Celebrate Blessed Kateri’s Canonization with Kids!

The date of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha’s canonization is going to be October 21, 2012! (Yay!) The cool thing about soon-to-be-Saint Kateri is that she was Native American. This opens up all kinds of crafting possibilities! πŸ˜‰ Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha’s feast day is July 14. We made some fun, Native American dress up crafts to celebrate St. Kateri’s canonization with my kids! You can find all of my All Saints’ Day resources for kids here.

Also, you should totally check out my All Saints’ Day food labels! This is the perfect All Saints’ Day party printable as it turns everyday kid snacks into symbols of the Saints, making celebrating a breeze for mom!

We were inspired by some crafts over on Catholic Inspired. Jennifer has directions on how to make this Native American vest, Christian symbols headband (with free download), and this Cross and Beads necklace. Aren’t they cute?! We also made an Indian vest from paper grocery bags, and a Native American headband to match.

Supplies Needed to make Catholic Saint Kateri Craft:

  • Brown Paper Grocery Sack
  • Colored Feathers (if you don’t want to buy these, you can cut feathers from construction paper. But it’s way fun to have really colorful feathers.) πŸ˜‰
  • Oil Pastels (Here’s the thing- you could use crayons, but oil pastels are going to produce a much more colorful craft. They’re great for kids, and I highly recommend having a set around your house.)
  • Pony Beads
  • Twine
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

I found a lot of different ways to make brown paper bags into vests online. Here’s what worked for us.

Start by cutting your paper grocery bag all the way up the middle.

Next, cut a head hole in the bottom of the bag (the rectangular part).

Then, cut 2 armholes, one in each side. (Not to insult your intelligence- lol!) πŸ˜‰

Turn the bag inside-out so that the writing is on the inside, leaving the outside blank and ready for you to color. We did find that the vests fit better if we folded in some of the bag by the shoulder and stapled it underneath. You can also try rounding some of your corners or folding them under to play with the shape of your vest.

Now, what I think makes the vests look really cute is to give them a faux leather look by crumpling the bag. (Julian absolutely insisted that we not crumple his, and I respected that.) So crumple it and un-crumple it about 3 to 5 times until it looks nice and leathery.

Then, smooth it out with your hand. I saw where some people online had ironed theirs…. um, no. I don’t even iron my church clothes on Sunday, and I’m certainly not going to iron a vest made from paper bags- lol! It smooths out with your hands just fine.

Now comes the fun part- decorate it however you want! We cut some fringe in the bottom. I thought it was cutest to cut wide fringe, then crumple it a little more. Julian didn’t want fringe at first, but once he saw everyone else’s, he asked to have some. πŸ™‚

Draw on Christian symbols and patterns with oil pastels. I really do love oil pastels and let my kids color with them all the time. They have way better color than crayons, plus you can mix the colors and they draw on dark paper and foil. My kids love them!

We also taped on pieces of twine, strung on pony beads, and taped colored feathers to the end. You could put as many of these wherever you want on the vest. I wrapped the ends of the twine with tape to keep it from raveling while the kids strung the beads. You might want to tie a knot to hold the beads on before taping on your feather, just in case the feather falls off.

Now your Native American vest craft is all done!

For the headband, cut a long strip of paper bag, decorate with oil pastels, and tape feathers on the back side. We also added twine with pony beads and feathers to the headband. Again, we just taped them on. Measure the Indian headband craft to fit your child’s head, and then staple it in a loop.

Once it’s in a loop, you’re ready to wear it!

I think the twine that hung down from the Native American headband with the pony beads and feathers made it extra cute!

This would also be a cute Indian craft to do at Thanksgiving, or if you are doing a Native American unit study.

Lydia also made this American flag all by herself from sticks, paper, markers, and packing tape! (Can you tell that I’m proud that she did this all by herself? Seriously, she just asked me where the tape was, then showed me this flag!) There are not that many American Saints, and St. Kateri is one of them!   

We also made crosses out of sticks. Whenever you see a picture of Saint Kateri, she’s almost always holding a cross made from sticks. πŸ™‚

My kids had such a good time with this craft! They made headband after headband until we ran out of feathers! And just look how many beads Violet strung onto her vest!

To re-enforce Saint Kateri’s story with the kids, we’ve been listening to our Saint Kateri Glory Story CD from Holy Heroes. (We clearly need to listen to it some more since after finishing the above craft, Julian asked me for his “life jacket and crown”. lol.) I have all of the Glory Story CD’s, and my kids love to listen to them in the van. The stories are kid-friendly, and very professionally produced! If you ever invite me to your kid’s birthday party, I’m likely to show up with a Glory Story CD as their present. πŸ˜‰

Holy Heroes also has a FREE SAINT KATERI COLORING BOOK that you can download! It’s really cute.

We’re very excited about Saint Kateri’s upcoming canonization around here!!! 

If you are looking for ideas for All Saints’ Day costume ideas for kids, be sure to check out my Saint Costume Directory!

Check out my All Saints’ Day Resource Page here.


  1. Thanks for linking to my blog, Lacy!
    I actually just added a post about my daughter’s hand-made Kateri costume for All Saint’s Day!
    She’s very happy with it! πŸ˜‰
    Your sweet kids look great BTW!!
    And I love the crumpled look you added to the vests!! Nice touch! πŸ™‚
    God Bless!

    • I just saw that on Pinterest this morning! Lydia wants to be Kateri this year, and you’re right- all of the packaged Native American costumes are so revealing!!! We’ll be using your tutorial. Thank so much for taking the time to post the things you do. πŸ™‚

  2. We just read this lesson in our Seton curriculum today! Thanks for the information!

  3. My fourth child is named Kateri. We are very excited for the canonization. We are having a party. The 8 & 10 year old are writing a play. So we are using these as part of the costumes. Thank you. We are also having other craft and mohawk food.

  4. Michaeleen from JoshEWEa's Garden says

    These are awesome! Who doesn’t love a combo of dress-up and crafting!!! I think I will pre-make them for my Little Saints Homeschool Co-op class that meets on 10/29. I think if the vests/headbands are ready to decorate, the 13 kiddos can get right into the fun of wearing them. We’ll also be making stick crosses using ties from our hay bales! I made a lovely Holy Card for soon-to-be Saint Kateri using a photo I took of the statue of her at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadelupe in LaCrosse, WI! (I wish I could post it and show you…) Thanks so much for such a great post!

  5. Beautiful as always!!! I would like to share a craft I did a couple years ago inspired in blessed Kateri:
    It’s a rosary, I hope you like it!!

    • I love this craft so much! I wanted to do a Kateri round-up this week so I could share this with everyone, but didn’t get around to it. Thanks so much for posting the link! So great to hear from you! πŸ™‚ {{hugs!!!}}

  6. Jenny @ Holyducklings.blogspot.com says

    What a great Kateri costume…and what a fun way for the kids to get creative. Thank you so much for all the great craft ideas πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks for the great ideas- I think we will be making the headbands on Tuesday night at Faith formation class (1st grade) but I think we will make “feathers out of construction paper and write on them qualities of St Kateri (I dont want to have to stay till midnight cleaning up feather fuzz !!!!

  8. Melissa Buttry says

    My daughter is dressing up as her for all saints day celebration at church. I am using a brown pillow case I have for her costume and for leggings we are taking cream colored tights and we are going to attempt to dye them in a strong tea brew. You know since they didn’t have RIT kits or wal mart back them and she will wear her brown shoes and a brown shirt under the “dress”. And of course we will have fun making the head dress I’m sure.

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