The Ark of the Covenant has long fascinated Christians and Jews. As children receive their religious education in Sunday Schools, teachers strive to create a clear understanding of the Ark's construction and significance to the people of Israel. With a few household items and some creativity, you can create a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. According to scripture, the Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandments, Aaron's miraculously budded rod and a golden jar of bread from heaven, known as manna.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Large shoe box or boot box
- Gold spray paint
- 2 styrofoam balls (1-inch diameter)
- 2 wooden skewers
- 2 handkerchiefs
- 4 plumes or feathers
- Gold yarn
- Hole punch
- Small apothecary jar
- Gray foam board
- Fine-point permanent marker
- Clipping shears
- Hot glue gun
- 1 slice of white bread
Remove the lid from your cardboard shoe box. Lay the shoe box face-up on the newspaper with the upside-down lid beside it. Spray paint both pieces, inside and out, with gold spray paint and allow to dry. Flip over both pieces and spray paint the bottoms of the box and lid and allow to dry.
Attach the shoe box lid to the shoe box base. Use your hole punch to punch two holes on one long side of the shoe box lid, each hole 2 inches from the box corners. Punch two more holes in the shoe box base, each 1 1/2 inches down and 2 inches in from the corners of a single long side. Cut two 8-inch lengths of gold yarn. Loop each piece of yarn vertically through the hole in the shoe box lid and then through the corresponding hole in the shoe box base several times and tie a knot. Cut off any excess yarn. This will create a hinge effect on the box for opening.
Create the two angels on the Ark's lid. Insert a wooden skewer halfway into each styrofoam craft ball. Push the skewer gently through the cardboard box lid 2 1/2 inches from the edge of the box. Repeat this process for the second angel. Use hot glue gun to put glue on the underside of the box lid to seal the pointed end of the skewer and affix it to the box's underside. Reinforce the skewer base with hot glue on the top of the box lid. Gently drape a handkerchief around each styrofoam ball and skewer, tying each handkerchief at the base of the styrofoam ball with a loose piece of yarn. Glue two feathers or plumes to the back of each angel shape. Bend the wings towards the opposing angel. Spray paint each angel and its wings
Create the Ten Commandments out of foam board. Draw two U-shapes with the permanent marker on the grey foam board. Draw a horizontal line on each to connect the open end of each U-shape. Use scissors to cut out each shape. Use the fine point permanent marker to scribble five wavy lines horizontally on each. Number each wavy line 1 through 10.
Clip a branch from a backyard plant to represent Aaron's budded rod. Select a 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick branch with small buds on it. Use clipping shears to cut an 8-inch length of the branch.
To create the golden jar with heavenly manna in it, spray-paint the apothecary jar gold. Tear off small pieces of white bread and place them in the jar.
Place the foam Ten Commandments, the budded branch and the golden jar of white bread in the shoe box. Secure each in place with a dab of hot glue.
Make an Ark of the Covenant Replica for Sunday School
Tips and warnings
- Though there is debate, some scholars believe that plans for the tabernacle were also included in the Ark of the Covenant. To include those, roll up small scrolls of paper tied with gold yarn.
- Some rabbinic traditions also believe that broken fragments of the first version of the Ten Commandments were also included in the Ark. Repeating Step 4 and cutting up the resulting tablets could provide this effect.
- Keep hot glue guns, sharp wooden skewers and spray paint away from children.