What is the fruit of the Spirit? In Galatians chapter 5, verse 22, is a list of traits, called the Fruit of the Spirit. Many Christian believe they are to cultivate and develop those traits to be more like Jesus Christ, or like God. Some Christian know that if we receive Jesus as our personal Saviour, God has promised to give us His Holy Spirit to abide in us, and when He comes to live in our heart or spirit, it is that precious Holy Spirit who causes these traits to begin to bloom and bear lovely fruit in our lives.
Others will notice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our lives. The more we seek to please and obey our Lord, the more this fruit of the Holy Spirit become evident.
This image of this lovely fruit in our lives has caught the fancy of many so that now-a-days you can buy - or make - things like wall-hangings and jewelry and other attractive objects to help us remember these nine traits, and yes, to show them more and more as we mature. In this craft, we pour plaster of paris into small platelet moulds and then paint them with one for each of the traits or graces in Galatians 5:22. Then we glue them on a wide ribbon so we can hang them on the wall of our home. When well-done they make fine gifts too.
If you can do carpentry or know someone who does, you can have nine matching pieces made of wood and use a wood-burning tool to engrave the nine words on them. But another method more in the reach of most people, is to find nine moulds, or use just one or two (perhaps saved from a blister pack when you bought something) over and over again until you have a set of nine. A good size is 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches. A rectangle is good, but it also works with oval shapes.
Please go to Casting Plaster Plaques to learn how to pour and make platelets out of plaster of paris. Note: it is smart to make extra platelets in case of mistakes later.
Assuming you have nine or more matching platelets now, and the plaster is quite dry, the next step is to paint them. If you have already found the ribbon or material you will use for the wall-hanging you can paint the platelets a matching colour. If you don't have the ribbon/material yet, you can choose whatever colour you want to paint, but then you'll have to wait with finishing this craft when you have found matching ribbon/material.
Before you paint them, it makes a nicer touch if you take time to scrape rough and excess edges off the pieces with a knife.
Acrylic paints work best for the basic background coat of your Fruit of the Spirit pieces, and are probably safest for children. Oil paints could work too.
If you used acrylic paints your platelets will be ready in a few minutes for the lettering. If you are trying to make a very neat wall-hanging, you should maybe practice some calligraphy (fancy printing) of the words, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control on some paper. Try reducing the size of your letters so that all the words will fit nicely across your platelets. However, if you find it hard to print neatly for all those words, you might decide to do a different style of lettering for each word. This is your chance to be creative!
This may be a good place for an adult to step in and help out - if asked.
What medium to use for the lettering? You may use a marker, but then you won't be able to paint over to correct a mistake, as it will bleed all over. (Remember this tip: have extra platelets ready in case of mistakes). If you use a paint brush, you need to have a very firm, sharp pointed brush, and work very slowly and patiently with the lettering. If you do make a mistake you can let it dry and then paint the background colour over the platelet, and when that is dry - try again. Also, it is possible to paint a shellac or varethane coat over them when they are complete (just not over marker lettering), which will give it a more sparkly, polished look.
If your lettering does not take up all the space on the platelet - here is a tip I use; paint a small flower or fruit in the blank space - or maybe a a swirl or opening spiral - just for a bit of creative flare.
Satisfied with your work on the nine Fruit of the Spirit platelets? Then it is time to prepare the ribbon, measure out the spacing for the placing of the platelets, and heat up a glue gun. [Another good spot for adults to help, if children are doing this craft]. A thumb-width or two makes a good distance for separating the platelets on the ribbon or material.
If you don't have a glue gun it is also possible to do this with white glue, but you must be careful not to get the ribbon too wet with the glue or it may look puckered afterwards. Also, you should leave the whole craft on wax paper over-night, to give the glue time to really set well. Maybe even lay some heavy books over the platelets so the glue can bond them to the fabric of the ribbon. (You may have to tear the wax paper off the back of the ribbon the next day).
Just a couple of finishing touches. Fold the bottom of your ribbon together and cut diagonally across it so the ribbon will have a two-point tail at the bottom. Fold the top end back over horizontally and leaving space for the hanger to be strung or threaded through, glue down the top to the back of the ribbon.
A wide milkshake straw cut to fit the width of the ribbon is good for threading through the cord or perhaps a wire that you want to loop through the straw and knot - then slide to hide the knot in the straw piece and form a triangular hanger so the wall hanging can be hung on the wall. Of course, you may want to tie a bow with the ribbon, when it suits.
Okay. Have a good look. Is it complete? Maybe it needs a nice touch at the top. You might want to glue a pretty bow at the top, or perhaps, if you have a nice dove shape in shiny gold or silver, maybe a small fruit ornament - you can glue that just so near the top to give it a finished, professional look.
Now, if the glue is dry, you can pick it up and hold it against the wall to find the right place to hang it. Sometimes a narrow space near a door that is too narrow for a picture is just right for this hanging.
Once you have made one of these Fruit of the Spirit wall hangings (or banner), you may be ready to make many more. They make a great gift to give. In that case, you might like to make a batch so you can give everyone on your Christmas or birthday list one of these Fruit of the Spirit Gifts. Fortunately, they are suitable for both men and women, and have a noble purpose - they will remind the one who receives the gift, of the fruit of the Spirit that should be evident in their lives.
When making this kind of craft it is easy to come up with slightly changed ideas. Finding some black lace and gold satin, inspired this horizontal version of the Fruit of the Spirit. (Which is being glued with white bond glue when the glue gun died). Four pieces of bias tape are glued on the back to hang this up as the plates are quite a bit heavier than the small rectangles.
To hang up these Scriptural wall hangings the top should be bent back and glued down firmly so it holds. But it must also allow space to slide that piece of plastic drinking straw through. Then the ribbon or strong cord can be drawn through it and tied to form a hanger.
Here's another viewe of placing the platelets on the ribbon, using a glue gun. As for spacing the platelets apart, you can usually tell by looing at it a distance, but often it depends on how much ribbon you have. A thumb-width or two fingers' space between the platelets makes a good average space.
While making the above demonstration gifts, the idea arose of doing this with the six pieces of Spiritual Armour that we read about in Ephesians 6. Lilke a Roman soldier we have spiritual armour to protect us; a Helmet of Salvation, a Breastplate of Righteousness (protects our heart), Belt of Truth (keeps us from tangling in lies), Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (training in service), our Shield of Faith, and our only weapon, the Sword, which is the Word of God.