Eileen's Camp Crafts and Other Fun Things!


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Chadis Crafts' Fun Pages Presents:
Eileen's Camp Crafts'
Clay Mezuzahs

LEVEL: Preschool to Adult

Mezuzahs Made by 3-10 year olds.

Polymer Clay (SCULPEY BRAND) can be used to cover a variety of items:
wood, glass, metal, pens and more.

See my Clay page and my Picture Page for general lessons and ideas for using Polymer Clay.

To see Jewish clay jewelry see

  • Eileen's Clay Mezzuzah Charms and Clay Hebrew Name Necklaces.

  • Terra Cotta Sculpey Clay Mezuzzahs
    I taught only two days at camp this summer!
    These pictures are only some of the 65 mezuzahs we made!
    We used the bulk clay in terra cotta color of Sculpey for the base.
    We decorated with regular cane slices pf Sculpey.

    3 & 4 Year Old Camp Class

    Teens and Pre Teens

    10 Year Olds.
    One on right was made by non Jewish Student.
    She will put a strong magnet on the back for a pencil holder on the fridge


    I taught 4 group to make 65 mezuzahs.
    I used 2 boxes (3 1/2 pounds total) of the Terra Cotta Sculpey (or white Sculpey in boxes).
    For the decorations I managed to use less than 40 ounces of clay.
    I usually buy the 30 piece sampler to get 30 colors! (30 0z per box)
    More colored clay would be used if you decorate the entire object front and back.
    We mainly did only a few slices and snakes on the front only.

    Mezuzahs, Mezzuzahs, Mezuzzahs

    A mezuzah is the object used by Jewish people to mark their door jams.
    It includes a prayer written by a scribe in Hebrew on a parchment.
    It is used to mark the Jewish home and protect the people in side.
    (Remember in the movie the Ten Commandments they mark the door frame with blood to keep the spirit of death away from the house?)
    Many Jews mark all doors in a house they live in : kitchen, bedroom, office , den etc.
    Therefore, they need lots of mezuzahs.
    Others only mark the outside door.
    Mezuzahs can be made of ceramics, wood, metal, glass, clay etc.

    Teacher Preperations

    Each year parents ask me to make more mezzuzahs.

    I found a copper tube about 4 inches long in a recyle hardware store.

    Any solid object with a diameter of 3/4 - 1 inch is ok.

    The form gives children a hard work service.
    This helps the children so they don't collapse the project when working on it.

    We wrap it with aluminum foil making sure that the ends are left open.

    This allows the rod to slip out before baking.

    We use the bulk boxed white sculpey
    This is more cost effective when you are making 100.
    Or the bulk Terra Cotta color Sculpey that comes in a 1 3/4 pound box.
    Or bigger if you order the 24 pound box though Dick Blick

    We roll a sheet of clay out either by hand or using a pasta machine.

    Teachers can either do this before class
    or have the children help you with the pasta machine.

    Have them play/soften the clay.

    When clay is soften, roll through a pasta machine on the #1 setting
    or roll flat sheets about 1/4 inch thick.

    Children love taking turns turning the handle of the pasta machine.

    Wrap the sheet of clay around form.

    Shape the clay as desired, leaving the top with an opening and the bottom closed.

    Put a whole in the top and bottom to allow for the mezuzah to be hung on nails.

    The form can be decorated in any manner you wish.

    Directions for organizing class and decorating:

    This can be done in 1 or two classes.

    One to soften the white (or colored) clay for the form or for the canes.

    Second day to make or decorate the form.

    I usually taught about 4 or 5 classes a day.

    Each class does a part the first day.
    Younger children softening/playing with the clay and rolling sheets through the pasta.
    The older making jelly roll canes or other patterns.

    The teacher's or aides taking the sheets and covering the form on the first day.

    The second day before or during classes cutting the canes onto wax paper covered cookie sheets for each table to share.

    All classes get an assortment of most canes.

    Give each child a piece of wax paper to give them a clean surface to use and to keep your table free of any chemicals.

    I like to have them wash their hands before and after each clay project. (Either at a sink or using handy wipes)

    Make sure to mark the childs name gently with a pointed object or tooth pick on the back of the mezuzah.

    Children often forget what their project looked like.

    Decorate using canes and snakes.

    In the pictures on this page, we used cane slices and twisted snakes.

    When little children, I cut them and helped them decide which colors and slices to put on.

    Depending on your budget you could put on a few or many slices.

    Make two snakes.

    Twist together and apply to edge.

    Roll out a little clay to put the Hebrew Letter Shin (Represents G-d's name.)on the top.

    Use tool to make a hole on the top and on the bottom for hanging.

    Bake as directed.

    When cooled coat with Sculpey Gloss/Satin Clear Protection.

    (Or protect the clay with Future Floor Wax.)

    Canes and Snakes:

    Directions for making clay canes and slices made from canes can be found on my clay page.

    Pictures of mezuzahs that I make for sale can be seen at Chadis Crafts.

    Although these designs are copyprotected they are still a good place to get ideas for your own designs.

    Web page and beadie designs ©1998 - 2016 Eileen Chadis Wood.
    Use at home or in the classroom permitted as long as copyright is acknowledged.

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    Last updated  august 16, 2015

    Web page and beadie designs ©1998 - 2016 Eileen Chadis Wood.
    Use at home or in the classroom permitted as long as copyright is acknowledged. and
    are dedicated to the memory of my father, Max Chadis.
    From whom, my love of the Arts and my art talent came from.
    I see his talent in my teen age boys.
    I hope with these lessons to pass his love of the arts on to other teens.

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