My little Elli (turning 8 in a few days) loves to make things with her hands. Just like her momma. (Not gonna lie. It makes this heart of mine grown 7 sizes each time I see the passion in her little eyes.) I’ll admit though, most of the time that I’m creating things, it’s while she’s in bed, at school, busy with another activity, etc. Because, well, it’s a lot faster to complete something on my own. But lately, she has been asking a lot more to have me teach her to do certain things and really wants to be right by my side watching while I’m making this or that. And when this happens, I generally find her scooping up my scraps from the ground and making her own little things from them for her dolls and stuffed animals. So, I’ve been trying really hard lately to slow down……and let her join me.
So when I found out Elli’s 2nd grade class has been doing an economics unit and all the 2nd graders were asked to make items at home, to sell in a holiday craft fair, I was excited to make something WITH her. And she was THRILLED. She came up with a trillion ideas….but we finally settled on one. Making polymer clay charm necklaces. And she worked those little fingers and created some darling little necklaces to sell. (Side note: the students priced the items, worked the fair, and then all the money they earned goes to a charity that they will vote on. Pretty cool unit.)
And because “Frozen” is hotter than anything ever in this whole wide world right now (it’s kinda nauseating), we just HAD to throw in a little “Let It Go” charm. Because if I have to teach Elli one thing about economics and retail…..it’s that you give the people what they want. And if all the elementary school girls are still in love with Elsa and snowflakes and Olaf the Snowman……you produce! ;)
Also, the whole BFF trend is crazy and out-of-control in 2nd grade, so we had to throw that in too.
For the record, these little BFF necklaces were popular amongst all the giggly girls at school. But nothing’s changed………because I know you had one of those heart necklaces broken jaggedly into 2, that you shared with your BFF back in the 80s/90s. Don’t deny it. Well, I’ll have you know, the concept is still going strong!
These necklaces came in pairs so that you could keep one for yourself and then give the matching cutout to your favorite friend.
And while Elli was getting ready for school the other day, I knew I only had 2 seconds to take a few pictures before she took them to school to sell. So I asked Chloe if she wanted to try on one of the “Let It Go” necklaces (while Elli was getting her shoes on). Uhhhhhh……no convincing there. Because Chloe, my friends, is an Elsa ADDICT! And a jewelry one too! ;)
Each of these necklaces has a different snowflake that was stamped and then dusted with sparkly blue glitter before baking……and a “Let It Go” charm that also dangles from the chain.
Such a fun project for Elli to create, with only minimal help from me. And let me tell ya, she was so proud heading off to school that day, with all her little necklaces in hand, ready to sell her little heart out!
Want to whip some up too?
These were created just like the Stamped Clay Jewelry that I made years ago. So read through that first!
For the “Frozen” necklace, I helped Elli created flat circles of aqua colored clay and then gave her a variety of snowflake stamps to press into the center of each one. (And yes, that child gets extremely dry skin in the winter from washing her hands. Ack.)
Then she poked a hole near the top with a toothpick.
Then she placed each of the clay snowflakes onto a tin foil lined baking sheet and then sprinkled very fine sparkly blue glitter onto each one.
Then, we created rectangle pieces of white clay and I helped stamp the words “LET IT GO” onto each one. And then added a hole to one end with a toothpick, just like shown above.
The BFF necklaces started out the same way, with a circular piece of clay. But instead of using a stamp, I found these really mini cookie cutters (but they are actually little clay cutters that I found right next to the Polymer Clay at Michaels) and Elli cut pressed the shape down in the very center of the clay.
Separate the two pieces of clay and poke a hole into the larger piece, near the top with your toothpick.
You can poke a hole into the smaller piece with a toothpick too…..but I decided to try something different, since they cutouts were so small. I cut a little metal jewelry eyelet rod piece (I have no clue what these are called) down to size and then poked it down the center of the clay shape. (However, we realized later that little girls tend to tug on their charms and would probably have a higher risk of falling off. So, if I were making these again, I would stick the wire rod all the way through the clay shape and then curl the end of the wire with the pliers. OR, add a nice amount of super glue where the rod enters the clay, AFTER baking. Anyway, just thought I’d share.)
Then we stamped the BFF onto each clay piece.
And then we did the same thing with several other shapes and colors of clay.
Then, Elli added each of the shapes to the baking sheet as well, and we cooked them for the time instructed on the clay packaging.
Now, to really make your letters and stamp shapes pop, you’ll want to add a little paint to the creases and then wipe it all off, just like shown in the Stamped Clay Jewelry tutorial mentioned above. However, in that older tutorial, I used brown acrylic paint. This time, I used a light grey acrylic paint and liked the subtle look a lot better. Especially on the white clay.
Finally, paint on a layer of glaze to each baked piece of clay, to seal everything in. Adding the glaze is especially important to seal in the glitter on the snowflake pieces, if you added glitter like we did. But don’t worry, it will still shine! (In the old tutorial, I used some Mod Podge as my glaze. This time, I found a small bottle of glaze near the polymer clay, that was formulated to be used with the clay. Both work great!)
Add “jump rings” to each of your clay pieces and then string each of the pendants onto necklaces. Easy as that!
Now, whip up a few for gifts, set out all the supplies at a party, or gift the supplies to someone and let them create all on their own.
And have fun with it!