little gifts: charms & zipper pulls

Good things come in small packages and hand-made is no exception.
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Here are a few ideas to get you going, however the possibilities are as endless as the potential supply list.

  • Use a scrapbooking frame, a frame charm or these darling bottle caps and cut a little piece of your child’s artwork or a photo to fit inside. Then varnish with a generous coat of clear fingernail polish to protect and give it a little shine. You can make specific messages as I did or clip a little section of a previously done artwork for a more abstract look. I also added a flat backed gemstone (which can be found in the scrapbooking section.)
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  • Shape polymer into initials or interesting beads to make fun charms. Use a wire (or in a pinch a toothpick) to make a hole for the string to go through before you bake it.
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  • Take a walk down the beading isle at your craft store to find little embellishments and charms to hang from necklaces or wire to a crab claw to hang from your backpack or coat zipper.
  • You can also make fun initials out of thick beading string or embroidery floss. Wet with white glue or mod podge, then shape into the desired letter on a piece of parchment paper or plastic. (A plastic toy or household item package works great for this.) Cursive letters work better and it is a good idea to add a few curls and loops; especially one towards the top to run the necklace through. After you have the letter in a shape you like, dab a little more glue into it. Let it dry for at least a few hours. When it is stiff, carefully peel away from the plastic and trim any excess glue off.
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  • Use buttons, beads, charms, or make your own beads by rolling thin strips of magazine or scrapbook paper to add more character to your necklace.
  • If making a zipper pull, use a fine gauge wire (the craft store will have many fun colors to choose from) and string through the hole. Then make a loop and slip a lobster claw closure onto it. Twist the wire back down and around itself several times to secure.
  • For necklaces or bracelets, you can find inexpensive chain at the craft store or use beading thread. If you use thread, tie a not in one end and run some super glue over the other end. Give it a few minutes to dry and it will act as a needle for stringing the beads.
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Have fun! I have to warn you though, this can be an addictive pastime; especially if you have tween girls!

By the way, we are still giving a few great gifts away at LeapIntoArt.com. Come check it out!

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