When it comes to kids’ jewelry-making, few materials are as versatile and customizable as paper. It's abundant, inexpensive and (thanks to PIXMA printers) can be printed in every color of the rainbow. It can also be cut, folded, woven and even sewn into wearable masterpieces of all shapes and sizes. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for your child or a family DIY project, these colorful bracelets, brooches and necklaces just might fit the bill.
Patterned Beaded Necklace
Using your smartphone or tablet, search online for a few colorful, eye-catching patterns (like these Canon designs) and use the Canon Print app to send them straight to your PIXMA printer. Once the patterns are printed, cut them into strips of varying length and width — this will produce beads of different sizes. Wrap each strip of paper around a dowel or chopstick and wind it around itself until you come to the end of the strip. Glue down the end of the strip and allow it to dry, then paint the bead with several coats of varnish or glaze (allowing time between coats for it to dry thoroughly). Be careful to only touch the bead with the varnish to avoid sealing it to the dowel. Set aside until completely dry, then slide the bead from the dowel. Make several beads and thread them onto a string or chain to form a statement-worthy necklace.
Charm bracelets are the perfect way to carry around little pieces of everything near and dear to you. No need to spend a ton on custom charms, though, when you can create your own using paper, key tags and inexpensive jump rings. Begin by selecting your favorite photos or colorful designs, then crop them to the size of the key tags. Send them to your PIXMA printer and cut them to fit the tag. Glue the paper designs onto the keytags and seal them with crafting varnish, then use a safety pin to repunch the holes (taking care to ensure the focus of your photo isn't damaged by the hole). Using pliers, open a jump ring and insert the loop through both the keytag hole and the chain bracelet. Continue stringing additional charms until you've filled the bracelet to your liking.
Showcase your favorite family memories in an easy-to-make blooming brooch. Begin with a printed design — you can use the same photo cut into multiple pieces, or feature a different image for each "petal" of the flower. Don’t want to use photos? Try some lively designs instead. Cut out seven petals, following the same pattern for each so they're uniform in size, and fold the inner edge of each petal so it creates a 3-D effect. Glue the petals together to form a flower shape. Once you're happy with the base form, glue a button to the center to act as the flower's middle, then glue a brooch pin to the back. Once everything is thoroughly dry, it's ready to wear! Jewelry doesn't have to be expensive to be a show-stopper. These three DIY paper pieces are both budget-friendly and simple enough that you can wear them the day that you make them. Plus, they're a great way to make thoughtful, personalized gifts that are earth-friendly and super stylish. Paper jewelry crafting is appropriate for every skill level, and in no time, it'll take you from beginning DIYer to a true jewelry artisan.
- DIY Network: Paper Bead Necklace
- Martha Stewart: Keytag Bracelets
- Crafting a Green World: How To: Recycled Paper Mother’s Day Brooch