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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Clay Necklace

Crafting with kids: Valentine’s Day

Hello to the Multiples and More community, I'm Tonya from Create-Celebrate-Explore and I will be taking over from Missy's Craft Corner. Good luck to Missy and a big thank you to Amanda for asking me to be a contributor.
For those who don't know me, I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, but have been living in California since 2003. My husband is a Marine and we are parents to 4 year old twins Marisol and Flynn and a 15 year old, Jayden.
With Valentine's Day just a couple of weeks away I thought this holiday would be a great place to begin for my first post.
My twins are having a Friendship Tea Party in their preschool class for Valentine's Day, so we decided to make beaded bracelets for the girls in the class. Of course these bracelets could be made for any occasion - play date, rainy day activity, stocking stuffer, the list goes on.
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What you will need:
  • Polymer Clay - we used red, white, green, brown and pink
  • Plastic Lacing - such as this one, can be found in craft stores for beading
  • Small cookie cutter - I used a small square fondant cutter
  • Rolling pin - the kids used the one from their play-doh kit
  • wax paper
  • olive oil
  • thick sewing needle
    To make:
Turn the oven onto 275(F).
Give each of the kids a piece of wax paper to mold and roll their polymer clay on – the wax paper prevents sticking. Have them experiment with mixing colors together, then roll their clay and cut out small pieces which they can roll into balls (beads). The reason we use a cookie cutter is so the balls are roughly the same size.
kids working with clay
This next step can be completed by older children (or a grown-up). Dip the end of your needle into a little olive oil (this prevents the clay from sticking to the needle as you are making a hole in the bead). Very carefully push the sharp end of the needle through the bead making sure that the hole is wide enough to thread the plastic lacing through.
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Bake the beads on a tray for approximately 30 minutes – it is recommended that clay is baked for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness. Set aside to cool.
While the beads are cooling cut the plastic lace into 17-18 inch lengths. Tie a knot in one end and then again after each bead has been threaded on – this will prevent the beads from hitting each other.
lacing clay beads
Tie the ends together and snip off any long ends so they are about 5mm long. Done! As you can see from the photo below we had a few extra beads left over so Marisol decided to make a necklace too.
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I will most likely do an Easter craft in March so if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover please leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Happy Crafting!
Tonya