For the first week of the SEA Creatures club, we will be making nautical-themed necklaces with the kids’ names on them, almost completely out of upcycled materials!
(The parrot and iguana are examples from other projects – we will be using other animals.)
This project can be high in prep time, but is easy enough for kids as young as 5 to participate in. It’s a great startoff project though because it helps to learn the kids’ names, separate them into smaller groups (each character type is a group), lets them be crafty and allows them to take something home to show their parents (which is important when trying to recruit kids for an after school activity!). Hopefully they’ll learn some about the animals they are coloring and recycling while we are at it!
Big thank you to Nami, Afua, and Grace who helped design this craft!!
How to make an Upcycled Necklace:
For ages 5+ years
– white paper (best if reused!)
– thin cardboard (from cereal-type boxes) or cardstock
– big needle
– colorful string (yarn is not recommended)
– this file is using my characters – Necklace Characters – Sea theme
1) Print the characters onto the white side of your reused paper. Cut them all out.
2) Glue the characters to the cardboard, fitting as many as possible onto each piece. Cut them out.
3) Use a big needle to poke a hole at the top of each character. Thread a piece of string (ours were about a meter long) through each hole.Alternative options:
-If you don’t have a printer, draw or trace characters onto the paper.
– In classrooms with enough scissors, allow older kids to cut their own characters out.
– colorful magazine (Thank you St. Lucia Tourist Board for donating ours!)
1) Take pages of the magazine and cut into long triangle shapes. They don’t need to be the same size.
– needle and thread
– spare fabric
– 5cm (2-inch) diameter circle to trace
1) Use a nail and hammer to tap holes through the middle of your bottlecaps.
2) Cut fabric into circles with a 5cm or 2 inch diameter.
3) Sew the fabric onto the bottlecap.
Now we are ready to find some kids! I borrowed my neighbor to be my model.
– Character Pendants w/ string
– scrap colored paper if adding names
– paper strips for beads
– glue (sticks if possible)
1) The kids should try to make the beads first. Sometimes they get glue everywhere and the beads have to dry before they can thread them. They need at least 5 beads (any odd number works though).
To make the beads:
Tell the kids to pick which side they like the most. Put that side on the bottom and start rolling from the fat end. As you roll about halfway up, put glue on the skinny part of the triangle.
Younger kids will need help and they may be loosely wrapped once they finish, but it’s their craft so I leave it unless they ask for help. Just grab the ends and pull the “tail” if they want it tighter though.Some kids will go very quickly – they can make more beads or move on to coloring!
I don’t have the string on this parrot yet, but if you are working with a lot of kids, it’s better to have as much stringed up beforehand as possible.
Glue a piece of scrap paper with the children’s names on their characters.
3) Add beads. We put both strings through one bead and the bottle cap (using a needle for the bottlecap), and then put the remaining beads on either side of the necklace.
Tie it all together and…