I don't usually post craft ideas this far in advance, but I had some trouble finding the supplies to make more of these and I thought others might need a little lead time if they encountered the same difficulties.
St. Anne is a favorite among most Catholics. My kids read in one of their daily saint books that she is called St. Grandma by some. She was a favorite of my grandma's and her and her husband's feast day is my husband's birthday (with patrons like that I knew he would be an amazing father : ) And since Sts. Anne and Joachim are the patrons of grandparents, what a great day to dust off the old photo albums and share them with your children. I also wanted to make a special craft for the kids to help them really grasp the notion that these were Jesus' earthly relatives.
Originally, I was thinking of making a frame collage with pictures of Our Lord's earthly relatives similar to what most grandmas have on some wall of their house but that started getting very involved. So I was walking around the craft store praying for inspiration when I saw these paper mache book boxes. An idea. A photo box... decorated with pictures of Sts. Anne and Joachim, the Blessed Virgin and Our Lord (and St. Joseph too since he was their son-in-law). BTW.. .my mother-in-law, who has bought and sold many houses, believes that if you really want to sell a house, you should pray to St. Anne to nudge St. Joseph because nobody nudges like a mother-in-law!
Back to the craft...
I also snagged a package of these embossed paper frames from the scrapbook aisle to dress up the pictures I wanted to use and a sheet of cardstock stickers with a Christian theme.
First you paint the outside of the box with a deep blue using a dry brush technique. That's just where you use a little bit of paint on your brush and paint it on in streaks. This created an antique finish. Then paint the sides of the book (the part that looks like pages) using a metallic antique gold paint to give the impression of gilded edges. The inside of the box could be painted the same as the outside, but I chose a wine color for contrast. The hardest part was printing out pictures that fit inside of the tiny little paper frames, but once I got the sizing right, they just glued on with a glue stick. If you want to print the pictures I used, you can find them at Scribd. Here is the inside:It is pretty enough to be displayed on it's own but also very useful as a holy card keeper. We have added what holy cards we have that aren't on our holy rings to the box like St. Anne adding pictures of distant relatives.
Now, if you are going to contemplate Mary's side of the family tree, we must not forget St. Joseph's. His family was part of Our Lord's earthly family too. So, if you missed it the first time, listen to the adorable song from Andrew Peterson called The Ballad of Matthew's Begats and just try not to tap your foot or sing along!