Clay Oil Lamp Craft

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This clay oil lamp craft is fun to make with your kids when you are studying Bible times, especially any stories that include lamps or lights, like the parable of the ten bridesmaids who were mostly not prepared for their bridegrooms. We should be prepared for the Lord’s coming, confessing our sin and abiding in the Spirit. We should also not hide our light, but let it shine to the world, not being ashamed of the gospel.

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To make this craft, you will need terra cotta self-hardening clay. Cut the clay with a butcher knife to the desired size. Give each child a brick of clay, realizing that it doubles in size when you are forming an empty lantern. I like to put wax paper on the cutting board before cutting the clay, for easy clean-up.

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Next you will want to shape the block of clay into a bowl. Do this with your fingers. Make sure you have a plastic placemat under your work so that you don’t get clay on the table. You can also use wax paper.

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Squish the bowl into the shape of a Bible-time lantern. This means you will have a spout that is smaller, and a larger area in the back. Then join the clay together at the partition, and continue shaping it. If you want a handle, you can roll a fat snake by grabbing some extra clay and rolling it back and forth on the table with your hands. Connect it to the back of the clay oil lamp craft.

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Now you will want to add embellishments. You can use a toothpick or any craft sculpting tools you have lying around. You could also use a table knife. Carve a pattern in the clay oil lamp craft. Make sure that before you add the decorations, you have smoothed down the clay to make it as non-lumpy as possible.

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Now your clay oil lamp craft is complete! You will need to let it dry for a few days. If you actually want to light oil with a wick, you will need to use real clay (not self-hardening), and fire it in a kiln. This is much more expensive, but I suppose you could get a group rate to fire your lanterns in a local kiln. Otherwise you would have to brainstorm how to seal the self-hardening clay in another way, or place a small glass jar inside it with oil and a wick.

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8 Responses to “Clay Oil Lamp Craft”

  1. Gena Livings says:

    I love the message behind these clay oil lamps! Amen!
    What a wonderful project to work on with our kids.
    Simply Wonderful!!
    Thank You for the inspiration!!
    God Bless,
    Gena

  2. Kathie says:

    What a wonderful craft idea. And a great way to discuss a Bible verse and incorporate a message where it really sticks in their impressionable young minds. Thank you for sharing!

  3. What a wonderful craft idea. Love it when fun and a powerful message come together.

  4. Jim Brown says:

    You can place olive oil and a wick in a terra cotta clay lamp. It will burn just fine. Its has been done for thousands of years, and is done today. Just make sure the lamp is dry and hard. Varnish the lamp and let dry or else the oil will soak into the lamp and saturate it leaving a mess when you set it down.

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