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In July I will be going on a mission trip to the Ensenada area of Mexico with Azusa Pacific U on a Family Mission trip. The groups are split up and do construction work for the church they are assigned to and a VBS for children. They also do crafts with the ladies.
If it was me, I'd take glass beads (must be larger than seed beads or it's too hard to work with) , plastic streach string (made for beading) 1 bottle of clear nail polish(to put on the finishing knots) and make streachy bead bracelets. If you want to get fancy, buy charms that symbolize what your mission is about--friendship, hope, love--and add one to each bracelet.
They would be innexpensive, take up a small amount of luggange space, be quick to make, and produce something that I myself would really want to have. I wear several every day to the office.
Have a wonderful time.
Ok - I am back from my own trip with some great results.
Note: we didn't have hot glue guns or electricity
With the ladies, we crafted:
1) Journals - 1/2 sheets of paper (about 20) with manila folder material on the front/back. Punched holes and bound with ribbon. Decorated front with homemade stamps. (How to make stamps: take styrofoam like from a meat package, cut into a square, indent with pencil with desired shapes and wham-o: custom stamp)
2) small bags - they loved gluing and sewing ribbons and such on these
3) headbands - bought plain plastic ones from Oriental Trading company and wrapped them with ribbon and/or fabric in various methods. Glue to adhere. Loved it.
How about flower pens? Take the silk flowers and about a 1-inch stem from silk bouquets. Hold flower at top of pen and wrap stem and pen together with green floral tape.
How about a sugar scrub for their hands and feet?
how about some of the thrifty crafts on this site. there is one on this very newsletter. coffee cans, beads and some other containers and paper could make a storage something