Editor's Note: Today, we begin a new week with a special new columnist! Please join me in welcoming Alicia Hart, who will be joining us each month to share her amazing and adorable Catholic craft ideas. Please be sure to take a look at Alicia's Through My I's blog, where you'll find more terrific ideas to incorporate faith and creativity. Welcome Alicia! LMH

Did you know that the Catholic Church dedicates each month to a special devotion to increase our faith lives? I honestly didn’t know that our church had these neat themes each month throughout the year until about two years ago. In addition to my two favorite Liturgical seasons, Lent and Advent, each month is dedicated to a special devotion.

June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The formal devotion of the Sacred Heart is attributed to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun who had a personal revelation in the form of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament.

I thought that a Sacred Heart of Jesus bag would be a unique idea for carrying my Religious Education materials back and forth from home to the classroom. It is very easy to make your own Sacred Heart bag with your child. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Gather supplies. You will need red, orange, and grey or black fabric or acrylic paint, a paintbrush, glue (I used hot glue), toothpicks, and a bag (I bought mine at Dollar Tree). If you are using hot glue (mom only!) then plug it in now.

2. Paint your child’s right hand first and then placed it on the bag at a slight angle. Clean that hand and then paint the left hand. Place it at the opposite angle so that it forms a heart shape. Now completely wash hands before moving to step 3.

3. Using the orange paint, paint the tips of all fingers except the thumb. Press them down directly above the heart to create the flames. Then wash hands one more time.

4. Using the grey fabric paint, trace the outline of the heart and flames and allow it to dry.

5. Now have your child break a bunch of toothpicks to create the thorns that will encircle the heart. Now mom can glue them in an “X” pattern across the heart.

6. Optional: my son added glitter glue to our Sacred Heart but you and your child can add any decorations to the rest of your bag that you would like. You can add your name, a Sacred Heart prayer, or even an Immaculate Heart of Mary using silk roses in place of the toothpicks. Instead of a bag, you can use a t-shirt, paper, or art canvas. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination allows!

Copyright 2012 Alicia Hart