I have been seeing some lovely chunky necklaces all over the internet over the past few years. I've always liked how they look but I was concerned about the small beads and metal connectors most of them have. I also have only been able to find the big beads that are quite heavy. When you add a bunch of these beads together, its just too much for a 2yr old's neck. I decided to try something different, and it was so easy that she could help with much of it.
T (8yrs) and I have dabbled with wet felting in our homeschool in the past. We found it to be quite messy so B was not allowed to participate. I was planning to give it a try outside this summer with both kids but then I found a pin on pinterest that changed everything. With this simple trick, even toddlers can participate in wet felting balls even in the house.
Before you begin, please remember that all children should be supervised while wearing anything around their necks, like this beautiful necklace. Also remember to supervise your children while they are using tools that may be sharp.
You need one small plastic container with a lid that is watertight. The original poster used Ziplock brand, I used Glad because it was what I had on hand. I recommend not using Glad because they are not watertight. I still used it, I just wrapped a cloth around it to keep the water from flying everywhere. If you are buying new, look for ziplock or another brand that would be watertight. Just take a small wad (about double the size you want your ball to be) of wool roving in your choice of colors and place it in the container. Add a small amount (I used 1 TBSP) of hot water and a drop of dish soap, then seal the lid.
You could do it the traditional way without the container by just rolling it around in your hands, but when T and I tried this, we had trouble getting the balls to come out even. There were lots of cracks in our hand rolled balls as well, this didn't happen with the container.
For our Frozen inspired necklace, we used natural white, purple, light and dark teal colored wool roving. Since B is 2 years old the necklace needed to be fairly small. We made two of each color for a total of 8 wool balls. This would be a super cute necklace itself, but B wouldn't consider it a Frozen necklace without Anna and Elsa. We decided to add a bottle cap charm to the necklace.
To make this charm you need a bottle cap (I bought ours from a craft store and it came predrilled and had a hanging ring), Mod Podge Dimensional Magic and a sticker or printout of your chosen image. Ours was a sticker from an activity book I found on clearance at Target, I just trimmed it to fit into the bottle cap. I did this part myself but Im sure an older child would have no trouble with making the charm as well.
Place the sticker or printout into the bottle cap
Add the Mod Podge to the top. It will look cloudy when wet but will dry clear. My bottle cap was not totally level so I placed a paper clip under it so it would dry even. I let this sit for 24 hours before moving it.
Now all of the materials have been made it is just time to assemble the necklace. Grab a piece of ribbon (I had some periwinkle ribbon with shimmery edges left over from my wedding, still fine after 10 years LOL), and a large embroidery needle. Thread the ribbon through the needle and start stringing the wool balls placing the bottle cap charm in the center.
You might want to use a needle nose pliers to help get the needle through the wool balls. I found this very difficult without the pliers but it was easy with it. I consider this an adult job, even an older child might have difficulty and it can be dangerous with the sharp needle.
Once you have it all strung it should look something like this. You could leave it as is and tie a bow on the back to keep it closed. I decided to go another route.
I wanted to make the necklace a little safer for my toddler by using this type of closure. I made another slightly smaller wool ball and put a fairly large hole through the middle of it with a skewer. Then I threaded the ribbon through in opposite directions. This makes the necklace adjustable so it will fit over her large toddler head and yet not so big that it will hang too low while she is wearing it. It also has an added feature of coming completely apart if it is pulled on so that helps prevent strangulation. Of course, you still have to supervise your child while wearing any type of necklace around their neck, but this helps.
Here is our finished necklace! B was thrilled with how it turned out and she loved that she helped make it herself.
If you like the outfit, this is where I bought it Adorable Essentials