Before You Begin
Preparation is the key to success for this activity center. Recruit your volunteers well ahead of time and encourage them to practice making their own Saint Clip before the event. Those with beading or other handiwork experience will be especially valuable for finding the materials, assembling the kits, setting up the work space, and helping participants at the activity center.
Download Saint Clip Instruction Handout
To print: 1 per family
Document: 2 pages
Saint Clip Kits (to be assembled before the event)
Place the following items in a zip-top plastic sandwich bag or other container:
- 1 saint medal (Be sure participants can easily identify the name of the saint.)
- 1 “lobster claw” clasp
- 6 inches of soft beading wire (also called cable)
- 2 crimp beads (Be sure to have extras available at the event!)
- 3 beads
Note: Instead of putting the beads in the kits, you may wish to have a variety available in large bowls or trays at the event so that participants can choose for themselves.
At the Event
Set up several work spaces stocked with the following items:
- Saint Clip instruction handout, one for each family
- Preassembled Saint Clip kits
- Jeweler's pliers (also called needle-nose or chain-nose pliers), one for every 10 families
- Wire clippers, one for every 10 families
Note: Beads can be a choking hazard for very young children. Please remind parents to be vigilant.
Tips for Gathering Materials
Saint Medals: Most religious supply stores will carry a wide variety of saint medals. To find them online, type “saint medal base metal” into a search engine.
Clasps: “Lobster claw” clasps are widely available in craft stores and on the Internet (search terms: “lobster claw clasp”). Although prices vary considerably, base-metal versions tend to be quite inexpensive. Alternatively, you could use lanyard clips, bulldog clips, or even safety pins for this activity center.
Beading Wire/Cable: The style of wire you will want is made of fine stainless-steel wires woven together and coated in acrylic. Common brand names include Tigertail, Acculon, Soft-Flex, and Beadalon. You should be able to find beading wire at any craft or specialty store. To find it online, type “beading wire” into a search engine.
Crimp Beads: Also called crimp tubes, these are tiny metal hoops that take the place of knots when one is using wire. Instead of knotting two threads together, put both threads through the bead and then crimp the bead with pliers. Crimp beads can be purchased at craft or specialty stores. To find them online, type “metal crimp bead” or “metal crimp tube” into a search engine.
Pliers: Pliers are essential if you are using crimp beads. Luckily, the right kind for this job is easy to find. Look in any hardware or craft store for needle-nose, chain-nose, or jeweler's pliers. The actual name is less important than the build; your pliers should have a narrow nose and a stable grip. To purchase them online, type “beading tools pliers” into a search engine.
Wire Cutters: When cutting wire cable, it is best to use a specialized wire cutter or “nipper.” Scissors tend to cut unevenly, and the metal wire might seriously damage the blades. Wire cutters are available in any craft or hardware store and can be found online by typing “beading tools wire cutter” into a search engine.
Beads: Beads come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. Because there are so many styles of bead to choose from, you will be able to adapt your purchases to fit the needs and resources of your parish. You can purchase your beads online or at a craft or specialty store. If purchasing online, type “beads” or “beading supplies” into a search engine. If you are new to beading, you may wish to go to a craft or specialty store to purchase your beads. That way, you can see and compare all of the possible varieties of beads, and you will be able to ask advice from the people who work there.