Besides Christmas Day, it is customary for many Puerto Ricans to celebrate Three Kings Day’s Eve (January 5) and Three Kings Day (January 6). Catholic Church's practitioners have the tradition to commemorate the Three Kings, who are known as the Magi who followed a star to find newborn Jesus (Jesus of Nazareth) and paid him respects, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.+
As many Puerto Rican kids are very familiar with the Three Kings and related festivities, they might enjoy creating a handicraft to honor these. Likewise, other kids may be attracted to make a creation about the famous Magi.
Below you will find the list of materials needed and directions to help your kids create a simple and beautiful Three Kings handcraft, based on the guidance and instructions of María Antonia Méndez, a Puerto Rican who has around 15 years of experience as an art professor and designer of arts and crafts workshops.
(2) Cardboard (approximately 10 ¾”L x 4”W),
(3) School glue,
(4) Three flat-back round acrylic gems (alternative: shiny flat-back buttons),
(5) Burlap woven fabric,
(7) Already-glittered foam board (alternative: glue glitter on foam board)
(1) Cut the burlap woven fabric into one piece that measures around 12”L x 5”W,
(2) Cut the felt into three pieces that measure approximately 2”L x 1”W or 2”L x 1 ¼”W to represent the Three Kings’ attires, and into three smaller geometric pieces that represent the Three Kings’ gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.
(3) Glue the already-cut burlap fabric on one side of the cardboard. Afterwards, you may remove some threads on the borders of the woven fabric. See our photo gallery.
(4) Once the burlap fabric-covered cardboard is on vertical position, place (do not glue) the three felt pieces, which represent the Three Kings’ attires, in a vertical position on the burlap fabric. The first felt piece should be placed on the top part of the burlap fabric, the second felt piece on the middle part of the fabric, and the third felt piece on the lower part of the fabric.
(5) Place (do not glue) each of the acrylic gems on the part of burlap fabric above each king’s attire, respectively. The acrylic gem represents the king’s head. You may place the whole acrylic gem on the woven fabric, or place ¾ of the acrylic gem on the woven fabric so that ¼ of such acrylic gem is placed directly on top of the king’s attire. Once you are sure that the Three Kings’ attires and heads are placed adequately in a vertical position on the woven fabric, you may glue the felt pieces (attires) and acrylic gems.
(6) Cut the glittered foam board into three geometric pieces that simulate the kings’ crowns. Place these pieces on the woven fabric above each of the acrylic gems (the kings’ heads), respectively. Glue the glittered foam pieces on the fabric.
(7) Place each of the small geometric felt pieces, which represent the Three Kings’ gifts, on top of each king’s attire, respectively.
Let the kids use their imagination and create.
Those interested in arts and crafts workshops for kids as well as for adults or special events, may contact María Antonia Méndez at 787-685-9224, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
+ Note: Religious beliefs and practices influence culture. As Catholicism has been one of the main religions practiced in Puerto Rico throughout the years, the commemoration of the Three Kings has been generally embedded in Puerto Rico’s culture. Festivities and artisanal works honoring the Three Kings are customary in this Caribbean island. The purpose of this article is not to endorse a particular religion, but to provide information about how to make a particular handicraft depicting the Three Kings.