Art for Advent: Banners to Make this Fall

Creation banner

Are you working with Old Testament stories this fall? During the first three weeks of Advent the scriptures remind us of the imagery of Creation, Abraham and wilderness. This is a perfect opportunity to make things now to use in worship in December. While you could create all kinds of visual art, we are focusing on banners. Our group of mostly preschoolers made a Creation banner two weeks ago.  We’ll do the same when we hear the stories of Abraham and Moses later this fall.

Creation Banner, First Sunday of Advent
Luke 21:25-36
While not about creation, the imagery of this passage includes sun, moons, stars and waves.

Wilderness Banner, Second Sunday of Advent
Luke 3:1-6.
I need to be sure to share photographs of what wilderness would have looked like for Moses and John the Baptist.

Abraham Banner, Third Sunday of Advent
Luke 3:7-18
I intentionally shaped the people like our wooden story figures.

To make this type of banner you will need cloth (ours is a 3’ x 9’ nylon banner purchased from a trading company), liquid water colors (do not dilute), a permanent marker, chalk, brushes and drop cloth. I began by outlining the design in chalk (easier to wipe away than pencil). Then, I went over the drawing with a thick, black permanent marker. If I had planned better, I could have involved an artistic youth or adult with the design.banners

After we read the story, the kids put on aprons, rolled up their sleeves and painted with fairly large brushes. They enjoyed the way the colors mixed, especially in the waves.  We completed it over two weeks so that the colors didn’t run together too much. Liquid water color is pretty forgiving if you need to go over it later with a different color. It is best to let the banner dry flat to avoid colors running.

I always appreciate the times when lesson planning and the lectionary combine in a way that allow us to create something in our classes to be used later in worship! We are also working on Chrismon ornaments for our special Advent service this year. I hope to post about that in the coming weeks.

Grace and peace,


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