How To Make A Sacrifice Crown Of Thorns For Lent (And Tint The Toothpicks!)

This is a great way to get kids involved with lent! Craft a crown of thorns, and then every time your child does a good deed or makes a sacrifice, he or she gets to remove one of the “thorns”. Hopefully, you have all of the thorns removed by Easter.

crown of thorns for lent good deeds

On Easter morning, the crown of thorns is converted into something beautiful! (You can either fill it with flowers, or turn it into a nest full of eggs like we do.) There are several ways to go about crafting one of these with your kids. Here is how we made ours.

First I took one of those cheap, clear plastic platters you can get at the dollar store, and I spray painted it purple for Lent. (I did much the same thing with my tin plate for our Lenten candles.) I spray painted the bottom of the plastic plate which gave it a very nice finished look on top.

paint a lenten plate

spray paint plate purple

Allow to dry. In the meantime, you have some more work to do. Buy a grapevine wreath at the store, and get some toothpicks. Chances are, your wreath is dark and your toothpicks are light. I’m going to show you how to fix that.

First, put a little tempera paint into a bowl.

how to water down paint

Then add some water to it, and stir it until it’s mixed.

how to paint a bunch of toothpicks

Then put the toothpicks in, and roll them around until they’re covered. Strain through a colander and allow to dry on some paper towels.

dying tootpicks dark

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When you pack away your grapevine wreath, also pack away your toothpicks in a ziplock bag so you never have to do this again. Make sure you make more than you need the first time around to make up for the ones you are sure to loose.

Set your grapevine wreath on your purple painted platter and fill with toothpicks.

beautiful Mass book

I now have a FREE printable available for displaying with this sacrifice crown of thorns. You can find yours here.

Each time someone does a good deed or makes a sacrifice, they get to pull a toothpick out. You can just put it in the middle of the platter. Encourage children as Easter gets closer to make more sacrifices to get the crown empty, and be sure you are helping, mom! 😉

Check out what to transform this into for Easter here!

Here is an easier, cheaper (easier and smaller) version of this crown of thorns craft– perfect for doing with a whole classroom of kids.

You’ll find all of my Lenten resources for kids here



  1. Sarah Harkins says

    My friend was telling me about this salt dough crown of thorns and I've been meaning to look it up. Thanks for all the resources! We will definitely be doing this this year.

  2. says

    Sometimes, we bake larger holes into the crown of thorns to hold candles…purple for Lent and switch them to white or gold at Easter.
    ALSO…if sacrifices are made and all the thorns are removed (too soon =) during Lent…artificial flowers can be poked into the holes with each additional sacrifice. It turns into a Resurrection Crown!
    This makes a really hopeful, pretty Easter wreath too! It's in A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families. Sorry for the plug. =)

  3. I'm chuckling b/c either a) some must have a boatload of kids or b) they have high expectations!

    We may just have to do this. I like the idea of the corporal works cross too – now I don't know which to do :/

  4. We've made the salt dough crown a few years. I let the kids put in their own toothpicks, and we generally end up with more than some of the most loaded down wreaths pictured. Amazingly enough, they manage to get them all off before Easter every year. I paint the crown gold and cover it with the little craft jewels for Easter morning. I've also made a pipe cleaner crown (kind of like the vines) and filled that with thorns. Much simpler to make, and it actually ended up looking really nice, but you can't do the paint and jewels. Maybe if I do that, I'll fill it with the flowers. Probably should decide soon. 🙂

  5. Anonymous says

    Good ideas. I do not recommend using real thorns. I made a crown of thorns with hawthorn branches one year and it took several days for the pain to subside. Those thorns are big (about toothpick size actually) and poisonous! 😉

  6. stanley benedicto says

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  7. This was posted so long ago, but I came across this today. This is really great. I had to makeshift one from aluminum, printed and cut out heartbreak emojis, sad emojis, and little broken hearts attached with toothpicks.
    THANK YOU for all these resources and ideas ; )