red", and brown with a swirly pattern for "the hide of sea cows".

This entire project took us about a week, but most of the work was done during just two of those days. The children completely owned this project. I did very little, and in fact, could have probably done nothing!

We found a 12" by 20" piece of foam for the "ground" and spray painted it brown. I'm not sure I'd spray paint foam again, as the paint seemed to melt the foam in a few places, but we figured that made the ground look more realistic. We also spray painted some craft sticks gold, to simulate the acacia tent poles that were overlaid in gold. Spray paint worked fine on those. Once the foam and sticks were dry, we began poking the sticks into the foam, evenly spaced.

I stretched some white cotton fabric around the tent posts, gluing it to the two posts that formed the entrance to the courtyard.

Most of the children spent an hour or less on their sculpey clay object, with the exception of daughter G who spent much longer on the Ark of the Covenant. Son G made the lampstand.

Little Man made the altar of incense (with some help from me). His big sister showed him how to make a clay rope around a toothpick, the toothpick giving extra stability to the handles.

I baked the sculpey clay objects as directed, at 275 degrees for 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness, but for some reason this time they actually took much longer to bake. I just kept checking them and leaving them for a little longer. Most items baked for an hour or more. The next day when they were cooled, we painted them. Son C made and painted the laver, or washbasin. The washbasin and the altar of burnt offering were the only objects that were covered in bronze. All the other objects were covered with gold. So son C painted the outside of the washbasin bronze, and the inside blue, for the water.

In addition to the Ark of the Covenant, daughter G made tiny little ten commandment tablets for the inside of the Ark, as well as Aaron's rod and a small jar of manna. Here she is painting the jar. She was in her element for this project!!

Little Man painting the altar of incense.

Daughter G wove the curtains for the entrance to the courtyard, entrance to the Tabernacle, and the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place on cardboard looms she made from an empty cereal box. We found beautiful yarn that had purple, scarlet and gold flecks in it, but we couldn't figure out how to weave in cherubim, so we left that detail out of our model.

I made loops in the edges of the tent fabric out of embroidery floss, and we inserted the popsicle-stick-top-of-the-curtain into these loops. This shows the entrance to the courtyard from the back.

We had to fasten the Most Holy Place curtain a little differently.

An action figure from an Indiana Jones play set served as priest! He is blowing a sculpey clay shofar.

Here is the altar of burnt offering that I made. One trick my daughter taught me is to wad up a ball of foil and put it in the middle if you are making a large boxy shape out of clay. It enables you to use less clay, and it helps the clay to bake faster since it's not solid all the way through.

Son L made the table of the presence. He used pennies for the showbread, a stack of 6 on each end of the table, one for each of the twelves tribes.

Here is a close up of the Ark daughter G made,

with the articles inside.

The finished Tabernacle!

This was an amazing project to do together! I highly recommend it. It was such a blessing to see my children frequently referring to the Bible to be sure they were "making it right." And we talked constantly while we worked, discussing the various rituals and what possible meaning they could have for us today. We learned SO much and had fun doing it! It will definitely be a highlight of our year!

(p.s. we spent about $35 on materials for this project, but many of the materials did not get used up and can be used later for other projects. For instance, we bought a $10 package of sculpey clay, but only used half of it. We have lots of leftover yarn and paint as well. So the actual cost of making the Tabernacle was probably closer to $20. Money well spent!)


Teacher/Mom said...

Amazing! Astonishing! Incredible! Awesome! Inspiring! Flabbergasting! Okay my mind is out of synonyms. I love it! It gives me something to look forward to for next year. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope that it gives my crew something to strive for. I think part of their problem is that there is no competition for them at home. In Awana, there is a competition element with a few certain friends that keeps them striving to learn their verses. Or when we play games, they want to be the winner. That element is absent in the homeschool environment, so they only do what is necessary to check the assignment off their list; but there is no desire on their part to work for excellence of any sort. Blessings.

Casey said...

This is awesome! I'm bookmarking this post to show my kids later.

Targetshopper: said...

Ok, seriously, no joking aside, I really really think you should offer weekend/evening workshops for outside families. I would seriously pay you to help me and my kids put together the projects that you guys accomplish. They are just incredible!! And with the hands on learning and frequent referencing to make sure they are doing it right, they are sure to remember these lessons and details long into adulthood! A.m.a.z.i.n.g!

Really, please think about it! I know I'm not the only one that would sign up for one of your classes! You and daughter G could lead it together and maybe that could be a way for her to earn extra money?? I don't know but it's an idea and I really do think many around us would sign their kids up and pay for this!

Targetshopper: said...

oops, I meant "all joking aside." :)

Aleksandr Sigalov said...

Nice blog!

If you are interested in the Tabernacle, check out my blog: http://thedeserttabernacle.blogspot.com/

I tried to gather as much information as possible on the subject there.