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Creative Crafts Instructor Kathy Schultz Inspires Her Church

Creative Crafts Instructor Kathy Schultz combines her love of designing, carving and toy crafting to create new opportunities for her church family.

Kathy's church Alamosa Presbyterian is located in beautiful and picturesque Alamosa, Colorado which is a small town in the San Luis Valley.

Kathy tells us that she and her fellow Alamosa residents always say that the San Luis Valley isn't the biggest valley in the world and it isn't the highest valley in the world but they think it is the biggest, highest valley in the world! It is a huge high alpine valley about 50 miles wide at the widest and about 120 miles long at the longest and sits between the San Juan Mountains on the west and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the east. Kathy can see several 14,000 feet mountains from her home windows. The valley is mostly agricultural with the main crop being potatoes.

Kathy and her students have started a new website to sell their crafts to benefit their church. You can visit them at

Above: Kathy Schultz (in the ball cap) is a natural teacher inspiring her class to be completely creative and free to express themselves through the art of scroll sawing. Kathy is very vocal and proud when talking about her students. She gushes with pride over her students individual accomplishments in the craft!

Kathy tells "We are not only doing scrolling but as you can see I brought my power carving tools to class and am teaching them what I call scroll and shape plywood carving. My initial idea was to provide a simple course in scrolling for free at our church to help people make inexpensive quality gifts they could give or sell."

"When it came to helping my church make money toward their roof repair and helping people make inexpensive gifts to give or sell in these hard times I decided to start a scroller class."

Above: Kathy at work with her fine art scroll saw pieces. She loves working outdoors surrounded by the inspirational lanscape of her beautiful Colorado hometown.

Kathy's Scroll class meets every two weeks to share ideas and tools and make things. Habitat for Humanity volunteers come from all over the country to work in her community. They sleep in the bunk beds  built at their church. Kathy tells us: "Sometimes they stop by the workshop while we work and even make something on our saws. They've even brought back quality wood from their project scrap pile." 

Kathy continues: "Times are tough and many of our members are on social security or out of a good paying job. These people have been with me just about every week since last September and are pretty good at scrolling so I decided to teach them the powercarving on plywood as well."

For the last ten years before Kathy retired she saved her money and bought tools that she thought would help her make money and gifts for my family. She knew she wouldn't have much to retire on.

Kathy says: "If you are creative and you haven't retired yet think about acquiring expensive tools one at a time so you'll have a good collection when you need them and can't afford the whole outlay of funds. I have a rebuilt Dewalt scroll saw, a Master carver, Presto and Turbo engravers with compressor, and an assortment of bits, stones, blades etc. Over the years I shopped on Ebay and Craig's list. You will also save money by making all the grandkids gifts. These gifts are tough enough for play today and will be cherished and used  by the next generation."

Kathy has 7 grandkids that range from 8 months to 12 years old. "For Christmas they all received toys and play sets except the oldest who got patterns to make a doll house (with grandma's help). Yes' Easy Build Doll House for Barbie! Kids are innovative. They play with their hand made wooden toys right along with with their Barbies and GI Joes. In other words Barbie hunts the mammoths and the dinosaurs eat GI Joe."

Kathy applies her creativity to an endless variety of whimsical designs that are sure to be crafts show favorites. With Kathy taking the lead all ages participate in sharing the joy of creating with their own hands.

Kathy tells "Inspiration is powerful whether you get it from something or someone or whether you give it to someone else. For many people inspiration must come before they can learn, build or create. A couple years ago I saw a colorful ad and an article with patterns from in a magazine.  Immediately I was on the web site and looking at their patterns. I bought and downloaded some patterns. Some of the things I made were not exactly their patterns but were things inspired by them. This is what I love about patterns." 

Above: Kathy’s design inspiration comes from her design background. That background coupled with her inborn curiosity about anything and everything inspires her students to stretch and grow. She used the patterns from the book Toy Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures as inspiration for some of her playful designs shown in the photo above.

In Kathy's words: "The camels shown above were made using Drew Birdymore from the Carpet Buddies plan set as inspiration. The pattern was stretched taller. Then I changed the head, added a hump and cut out the gifts so they were like a puzzle. The wheels are in the same place as Drew Birdymore. I then added a front and back shaft for the hitch, cut a hole in the front and put a dowel in the back. Hook three together and you have a Christmas caravan with the three gifts."

"For the mammoth mother chasing the cave man I used the copy machine to make the Baby Mammoth bigger, rearranged the trunk and legs. For the running Cave Man I enlarged the kid, rearranged the legs and made a stand for him. With a copy machine and a little ingenuity this is not hard to do. The detailing (smiles, eyes, hair, etc.) I burn. For burning the details I use a high speed engraver with a green or white stone. I don't know if anyone else uses their high speed engravers like this but it has worked for me. You can use a cheaper wood burning tool to do the same thing. You can also ink in the details with a pen."

Above: Kathy brings her very personal and highly creative touch to the plan set Penny's Little Pony Stable. Kathy customized the Ranch entrance and fence. We love it! 

Above: A picture of some horses running that Kathy created with her plywood carving technique. You can see in the one horse picture the progression of scrolled plywood pieces that are glued together then power carved by hand to create the sculpting.

A special power carving technique has been developed by Kathy for plywood that adds an exciting new technique to teach in her classes. Her students love it!

Below: Kathy created this fine art sculpture of a mountain lion using the plywood carving technique. She then applied the make-it-yourself Cynthia’s Paste Wax Finish on the lion and it almost makes him look like he has fur.

Above: Kathy’s plywood carving technique has endless possibilities for toy making. The technique is perfect for puppetry, dolls and hand-carved toys of all types.

Kathy and her Church Family are working together to create toys and crafts for fund raising projects.

Below: Thanks to Kathy Schultz sharing her new Manger Scene Puzzle design plus her tools, materials, time and experience her Church Family is learning new skills. The Manger Puzzle design combined with the newly learned skills will help raise money for the Church while providing inexpensive, heirloom quality gifts for families to share.

The Manger Scene Puzzles are a wonderful Christmas story teaching tool and also make a nostalgic holiday table centerpiece. Turn the lights off, put a lights behind them and get a truly dramatic first Christmas night scene that will give your family generations of enjoyment. These puzzles are available for sale at their website All proceeds go to Kathy's church Alamosa Presbyterian. You can read more about her church and their scroll saw projects on their website.  

Kathy is planning a variety of toys for their Fund Raising activities like the ones shown above. Kathy tells us the wheeled bird Carpet Buddy pattern was used as a basis for other toys. I needed something for a baby shower for a couple who were National Park rangers. A bear with a ranger hat on wheels, right? The bear is the bird buddy body stretched just a bit. Kathy drew in feet and added a bear head with a Smokey Bear hat and put it on wheels like the bird.

To learn more about how to buy toys from Kathy you can email her at:

Toy Dragons, Knights &
Fair Maidens Book
Simple to make and assemble each pattern can be cut out, sanded, glued and finished quickly. Book includes patterns for Marsupial, Frost, Wyvern, Lindworm and European dragons plus a War Horse, Brave Knight and Fair Maiden.

Dude Ranch Scroll Saw Plan Set
All you need is a scroll saw or band saw to build this fun Dude Ranch play set. The patterns in the plan set require only simple cuts and can be constructed easily and quickly in just hours.

Easy Build Doll House for Barbie
Build using a Table Saw and Scroll Saw or Saber Saw. Doll House is approx. 45" tall x 30" wide x 24" deep.

Scroll Saw Patterns for Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
25 full-size, easy to make patterns for dinosaurs, prehistoric plants and caves, including prehistoric family and cave dwelling. Available as a printed book or PDF eBook download.

Carpet Buddies Pattern Set
Stephanie is holding John Candypig from the Carpet Buddies Pattern Set. Available as a printed plan set or PDF download.

Penny's Little Pony Stable
Build with just a scroll saw and some scrap materials. Barn is fun to stack and take apart. The kids will squeal with delight and play for hours!

How-to Make a Non-Toxic Toy Finish
Watch the video on how-to make an inexpensive, child-safe, non-toxic wood toy miracle finish.

A Star is Born in Bethlehem
Easy-to-make Christmas manger scene. Build using only scroll saw and hand drill. Makes great gifts and sells great at craft shows!

Carpet Buddies Pattern Set
Stephanie is holding John Candypig from the Carpet Buddies Pattern Set. Available as a printed plan set or PDF download.

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