With Christmas over and done with, we’re left with a few weeks of long, summer days with hot, bored children. It’s a perfect storm that could lead to chaos, or you could harness the excitement of the summer season, and keep those small fingers busy with some jewellery-making. It’s craft, it’s an activity, and it’s instant gifts for friends and family for the year!
1. Macaroni Necklace
Let’s start with a classic. Everyone loves a macaroni necklace. Younger kids will appreciate the large holes in the macaroni, making it easy to thread. You can leave the pasta au naturel, or have fun dipping the macaroni into pots of paint. More nimble fingers may like to paint each macaroni with designs too.
- String or pretty baker’s twine
- Embellishments (such as seed beads, sequins, glitter glue, etc)
- Acrylic paint and pots or paint brush (spray paint optional)
Paint the macaroni by either dipping into pots, painting with a brush or spray painting. Once dry add to the painted macaroni with more paint or glitter glue or glue on embellishments such as sequins and beads. After glue and paint has dried, thread the macaroni beads onto the string or twine and secure with a knot. (note – ensure that this activity is supervised carefully with small children under 3 years of age who may swallow the pasta or embellishments)
2. Fabric Flower Brooches and Hair Clips
For those a little more advanced in the crafting territory, these fabric flower brooches and hair clips are super-effective and use up scraps of fabric that you may have lying around. Brooches will make great gifts for adults too.
- Brooch backs for brooches
- Barrette findings for hair clips (try clips with 3 holes for easy attachment)
- Fabric scraps. If you don’t have a stash, try some of these great fabric designers: Amy Butler, Kristen Doran, Saffron Craig, Sprout Design, Heather Bailey).
- Optional – tulle scraps
- Optional – felt scraps
- Hot glue
- Embellishments (such as pearl beads)
- Needle and thread
- Optional – glitter glue
- Various concentric circle shapes (coins, lids, jars, etc)
- Pen or pencil
Step 1: Using the pen or pencil to draw circle shapes with the coins, lids and jars onto cardboard.
Step 2: Cut out to create your circle templates. You will need at least 4 different nesting circle shapes.
Step 3: Use the cardboard templates to cut circles out of the fabric or felt scraps (and tulle scraps if you have them).
Step 4: Stack the circles with the largest at the bottom and the smallest at the top.
Step 5: Use a needle and thread to secure the circles together through the centre. Attach an embellishment to the top of the circle flower with hot glue. If required, add glitter glue to the flowers for added bling.
Step 6: Attach the finished fabric flower to a brooch back using hot glue or needle and thread.
Repeat the steps above and attach the finished fabric flower to a barrette clip using hot glue or needle and thread (if the barrette finding has holes).
*Advanced option: For the more advanced crafter, cut a scalloped edge out of the circles to create a flower petal shape.
3. Shoe Clips
A clever application is to create two fabric flower hairclips and attach them to the front of flat shoes or ballet slippers for cute, flowery toes.
So that’s a couple of hours taken care of – maybe even a whole day – resulting in some great handmade gifts for loved ones. Have fun!