Saturday 23 November 2013

Shifting Sands

At the Women’s World Day of Prayer Residential Conference, we were planning for the 2015 service. This year I was allocated to the Children’s Group – we had to use the material sent from the Host Country [The Bahamas] to plan a children’s service, and also come up with some ideas for crafts. If possible these needed to have a Bahamian Theme. Here’s the table of stuff we produced


There is the undersea diorama [made by Wendy], some flowers and shell sculptures [made by Saundra] our Junkanoo Masks [we did one each] lizards and beads [collaborative effort!] Junkanoo is the festival held around Christmas time.  The masks were quite simply made using cheap paper plates which we decorated with ribbons, feathers, wool and sequins. The diorama has sand and shells on the bottom, and fishes cut from paper.



The beads are Bahamian Sand Beads. It seems that the children of the islands make these quite cheaply from materials they have to hand, and sell them to the tourists from the Cruise Ships [presumably for a good price!] I’d not come across this craft before, and made samples last Saturday to show my friends – then we all made more at the conference.


You need

1 cup of sand

1 cup of flour [I had SR but plain is fine]

1 tbsp PVA glue

1 tbsp poster/acrylic paint


Put all these into a large bowl. Important step put a spoonful of cooking oil into your palm and massage round both hands till they are well oiled. Now mix all the ingredients together and knead until you have a smooth lump of dough.IMG_1100

Break off small lumps of dough and roll them into balls. Place the balls onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.

Use a skewer or cocktail stick to make a hole through each bead [wiggle the stick about to make a largish hole!]IMG_1102IMG_1106

Leave to dry overnight [or bake for 25minutes in a low oven, then leave to cool for a couple of hours] Paint the dry, cool beads with a 50/50 mixture of PVA and water and leave on a sheet of plastic [eg opened out bin-bag] to dry.


You can see here that the varnished bead on the right has a shinier, smoother surface. Use a needle or skewer to make the hole again if it has closed up! Now thread the beads on a string IMG_1110

Here are my beads and below some of the ones we made at the conference.

I liked this craft, it was relatively quick, simple and cheap, and I think children will enjoy the mess!


The cooking oil step is important- it helps to keep your hands clean. The beads are quite heavy [bracelets on elastic might be better than necklaces] I only had green and yellow paint to hand – some red and blue beads would have looked good too.


  1. Echoes of Paul H, making dough!
    they look very pretty and I think children would find them easy to make.

  2. Honestly? You're working on 2015? That's fairly impressive. Will you not be confused when you still haven't got Egypt out of the way??


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