Young children love pretty sparkly jewellery and particularly relish the opportunity to create their own designs. This gorgeous glitzy brooch is very quick and easy to make and only requires a few basic inexpensive craft items to complete. However, as it involves working with small pieces that could be easily swallowed it shouldn't be attempted by children under five, without constant adult supervision.
Fancy wooden shapes, like the flower-shaped one I've used here, are available at many larger hardware shops. However, if you know someone who is handy with woodwork (and specifically with a jigsaw), you may be able to convince them to custom-make the exact sizes and shapes that you'd like to work with. The other items, such as the badge backings (pins), beads and glitter glue, are available at most well-stocked craft stores or on-line.
To create an interesting, mosaic-like effect on your badge, try combining a variety of bead sizes, shapes and textures. Recycled beads are great for this activity, but avoid those which are too large as they're difficult to adhere to the badge's surface. For a final dazzling touch, don't forget to outline your creation with glitter glue (keep a small border around the edge), and to use it to fill in gaps in the design.
This activity is great for creative older children on a rainy day, and is also a fun and affordable thing to do during a kids' craft party.
Time: This activity is best spread over a few hours, or even a couple of days, as time is needed for the craft glue and glitter glue to thoroughly dry.
Age: 5-10's, Over 10's
Small wooden base no larger than 8cm in diameter (can be home-made or purchased at your local hardware store). I used a flower shape, but any shape is alright.
An assortment of pretty beads, rhinestones, sequins, artificial craft gems and fancy buttons in various shapes and sizes. Try to avoid ones that are too big.
Strong craft glue
Glitter glue. I used gold but any colour is alright.
A badge backing (pin or clip) to adhere to the badge when the design has been completed. You can buy these on-line or at many craft stores.
Ensure that the wooden base is clean and dry before you begin.
Plan a basic design on a piece of fabric or paper before you start gluing. This is just a basic guide and doesn't need to be followed rigidly.
Squirt a generous amount of craft glue all over the wooden base. I usually ensure that the glue is at least two or three millimetres thick, so the beads will remain in place more easily. When this is done, you can start sticking on the beads, following the design that you mapped out earlier.
Continue adding more beads to the badge's surface, until the entire surface is covered. A combination of various sizes, shapes and colours gives a wonderful mosaic effect.
Gently place your bead mosaic somewhere to dry. If you've used a generous amount of glue, you may need to leave it overnight to dry out completely.
When the glue is totally dry, add some final embellishments with glitter glue. I chose to outline my design with gold glitter glue and added a few extra dots here and there. However, everyone has their own style, so use it any way you like.
When you've added enough glitter glue, put your masterpiece aside and allow it to dry completely. This usually takes a few hours, although sometimes I'll wait overnight, just to be sure.
When the glitter glue is completely dry, you can turn the badge over and adhere a backing (pin or clip) to it, so that it can be worn. Your glittery bead mosaic brooch is now complete.