Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Easy Native American Jewelry Crafts for Children

Native American jewelry projects are a wonderful way to teach children appreciation and respect for ancient traditions, crafts, and the work of artists. Simple Native American jewelry projects give your little ones the chance to learn about Native American history while having fun and making something they will cherish for years to come.  

black-165595_960_720.jpgProject 1: Beaded Bracelets
  • Hemp strands
  • Seed beads
  • Other types of beads (optional)
Using hemp strands and seed beads will result in sturdy and beautiful bracelets. Seed beads pair well with hemp, but you can use whatever kind of bead appeals most to your young artist. Just make sure the bead’s center hole is wide enough for the hemp strand.  
Once your supplies are gathered, measure a hemp strand long enough to fit comfortably around your wrist, add a few extra inches for tying off on each end. It’s always best to go too long since the excess thread can be cut off.
Tie a square knot at one end of the strand, then tape it to a flat surface to make handling easier. Add your beads in any pattern before tying off the other end of the hemp strand with a square knot.  
For older children, make the project more intricate by using three hemp threads and braiding them intermittently between beads. Leave a few extra inches after the beads are in place for additional braiding and then knot off the finished end.  
You can also make a matching necklace or anklet to create a complete jewelry set your child can wear for parties and occasions. Just cut an extra length of thread to fit your child’s neck or ankle and repeat the process for creating a bracelet.
Project 2: Paper Gemstone Pendants
  • Colored construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Metal loop
Traditional Native American jewelry artists are renowned for their work with stones like turquoise, onyx, and amethyst.
To create a paper version of your favorite stone, choose construction paper similar to the color of your stone. Cut and layer the paper into a geometric shape, adding a generous amount of school glue between each layer. When your “stone” reaches a size you like, set it aside to dry.
Once your paper stone has dried (this usually takes about a day), tape a sheet of coarse sandpaper to a flat surface and scrape the paper stone against the sandpaper until the edges are smooth. Paint the stone with a shiny sealant like Mod Podge to finish the project. When the sealed is completely dry, use rubber cement to attach a small metal loop to the pendant’s back, then slide the pendant onto a necklace.   
To help your child make a connection between these projects and the traditions that inspired them, engage your budding artist in some online research about Native American culture. For example, discovering the origins and meaning of prominent colors used in Native American art will stimulate your child’s imagination and help them discover a rich and ancient culture. You can find many beautiful pieces, engaging history, and fascinating explanations about Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, and Santo Domingo artists at Southwest Silver Gallery. Happy jewelry making!

Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer from Omaha, Nebraska. She has written for clients like Demand Media and the Omaha World-Herald. When she isn’t working on DIY projects with her two daughters, Lauryn and Lila, she’s volunteering at her local pet shelter.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Free Printable - Summer Bucket List

I was so happy to share this year's Summer Bucket List with you this week. It almost feels like Christmas was just yesterday, but here we are, less than a month away from the technical start of summer! I have put together a great 8X10 printable perfect for framing if you'd like to have your own summer bucket list!

Please only use these for personal use. If you'd like to share them, then please link here! Thanks!
What's on your summer bucket list?

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Summer Bucket List

I can't believe summer is almost here. I know the official date is in June, but in our family, we start our summer in May. Little Lady has 1 day of school left and then it's S-U-M-M-E-R!!! So I figured it would be a good time to present our Summer Bucket List!
  • Swim
  • Make Sidewalk Chalk
  • Go Camping
  • Tie Dye Something
  • Blow Bubbles
  • Go to the Zoo
  • Catch Fireflies
  • Make some Lemonade
  • Celebrate 4th of July
  • Read
  • Go Whitewater Rafting
  • Watch the Olympics
  • Have an Ice Block Treasure hunt
  • Make a Water Blob
  • Bar-B-Q
  • Grow some Rock Candy
  • Play in the water

Some of these have become traditions as they are on our list every year. And some of these are going to be new adventures that I can't wait to enjoy and share with you! What's on your summer bucket list or must-do list?? Please share in the comments below. :D
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