This is so easy to do and my kids have been loving it! On May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope John Paul II is being beatified! :-) So this week, we've been making Divine Mercy medals and JPII crucifixes!
This is easier to do than it looks. All you need is polymer clay, and a few religious medals. You can get polymer clay (like sculpey or fimo) from a craft store, or even Wal-Mart, and it's not that expensive. You can either order some religious medals, or you can get them from your local Catholic shop. Every Catholic shop I've been in has a set of these drawers with cheap religious medals. (Be sure to also check the rosary pieces section, which is usually in a different place, for crucifixes).
To make our molds, I used scrap clay that had all the colors mixed up because it's basically useless for anything else. Just press your object in and remove it, then bake according to package directions.
After you've baked your mold, you're ready to go. To prevent the clay from sticking to our mold, I dusted a little bit of flour on with a paint brush. Have your kids stick the clay in, and pull it back out. Voila! Instant religious medal! I used the same kind of clay for both the mold and the 'medals', but I'm sure there are other materials that would work.
Just trim around the edges with a knife (a job for mom, not kids) and then bake according to package directions. Here is a picture of me indeed letting my 5 year old do her own cutting- lol!
Don't forget to poke a hole with a paper clip, or add a medal jewelry ring thingy before baking if you want to use it as a bead. Here are some different Divine Mercy Medals we made:
We started with solid colors, and we tried pressing in glass seed beads for the red and blue rays. Then we made "marbled" religious medals by mixing some of the colors together before pressing it into the mold. These were all fun experiments! I also made these multi colored ones with rays by rolling little bits of red and blue clay and sticking them into the mold first. See the pictures:
Alternately, you could paint your "medals" after they are baked with some acrylic craft paint. Lydia made her Divine Mercy "medals" purple. I try not to stifle her creativity. ;-)
You could do this with any religious medal your heart desires to make! When we were done, we made ours into Divine Mercy Chaplets. You can either make easy chaplets from pipe cleaners and pony beads, or you can get really crafty with your polymer clay and make your own beads! It's totally doable! :-)