In this project we were studying Africa and created a Hamsa as part of that study. A Hamsa is an ancient good luck sign that has been adopted by almost every culture and religion in North Africa and Central Asia. They are often created at stained glass pieces and hung in windows to help protect the home. I decided to make ours in a similar fashion.
To make the Hamsa, you will need:
An assortment of light colored crayons (red, yellow, orange, etc.)
black and white construction paper or sticky foam
A hair dryer (may substitute another heat source like an iron if necessary)
dark permanent marker
The first thing you do is turn your crayons into shreds. A really easy way to do this is with one of those little hand-held pencil sharpeners, but before I figured that out, I was just snipping at it with a pair of scissors and that works too.
You want to get a lot of shavings, and it’s best to stick with light colors. The darker colors just read like black or brown when they mix together. Once you have a nice little pile of shavings, place them between two sheets of wax paper.
Now, most of the crafting books I’ve read suggest using an iron to melt the wax. I tried this, and it was a complete disaster. Wax ran everywhere, residue got on the iron, and I was a little afraid I was going to catch something on fire. I found that pointing my hair dryer at the wax paper worked just as well, felt safer, and created a lot less mess.
Once your wax is melted and cooled, take your child’s hand and place it on top. Hamsa’s are traditionally thought of as right hands, so go ahead and use their right one. Then, cut out the hand.
Create and eye with your construction paper and attach it.
And that’s it! You can hang it in a window to catch the light if you’d like.
Katy is a mom of three who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter”“she blogs about raising her little miracles at Bird on the Street.
Hello. I love your blog and have used your ideas in my classroom a lot! This is a great project for Africa! In my class, we make crayon wax art all the time using an iron. Like you, I also wanted to make the project less messy and safer, so I use foil on top and underneath the wax paper. This protects your iron, allows the wax to not get super hot.
Very cute project! We also did it when we studied Morocco last year. It’s pretty!
Just came across this blog while looking for something different in the way of Valentine’s Day ideas. My daughter (7) and I just did a trial run of the Paper Hug from ’09 and she loved it! Now she wants to try everything here. Thank you so much for the wonderful work!
Thank you !
Marie-Claude Leroux says
What a great craft! Using melted wax to emulate stained glass is so creative. I know this is an older post, but if you’re interested, there’s a blog hop and link up that features multicultural crafts, activities and musings with kids, we hope others use as a resource – this post, and any others of your crafts from Around the World would be great linked up 🙂 http://mariespastiche.blogspot.ca/2014/11/creative-kids-culture-blog-hop-21.html