Our September paper crafts series wouldn’t be complete without some paper jewelry! In the world of crafts for girls, learning how to make bracelets is always popular, so for today’s tutorial we made bracelets out of leftover crepe paper streamers. This is such an easy craft for older kids, especially if they already know how to braid.
If you’re like me, you overbuy party supplies like mad; this year I bought an abundance of crepe paper streamers. How could I not when Target had such luscious colors! With so many extra streamers on hand I’ve been racking my brain on how to put them to good use. Then I put two and two together:
long strands of paper that are flexible + braiding techniques = one funky little DIY bracelet craft for kids
Now I haven’t made a lot of jewelry in my past, and I’m almost certain my friend Lisa, who is a jewelry designer by trade, would chuckle at this tutorial but we all have to start somewhere! I actually found that purchasing a few simple jewelry-making supplies was inexpensive and as easy as a quick trip to Joann’s. I do recommend buying a 3 in 1 tool, mine was about $6, and working with teeny tiny jewelry fittings is next to impossible without one.
So without further ado let’s get started on this simple and inexpensive way to use up your leftover party supplies, work with paper in a super unique way, AND make a crafty little bracelet all at the same time.
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Crepe Paper Bracelets
Age Appropriateness: 8+
- Crepe Paper Streamers
- Mod Podge (optional)
- Paintbrush if applying Mod Podge
Jewelry Making Supplies:
- 14MM Swivel Lobster Clasps
- Ribbon Ends
- 6mm Double Rings
- 3 in 1 Combination Tool like the one in this kit: Darice 1981-96 Jewelry Tool Starter Kit
I’m no braiding expert so if you are new to braiding you may want to google a few tutorials on the web!
- Step One Cut an 18” length of three colors of crepe paper
- Step Two Stack the three pieces of crepe paper on one another and staple together on one end. Tape the stapled end down to a table or work surface.
- Step Three Starting with the lowest layer thread one strand of crepe paper between the other two strands.
- Step Four Pull the lowest strand up and over the top strand. Repeat, moving the strands to the side as necessary until finished.
- Step Five To make a triple braided bracelet, braid you will need to make two other braided strands using Steps 1-4 and then braid your braided strands together again, also using steps 1-4.
- Step Six If you would like to make your bracelet more durable, now is the time to paint it with Mod Podge and let it dry. Using Mod Podge will give your bracelets a shiny look and this modern mama loves matte finishes so I preferred the unfinished look. Either way works!
- Step Seven Snip the end of your braid off using sharp scissors. Wrap the bracelet around your wrist to measure, then snip the other side to the desired length. Remember that the jewelry fittings will add about ½” to 1″ to the length of the finished bracelet.
- Step Eight Place a ribbon end clamshell on one end of the bracelet and clamp it down tightly using your 3 in 1 tool. Repeat with the other side.
- Step Nine Place one double ring on the looped side of each ribbon end. Use your 3 in 1 tool to open up the double ring to fit it through the loop. It’s tricky! Adult help may be necessary.
- Step Ten On one side add a clasp.
Note: One of the things to remember about using paper in any project is that it is not waterproof! Make sure you don’t get your bracelet wet or it will dissolve into a mushy mess. If you want to make the bracelet more durable I definitely suggest coating it with Mod Podge!
This project reminded me of Tord Bootnje, an amazing product designer from the Netherlands. One of his most striking designs is the Midsummer Light he designed back in 2004. I fell in love with this when I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the Milan Furniture Fair and this lamp was all the rage. It’s such a unique use of paper and completely memorable. Since our bracelets use paper in a non-traditional way I thought of this lamp!
Learning how to make bracelets with crepe paper is not the first time we’ve dabbled in jewelry making here on Babble Dabble Do. Two of our most popular posts are also jewelry themed projects: Totally Tubular Bracelets and Office Supply Jewelry, which was featured on PBS kids. So next time you are looking for easy crafts for girls and jewelry lovers think outside the box about the materials you can use and give paper a try! Paper crafts can truly be anything you want!
Check out our online store as well: This month I’m dedicating it to some amazing crafts books featuring what else…PAPER!
We’ve got many more paper crafts in store for you this month so be sure to subscribe! Your child’s inner Tord Boontje thanks you!