When we were talking about the symbols for the season of Epiphany, my daughter pointed out the brick in her room. A few years ago my brother, Ben, salvaged this old brick with a star relief. It's actually a six sided star, like the star of David, and not a Bethlehem star usually associated with Epiphany. Still, I thought it was neat that my four-year-old would make the connection and call it her "Epiphany brick" - not to mention it's a great piece for a rubbing.
Since not all of you are lucky enough to have an uncle Ben who salvages Epiphany bricks, you can always make a raised surface from layers of dried school glue on scraps of thin, non-corrugated cardboard, such as a cereal box. The advantage of this method - you can design your own Epiphany star for rubbings. Draw your star on the cardboard, then run a line of glue over the lines. After it dries completely build up the relief by adding a second, and if you're patient a third, line of glue on top of your first. Once dry you'll have a raised surface perfect for rubbings.
After our first rubbing we decided that they were so fast, pretty and fun that we could easily mass produce enough rubbings to send to all our church shut-in friends. As a side note, I have to tell you how much we enjoy creating cards for our shut-ins. We love to make things together, I'm always looking for faith/Church Year connections, and it's not always easy to find ways young child can do for others, but sending a little handmade seasonal note to brighten someones day seems to be a perfect fit.
We just used plain old copy paper along with one of my favorite materials - Crayola construction paper crayons. Unfortunately, these crayons are difficult to find in stores and mine are old so I'm going to have to find an online source one of these days. Still, these soft crayons yield vibrant results, and they are ideal for rubbings. Yes, use regular crayons if that's what you have on hand, but if you have some of these fancy crayons, this is an exceptional application.
Remember, when rubbing, it's best to peel the wrapper off the crayon and pinch it on it's side. Press down hard and mark in long bold strokes. It may help to work with a partner to hold the paper in place. Otherwise, try tape. We started with a light color of crayon and layered two or three coats in other colors on top, adding great depth and interest.
We made about 20 rubbings, then I cut them down to fit on our blank cards. Before gluing the rubbings in place we added a strip of colored paper on the cover of the card for a little Epiphany green. Glue the rubbings on top and you're done! A set of these cards along with some envelopes would make a nice gift too.
Inside our message read: "Epiphany: God Reveals Our Savior!" Also, Adelae signed her name on each card! I was so proud of her persistence. Writing your name 20 times in a row is good practice, but also a lot of work when you still have to think about forming each letter properly.
Labeled, stamped and sealed, off our shut-in cards traveled. I hope they make our special friends smile, stop and pause - considering the wonder of the baby Jesus - quaintly, quietly born, now revealing Himself as our Lord and Savior!