An altar is a place of power. When images or objects are placed in an altar space they change, they are altered. Anything of meaning can be crafted on an altar, it is simply a matter of intention. .
Building altars is one of my favorite things to do. It calms my spirit, allows me to focus on what matters right now. I reset my altar either with the Moon or on the Quarters, like Samhain. I build altars when I travel. I craft small altars in the woods when I need to. Each one is feast for the eyes. One of the crafts that has filled my heart with delight this year has been creating Pop-Up Travel Altar, with images of the Divine that inspire me. You can read the series of how my Pop-Up Altar came to be in these other blog posts: The Landscapes, The Goddesses, the Pop-ups.
"What is a Pop-Up Altar?"
I found a Hindu Altar Pop-Up Book at the Library. It included four deities, mantras, and images that came alive when the book opened. The idea was that you could have an instant altar anywhere, fit neatly into a book!
I love this concept!
If you are short on space this is a perfect solution. Rather than having tons of small ephemeral objects or bulky statues of the divine, you can simply hold them lovingly in a book, which still has the expansive visual impact of 3D beauty when opened and placed.
The added bonus of crafting the images of the Goddesses myself adds a personal touch that I think brings even more power to my altar spaces. I loved this process so much I want to guide you through it too and hence the inspiration for this Craft-a-Long!
Follow along on my Twitch Livestream Friday November 20th 1:30-4:00 mtn as we bring our unique images of the divine to life!
Preparing for the Craft-a-Long
To begin think what you would like your pop-up altar to honor. The examples I have shown so far have been for Deities, however your altar could pop-up to reveal a powerful plant or animal ally, a season, the planets, a zodiac sign, or an ancestor. Wherever your imagination takes you follow that! Any idea is welcome. Check out my altar board on Pinterest for even more inspiration.
When crafting my images for Maiden, Mother, and Crone, I made a list of key words and concepts that I wanted to orient around for each page. Beauty, Dance, and Creativity for the the Maiden. Abundance and Growth for the Mother. Stars and Bones and Magick and Ancestors for the Crone. This helped shaped the images for the focal figure and the colors, objects, and textures I wove into the background.
For this craft-a-long we will be making one page, however you could go on to make a whole tome of things to honor!
The hope for these craft-a-longs is that you can begin creating without the need to order supplies or go to the store, since most of us are minimizing our ventures out from our homes.
If you don't have a specific material I encourage you to think outside the box and see what else might be available to you. However for the sake of creativity and beauty I have a bunch of ideas for additional materials to gather so your Pop-Up Altar is a treasured object you can return to again and again.
Thick Card stock or watercolor paper. Creative solutions for this could be flyers from the mail, or the side of a cereal box. This will be the base of the altar, so you want something flexible enough to crease but strong enough to stand.
More Card stock. You will also need a slightly less stiff card stock to cut the small brackets that will help bring your pop-up to life. I found index cards or scrapbook paper worked well for this, as it was easy to crease and cut. Other ideas could include an old deck of playing cards or a stiff magazine cover.
Paints, water color or acrylic. However if you don't have paint markers, crayons, or even different colored pens would be fun to explore.
A collection of Magazine Images. Any magazine will do, although National Geographic, Art Magazines, and Nature magazines tend to have more evocative imagery. Old calendars can also be a good place to find images as well.
Other mixed media materials. When I crafted my first pop-up altar I used everything in my studio from stamped images, to handmade paper, to magazine clippings, to string and glitter and gelliprints. The sky is the limit! However I know others may not have the plethora of supplies at their fingertips so follow your creative heart and see what wants to weave its way into your project.
eXacto knife or Scissors or any other cutting utensil you like.
Glue or something sticky for attaching everything together. Double-sided tape is an especially coveted supply for pop-up projects but is not necessary.
A piece of beautiful fabric to create the binding that will protect your finished altar and help it stand.
No account is necessary to follow along, although if you want to participate in the chat or ask questions you will need to create a Twitch account. It's easy and Free.
Support the Craft-a-Long
All of my craft-a-longs are shared freely on Twitch. However if you are nourished by the offering consider supporting them by joining my growing Patreon Community and receive a packet of handmade Joy Charms.
Support my Craft-a-Long streams on Twitch, I've added a perk to my Patreon. There are only fifteen slots available for the Joy Charms. And if you are already a patron of my Patreon, first THANK YOU! and second you can increase your patronage by $3 a month to opt in for the Joy Charm Mailing.