Instructions for Tabernacle Model

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Tabernacle Model

This post with instructions for building a model tabernacle is updated from the original post made in 2008! It’s astounding to me that it has been that long since we made this model. This project is probably the most memorable of all 19 years of homeschooling.

Here are the basic materials and methods we used to construct our tabernacle model. I wasn’t able to find any free instructions online. I have a friend who told me that they had made one last year and had used the lid of a copy paper box and old-fashioned clothespins.  We started with that as our idea and went from there.


  • Lid to a copy paper box
  • 60 old fashioned clothespins
  • Fabric scraps in off-white, blue, purple, and red
  • Paper lunch bag
  • Craft sticks
  • Gold paint
  • Bronze paint
  • Tacky glue
  • Gold pipe cleaner
  • Assorted wood pieces for the tabernacle furnishings
  • Small box with lid for Ark of the Covenant

We purchased all the wood pieces from A. C. Moore. I’m sure we could have come up with some less expensive materials. Many of the things came in packages with several pieces, so we do have leftover pieces for later creative projects.


Tabernale Model
Model Tabernacle altar and laver
Altar and Laver

Tabernacle: We constructed a frame from craft sticks. We glued a mini sick at the top between 2 regular sticks which were at an angle. We made 4 of those, then attached them together by gluing mini craft sticks along the top. I should have taken pictures of the process.

Altar: 1-3/4 inch wood cube painted with bronze paint

Laver: I honestly don’t know what it is. We found it at A.C. Moore. We epainted it bronze, and then blue on top to represent water.

Model of Tabernacle Table of Showbread
Table of Showbread

Table of Showbread: 1 cm cube with a mini wooden sign glued on arnd painted gold.

Altar of Incense: 1 cm cube with a wooden wheel glued on top and painted gold.

Model of Tabernacle Altar of Incense
Altar of Incense
Model of tabernacle lamp stand

Lampstand: Cut a gold pipe cleaner into 4 pieces. Wrapped 3 of the pieces around one straight piece in the center. Stuck gold beads on 7 ends of pipe cleaner. Stuck in wooden wheel (painted gold) for a stand.

Ark of the Covenant: Painted a small lidded box gold. Inside are 2 wooden tablets painted gray (could make out of clay), a Tinker toy end piece for the jar of manna, and a small twig from the yard for Aaron’s rod.

Model of tabernacle Ark of the Covenant and contents
Ark of the Covenant

We spent about a week on the project but not a lot of time on it each day. We spent most of the time painting pieces (especially those clothespins!) It was kind of a pain to clean it up and drag it back out, but it was definitely worth it. I had really hoped that Tapestry of Grace would help me to spark an interest in history in my children. So far it hasn’t disappointed!

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3 thoughts on “Instructions for Tabernacle Model”

  1. That looks like so much fun! The laver looks like some kind of wooden knob/turning. We're getting ready to study the tabernacle next month. I may have to come back here for some craft ideas. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

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