Teaching Jewelry Making to Fifth Grade Girls – What to Teach?

by Rita Muller.

Teaching Jewelry Making to Fifth Grade Girls - What to Teach?  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I have been approached by a woman in my Women’s Bible Study group to teach a jewelry class for a group of six under privileged girls from the grade school where she teaches.

I’d love to get feedback from the JMJ community on what to teach them.

I work mostly with wire, but is that a safe choice for 10 year old girls?

Please let me know what you all think, and thanks for your help.

Glorious blessings for 2020!

Rita Muller

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  • I would probably go with something like elastic bracelets. Easy stringing and just a knot with some glue. They will have the most fun in designing. Good Luck!

  • Barbara says:

    Stretch bracelets are still super-popular. A grandma brought her 5-yr-old granddaughter to me at my farmers market table on Saturday to make stretch bracelets for herself this time. She’d already made Christmas bracelets for her parents (Grandma bought the beads, I provided enough Stretch Magic and she made them at home that time. Then Grandma brought the bracelets back to have the knots tied.)

    She made several bracelets with lava beads, letter beads to spell out her own name and miscellaneous glass beads, threaded the beads on the Stretch Magic and I tied the knots. This little kid was captivated for over an hour.

    If you want to make bracelets with wire and clasps, to save time I would cut sufficient wire to make bracelets, pre-do the clasp ends, and then let them string the beads they want. It won’t take long to crimp the other end to fit each kid’s wrist.

    cut some of the wires a little longer and they’ll be able to make ankle bracelets or necklaces;
    vary the clasp style: I use dolphin lobster clasps, for example, and clasps with different patterns, shapes and colours; and
    choose larger clasps that are easier for kids to open and close.

    And have fun!!!

  • Charlene says:

    Memory wire bracelets are easy to start with. You cut the wire to the proper length, finish one end, provide the beads and let them create. When the girls are done, finish off the other end of the wire and they can go home with a finished bracelet. I did this with a large group of adults (about 100 people)and they loved it. (And I got rid of a lot of spare beads that they loved but weren’t my favorites any more, especially plastic beads!)

  • Patt Sheldon says:

    Check out yarn braiding or Kumihimo braiding. With the first, they only need long pieces of yarn or embroidery-type threads in fun colors and no other equipment. (good for those who cannot afford materials–a little yarn or thread goes a long way)
    With Kumihimo, you can make your own disk using milk cartons or other plastic that can be cut into circles. They can make straight braids or add beads. The braids can be used as bracelets, necklaces, hair ties, etc.
    Here are a couple of Youtube videos to give you some ideas:

  • Great idea, Charlene!

  • Patt, I like the versatility of the braiding idea.

  • Cathy says:

    Earrings would be fun and not too hard.

  • Annie Laughton says:

    I do jewellery making with special needs girls and they love making elastic bracelets, kumihimo is very calming and therapeutic (I once had 8 autistic teenage boys happily making kumihimo bracelets and they were absorbed, earrings if you have the tools are also good as the girls can choose their own dangles and put them together. Cheap chain is handy and lots of little charms as they also love making necklaces. Any simple beading will be great. Enjoy.

  • Nancy Vaughan says:

    I’ve done memory wire bracelets (using 2 circles of wire) with children as young as 1st grade, finger crochet with children 3rd thru 6th grades, braiding with finger crocheted chains for friendship bracelets, bead stringing in patterns or randomly on wire or on fairly heavy crochet thread. With the thread you just stiffen about 1in. on one end of the thread with Elmer’s glue, let it dry and you have a needle. This eliminates the need for using crimp tubes and it is something the children can do in their own later.

  • Melissa says:

    Love seeing this post and all the great suggestions as I am also trying to think up ideas for a class I’ve been asked to teach at a local homeless shelter. One idea that I am leaning towards is making dangly earrings out of buttons and jump rings, but I also like the memory wire idea as an alternative for those who would prefer a bracelet, don’t have pierced ears, etc.

  • Deb says:

    This is also fun. I found a leather bag at GoodWill for this. YouTube has videos on this too. https://www.instructables.com/id/Magic-Braided-Leather-Bracelet/

  • Sue says:

    I agree with Nancy. I taught a class to older women some of whom had arthritis. Also another idea would be to use beads and alternate jump rings to make the design for a bracelet.

  • Rita Muller says:

    Blessings to all of you for the wonderful suggestions. I have a greater confidence about teaching this class now. What a fabulous jewelry community! I’m grateful to be part of y’all.

  • Helen Garcia says:

    My 9 year old granddaughter easily learned how to make wire wrapped rings using a bead, about 9 inches of 20 ga wire and a dowel to size the ring. She also taught this to a group of senior citizens. Needless to say, I’m pretty proud of her.

  • Helen, what a creative and lovely young lady your granddaughter is!

  • Geraldine Self says:

    The sliding knot should be an easy one to teach. Good luck. God bless your Bible Study group especially in your influence with these children.

  • STONES BY TONI says:

    I have had the same request. I am going to use Stretch Magic with beads. They can make a stretch bracelet for themselves. Easy and fast!

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