Thursday, March 20, 2014

Altar Decorations for the Solemnity of St. Joseph

For the past five years we have hosted a party on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, so I think we can now call it a tradition. When I told Bean that last night was our 5th party she said "Oh, so we've been doing this since I was three." She's right, that's crazy. Over the years I've added a little bit to our St. Joseph's Day collection and the results are below.

Our St. Joseph statue was purchased while on pilgrimage to France (I know a statue from Italy would make more sense). He sits in our living room all year long and gets a really special place on his feast days. The three boxes wrapped in red paper are used for the three tiers (for the trinity and three members of the holy family) of the altar. The bottom two are lidless shoeboxes so I can nest them into each other to save on storage space.

Throughout the altar I place red table tents with explanations for the various traditional items that can be found. For more details on these items check out my post on the altar symbols and their meanings.

Cream puffs are a non-negotiable must for any St. Joseph's altar. Don't even try to have one without them, the Italians would never forgive you.

I printed a set of St. Joseph Memory Match Playing Cards from Shower of Roses, backed them to red construction paper, and use them each year to decorate in various ways. The above cards have been clipped onto a medium sized clothes pin that is glued to a wooden stick. I then held the sticks up in a glass full of breadcrumbs, which is symbolic of sawdust because St. Joseph was a carpenter.

I placed another set in our lima fava beans. One day I will splurge and buy some real dried beans on Amazon because I can't find them locally anywhere.

Way at the end of the altar you can see our fake lilies. For a few years I could never find fresh, pure white lilies, so I went ahead and bought some fake ones. They work great for Easter as well!

I love my hanging tissue paper fans. Check out this tutorial to make your own, just don't add the bunny :).

And finally I made a pendant banner stating "Happy St. Joseph's Day". If it said "Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph" it would have been out of control long. Shanty 2 Chic is my hero for making the entire alphabet, numbers, and several symbols available to print for free! For the dot in St {dot} Joseph I had to print an exclamation point, then cover the top line with paper and make a copy. Whatever works!

Next year I hope to add some fun red and white straws and those real fava beans!

Be saints, it's worth it!


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