Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Gift from Little Hands

It's time for another installment of:

If you missed it, you can read the low down on this "series" here.  
As with many of these gifts, it's not really a new idea - at all.  But we did try and put our own little spin on it AND turned it into a Valentine's gift.
It's cheap, takes minimal materials, and can be done by a 3-4 year old with ease.  Perfect.
It involves a large bag of fun shaped plastic beads - that my kids happened to get for Christmas.

To start with, you'll need:
heart shaped plastic beads 
Pipe cleaners

That's it!  Truly!  It would also be helpful to have little containers to order your beads and a scissors.  As for pipe cleaners, you can use the normal skinny ones or the fluffier ones, both will work, though the fluffier ones are harder to photograph well, so I learned.

 1.  Divide out your heart beads by color into separate containers.  We stuck to your typical Valentine's colors.
2.  Bend one end of your pipe cleaner into a loop and twist the end around a few times to secure it.
3.  String your beads on.
4.  This part is really good for helping kids understand how to make patterns!

 5.  Don't make your bracelet too long!  Keep in mind the wrist you're making it for!  For an adult sized bracelet, you'll fill up almost the entire pipe cleaner, leaving 2 or 3 inches of a "tail".  For a children's bracelet, it really depends on age, but we left about 4 or 5 inches free for my 5 year old.
6.  Once you've left your tail free, bend that end of the pipe cleaner around and make a knot, pulling the knot tightly and pressing it as close to the beads as possible.
7.  Tuck the end of the pipe cleaner through the loop you made in the opposite end and pinch it tight.
8.  Cut the excess  off.

All you have to do to get the bracelet off and on is pinch the ends so they come apart, then clasp them together around someone's wrist!  Super easy.  You can take them on and off without fear of breaking them of contorting your hand and you don't have to make them extra large so they fall right off.  No extra pieces needed for a nice, tight clasp!

And bug could even twist the loops himself and manipulate the pipe cleaners exactly how we wanted them.  He was so proud of himself!

Here's our Valentine version, made entirely by bug with no help!

Of course, you could also do different bead shapes.  Put them together in a monochromatic scheme!  This one is still good for Valentines Day with pink hearts and stars:

 OR, you could put two green hearts with their bottom point together (string one upside down, then the other right side up) with a white star between for a Lucky Clover St. Patty's Day bracelet!

The stars can be strung in red, green and white on a fancy sparkly green pipe cleaner for Christmas...

 and the hearts can be put together in orange and black for Halloween.  Bug says the black hearts look like bats.  What do you think?

This one is, of course, bug's favorite.  He decided on this pattern all by himself.

But I'm partial to this one, which we made using all the pastel colored hearts.  They look like little conversation hearts to me, without the writing, of course.

And though I like to give my kids direction when doing crafts and making gifts like this, I know there's something to be said for giving them free reign:

Make some for Grandmas, aunts, and moms for Valentines Day!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Liz Szilagyi said...

Packers! That's great.

Michelle L. said...

This is such a fun project! Great idea for the little, I bet they had a blast designing. Yay for Bug, a junior wirework jewelry maker already.

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