Making jewelry is a popular craft idea for most children who are about age 4 or older. Not only can jewelry crafts be a lot of fun to make, but your kids are likely to get a kick out of being able to model their designs for their family and friends. If you already have an assortment of beads at your disposal, your kids can make their own necklaces and bracelets using some old string or leftover ribbon. But there are a variety of other recycled materials that you can use from around your house to create some unique and eco-friendly jewelry.
For instance, you can make a bracelet out of your old toothbrush. All you have to do is remove the bristles with a pair of tweezers and then put the toothbrush into a pot of boiling water for about five minutes. Remove the toothbrush with a pair of tongs, bend it into the shape you want, and then place it around a mug until it cools completely [source: Kaboose]. Because of the high temperatures involved, you will probably have to do much of this part yourself, depending on your child's age. But once the bracelet has cooled, you kids can decorate it by gluing on beads, attaching ribbons, or adding any other kind of accessory they choose.
You can use some old ribbon and soft drink can tabs to make a choker necklace. Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to fit around the child's neck, and place a tab at one end. Knot the tab in place, making sure to leave enough loose ribbon so that you can tie the necklace around your child's neck when you're finished. Place another tab underneath the first one, and move it over slightly to the right so that it's covering up only the right half of the tab beneath it. Then, feed your ribbon up through the oval opening formed by the two overlapping tabs. Place another tab next to the first one, and feed the ribbon down through the next opening. The necklace should follow a two-layered alternating pattern that is similar to bricks on a fireplace. Continue adding tabs and feeding the ribbon until you reach the end of your necklace. Knot the last tab in place, and then repeat the process using a second piece of ribbon and looping it through the other holes of your tabs [source: ThriftyFun]. Because of the time and focus required, this craft may be better suited for older children.
Read the next page to learn about some recycled clothing craft ideas to share with your kids.