Baptism Doves

Ally Barrett

Our children’s chapel kids make these as a gift for babies or children being baptized in our church, and present them to the family on the day – it’s a good way of reinforcing the idea that the child being baptized can grow into a child who comes to church!

You will need two paper plates per dove, scissors, pens, hole punch, double sided sticky tape (or glue, if you prefer), small bits of paper, a length of wool (about 12-18 inches if fine) per dove. You might also like to pre-print the wording on a sticker or piece of paper – see photo. Leave a dotted line for the name of the child to be written in by hand.

1. Draw on a paper plate the outline of a dove, so that the tips of the wings and the tail benefit from the crimping round the edge of the plate, but the head and the belly are entirely on the flat bit of the plate. You can cut this out and use this to make a template on your flat piece of card – this can make it easier to replicate the dove shape on the other plate, or if you need to make more than one of them!

2. Make another dove, but this time using the template the other way round (or, if you want to look at it that way, by drawing on the back of the plate rather than on the front). Either way, you want to end up being able to stick the pair of doves back to back, with the wings and tail fanning out, as in the picture. Try it, and you’ll hopefully see what I mean.

3. Use double sided tape to stick each pair of doves together. You will need one small strip at the bottom of the belly, one between the body and tail, and one at the neck. Don’t stick the back or the wings together.

5. Gently bend the wings apart. Use the hole punch to make a hole at the top of the wing, as close as you can to the balance point (the balance point on mine was towards the back of the top of the wing). Tie each end of the wool through one of the holes, so you have a loop to hang up the dove.

6. Stick on the sticker of piece of paper with the wording on it, and write the name of the child being baptized on the dotted line.

7. You should end up with a sort of ‘pocket’ between the wings of the dove. This is where your small pieces of paper come in. Children may write or draw blessings / hopes / prayers (as many as they like) on the papers, and then post them into the back of the dove, in the gap between the wings. Things like love, wisdom, happiness, family, health etc may be suggested. These words can be made into a prayer for the child being baptized as the dove is presented to them.

The doves are pretty home-made looking, but many new parents bringing babies for baptism aren’t already inundated with children’s craft projects, so it may still feel special.