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Building a Model Tabernacle

Updated on November 6, 2014

What is the tabernacle?

This lens shows a model of the tabernacle of the Israelites. It provides background information on the tabernacle and instructions for building your own model.

Tabernacle Background Information

After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they camped in the wilderness at Mt. Sinai. Moses met with God on the mountain and received the tablets with the 10 Commandments. He also received the pattern for the construction of the tabernacle.

The tabernacle was to be God's dwelling place among His people. It was the place of sacrifice and it's structure and furnishings foreshadow the ultimate sacrifice and atonement of Christ.

Which is your favorite?

The Tabernacle--Shadows of the Messiah: Its Sacrifices, Services, and Priesthood
The Tabernacle--Shadows of the Messiah: Its Sacrifices, Services, and Priesthood

Fresh, new, and amply illustrated! A simple, systematic, and scriptural look at the tabernacle's place in God's redemptive plan.

Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles
Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles

The author is the current president of Jews for Jesus, a ministry dedicated to reaching Jews with the Gospel. This book is written for Jews, messianic believers, and Gentiles curious about the connection between the ancient fall festival of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, and for missionaries evangelizing to Jewish people. A companion book to Christ in the Passover.

Tabernacle, The
Tabernacle, The

The pages of this book discuss the similarities in purpose and design between the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, Christian living, and the Tabernacle of Sinai. It carefully details the seven steps of Tabernacle worship, describing God's plan of salvation.


Microsoft PowerPoint users will love this easy-to-use presentation on the Tabernacle. This fantastic teaching tool allows you to project on a screen or show on your computer monitor the text and illustrations of the Tabernacle wall chart shown on pages 16 and 17. Great for teaching large groups with a digital projector. There are more than 100 slides including: Tabernacle (full view); Tabernacle (close up); Brazen (brass) altar; Court Fence; Ark of the Covenant; The Holy Place; Lampstand (Candle...


Tabernacle Furnishings

The tabernacle consisted of a tent and its surrounding courtyard. The courtyard was enclosed in curtains. In the courtyard were 2 main articles: the altar of sacrifice and the laver. The altar of sacrifice was the place where the sacrifice was burned. The laver was a wash basin for cleansing of the priests before entering in to the Holy Place. The tent had 2 parts: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (also called the Holy of Holies). In the Holy Place was the Table of Shewbread where fresh bread was placed daily as a sacrifice to the Lord. Also in the Holy Place was the Altar of Incense where a particular blend of spices was burned for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Finally in the Holy Place was the Lampstand. It burned olive oil continually. At the back of the Holy Place was a curtain or veil, that led to the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place was only to be entered 1 time per year by the High Priest to make atonement for the sins of the people. The Most Holy Place held the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat as the lid. Inside the Ark of the Covenant were the tablets of the 10 Commandments, Aaron's rod that budded, and a jar of manna.

Instructions for our model

Although there are several great tabernacles for sale and a free paper model available on-line, we chose to design our own model.

Here are the basic materials and methods we used to construct our tabernacle model.


Lid to a copy paper box

60 old fashioned clothespins

Fabric scraps in off-white, blue, purple, and red

Paper lunch bag

Craft sticks (regular and mini)

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.


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

Laver: A wooden drawer knob painted bronze, and then blue on top to represent water.

Table of showbread: 1 cm cube with a mini wooden sign glued on top and painted gold.

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

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 Covenent: 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.

Tabernacle: Constructed a frame from craft sticks. We glued a mini stick 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. We glued fabric on top of the frame and in the front making a doorway.

Courtyard: 60 wooden clothespins were painted gold and attached to the box. (20 to each long side, and 10 to the short sides). Glued fabric strips around the inside and outside of the clothespins.

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 the 60 clothespins!).

Reader Feedback

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    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 3 years ago from Florida

      I just posted pictures of our Tabernacle lesson plan at I am featuring your lens on my lesson plan for families who are looking for great additional resources.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

      Great resource! We studied the Tabernacle a few years ago using the Konos Homeschool Curriculum and we made a couple models.

    • profile image

      markozolic 6 years ago

      Building a Model Tabernacle, this is really great, now i had a new activity for my students, thanks for this great lens

      Broken Rib Symptoms | Broken Rib Treatment | Broken Rib

    • James M Becher profile image

      James M Becher 6 years ago from South Florida

      Nice lens. I'm lensrolling it to and I I already did feature it on my lens: Tabernacle Typology. If you could return the favor it would be appreciated. Thanks. Jim.

    • MisterJeremy profile image

      Jeremy 7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Great lens and excellent homemade model of the tabernacle! Next week is week seven for us and I will definitely refer to this lens and show it to my kids. (BTW, I found this lens through the tapestry year 1 yahoo group.)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this!!This is amazing!!! Going to try this w/ the kids!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks! Finally, a model that isn't paper or a kit!

    • garyrh1 profile image

      garyrh1 8 years ago

      That does look pretty cool :) I'm sure kids would love helping with this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks so much for sharing that. We are doing that w/ our Sundayschool class for each student.

    • JollyvilleChick profile image

      JollyvilleChick 8 years ago

      Nice way to spend time with family.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 8 years ago

      This is really cool! Great lens!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      What a great model you made! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is really good

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Good job, seeing is such an important tool, God made visible signs and explenations for the redemption of His people.

      Well Done


      Paul Cohen

      Messianic Bible Teacher, Sydney Australia

    • Kristenph profile image

      Kristenph 9 years ago

      [in reply to shad sluiter] That is a great model. It was actually already the first link I had listed under tabernacle models.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Perhaps you could include a link to a free printable model of the tabernacle at

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      very nice....people don't realize that everything including the colors have a meaning,,,5*

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 9 years ago

      Nicely done! ;)

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Kristen, welcome to Squidoo! This is GREAT! :-)

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Welcome! Great lens.

    • profile image

      DianiaLee 9 years ago

      Very nice! 5 Stars to you! Looks like a fun project.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      This looks like a fun family project!

    • LilliputStation profile image

      LilliputStation 9 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for the link.