Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a popular summer outreach program for children sponsored by community churches. Crafts are almost always one element of the VBS experience. Simple but useful crafts can be made for mission trips during VBS week. Most of these crafts are portable and can be made while on a mission trip. The destination and type of mission trip will determine which crafts are most suitable.
Soap serves a universal need and is an ideal item to make for almost any mission trip. Melt-and-pour soap base is easy to use and can be found at most craft stores. Fragrance oils and soap dyes can be added for one-of-a-kind creations. Cookie cutters, soap and candy molds can be used to shape the soap into a variety of designs. Molds can vary from a basic rectangular shape to fun shapes such as crosses, fish and flowers. When working with a large group, select a soap base that does not set quickly to allow time to work with and shape soap.
Colorful headbands can easily be made and are ideal for mission trips to youth homes, orphanages or women’s shelters. Headbands make a functional and memorable gift for girls and young women. Supplies for this craft can be purchased at most craft supply stores and include plain plastic headbands, a variety of ribbon, a low-temperature glue gun or tacky glue and scissors. Once the ribbon is stuck to the headband, decorative buttons, jewels or sequins can also be added.
Traditional potholder kits with cotton and nylon loops can be purchased at most craft supply shops and some toy stores. Plain, pre-made potholders can be decorated with paint, markers or iron transfers to create gifts that reflect the people or traditions of the group making them. Plain potholders can be purchased at discount stores, department stores and resale shops.
Make picture frames for each person involved in the mission trip. Depending on available resources, personalized picture frames can be made from craft foam and recycled CD cases or by decorating plain wood frames. CD cases offer a double frame option and can be transformed into keepsakes using decorative papers, stickers, paint, fabric and more. Personalize wood frames with mementos from the trip, markers, beads and other embellishments.