My wife and I love making many things, but I especially like to make things that serve a real purpose and I can’t think of anything more worthy than helping our church to grow and serve others. For many years our Woodlands United Methodist church has had a “Craft Circle” group of ladies who make craft items for two big annual Fall sales; one called “Gala” and the other “Boutique”. The items include handmade quilts, glassware and various decorated items. While the craft ladies are very good at decoration they often ask us to help supply the raw materials that go into a finished craft.
A good example are the beautiful wooden crosses that Craft Circle decorates every year. They come in two sizes; 15″ x 12″ and 20″ x 12″. The small one is made from 2×3 lumber and the large one is made from 4×4 lumber. It might seem an easy job to build a cross from two pieces of lumber, but it turns out to require far more measurement and accuracy than I first imagined! The point at which the two pieces are joined has to be notched to exactly 1/2 the width of the other piece and accomplishing this on the table or chop saws takes a bit of practice. Fortunately Maker Barn has the tools we need to churn out large and small crosses – we just supply the lumber and the willingness to learn how!
Another example are special wooden church name tags made in the shape of a dove and used at a special conference held 2-3 times a year called “Walk to Emmaus”. Prior to Maker Barn each tag was made by hand using a scroll saw and it took one person 10+ hours to make the 100+ tags required every year! At Maker Barn we use a vector file of the dove and knock out 60 doves in a little over an hour using the laser printer equipment.
Our church is a very special part of our lives and Maker Barn has become a welcome way to learn new skills and contribute to our church at the same time.
- John Buckley