kiddo craft

This summer, we've spent plenty of time poolside and playing in the dirt, but sometimes you need a fun and easy craft (while enjoying a little time in the AC.)
If you've seen my kid around town the past couple of weeks, you've seen her wearing one of these perler bead necklaces. Lo and I made a bunch of these together, and she loves picking out a new one to wear every day.
After several store clerks, moms, and strangers in the grocery store started asking where we got them or how we made them, I decided to do a quick d.i.y. right here in case you wanted to make some, too!
We used multi-colored elastic cord to make bracelets and a few small necklaces, and some thicker lacing cord (almost like hemp) for the longer necklaces. The 'plastic' elastic/stretch cord pictured above is definitely the easiest for little hands to use, and my three-year-old had no problem stringing the beads by herself. You can find cord like this at Michaels, JoAnns or Wal-Mart.
Then, obviously, you need some beads! We mixed a couple of packs of perler beads with some larger, more sparkley beads that we mixed and matched. For necklaces that will fit over your child's head, cut a piece of cord about 20" to 22" long, and for bracelets, just measure your child's wrist.
Disclaimer: Obviously, you should only attempt beading projects with children who are old enough to know that they shouldn't put beads in their mouth. Even older kids can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to supervise when they're around small objects that could potentially be choking hazards. Same thing with necklaces – don't let your child nap or play unsupervised if you're worried that a necklace could become wrapped around their neck. (Okay, PSA over!)
Beading is a great project for kids to work on their counting skills, playing with new color combinations, and to practice making patterns. (We had a ton of fun making little perler bead 'friendship bracelets' ... top left in the pic above.)
Here's what ours ended up looking like (click the photo above to see it larger) ... hope you will have some fun with these, too!

13 comments:

  1. She is one stylish girl:) Love this necklace idea. I have never thought to make jewelry out of those beads. I know some parents who have huge bins of them, great use for them

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  2. (oh yeah, rachel ... those longer ones are totally mine.) ;)

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  3. So love this Jen!!! And whoa Lo's hair is getting long! SO cute!

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  4. those green sparkly beads are fab! ;) and my kiddo has used perlers in her necklace making before, too. but never mixed with sparklies! great idea!

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  5. Did you get the big beads at Michael's as well? Or do I need to go to a real bead shop for those?

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  6. angie - yes, some of the big beads were from michaels (and the rest are vintage)

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  7. I totally think you could sell these - to me! I loved the one Lo was wearing the other day - such great colors + the chunky "glass" green bracelet. Seriously, I'd buy it.

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  8. How cute !! I'm looking for ideas for my little jewelry making classes..

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  9. Not sure if this will still notify you on posts since if is an older post but - how do you keep the beads from falling off the elastic? I'm working on this project with my three year old but have no clue how to keep the beads from sliding right off! Knots are too small to work. It's driving me nuts!

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  10. Hi C Gibson! I had good luck with my knots staying tied on the elastic cord (even years later, the bracelets in these pics are still in tact!) I used multi-colored hemp cord for the necklaces, though, and those knots stayed tied as well. Maybe you can try that!

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