Just for Kids: Make a Mother's Day Button Bracelet for (or with!) Mom or Grandma

Welcome to Rachel Kalina, a new guest blogger for Jewelry Making Daily! In addition to being an accomplished jewelry artist, Rachel is the editor-in-chief of ParentGuide magazine, making her an ideal person to share kid-friendly jewelry-making projects with us.

Rachel's bright and cheerful button charm bracelet is an ideal project to make with your child–or help a child in your life make this bracelet for Mom or Grandma for Mother's Day! It's simple enough that even younger children can create their own masterpiece with just a little grown-up help, since it does involve tools and small parts, and we've made the instructions suitable for a beginner.

  vintage button charm bracelet for kids Mom Grandma

Children like to do things their own way, and this project has lots of room for personalization! Pair the buttons in a stylish color-combo like Rachel's pink and green, use all shades of Mom's favorite color, or create a rainbow out of buttons for an all-summer-long accessory. The pearl girl in me would love this bracelet made out of mother-of-pearl buttons, and how sweet would it be to make this bracelet using buttons from a grown child's baby and kid clothes? Use any color of metal chain and components you like, or mix them up for a popular mixed-metal look; you can even make the whole bracelet using all metal buttons for a really fashion-forward Mom.

This is a perfect project for Grandma's button jar, too. You know all of those buttons were saved from family clothes, making for an even more special bracelet. And no need to worry–making this bracelet doesn't damage beloved buttons in any way.

May Flowers Button Bracelet

by Rachel Morgan Kalina

Celebrate spring's blooming May flowers with this easy project you can share with your kids. Its large links and loops are the perfect size for small hands.

Materials

two pairs of chain-nose pliers
10-20 buttons of various shapes and sizes*
large (about 10mm) jump rings (2 per button, +2)
chain with big links**
lobster or spring-ring clasp similarly sized to chain

* When considering buttons, keep in mind your child's age. You'll want to choose buttons with larger holes for younger children so they can easily manipulate them. Try various color patterns and designs to find what you and your child like best.

** For an adult: About 7 to 7-1/2" long. For a child: Use a tape measure to determine the wrist size for the bracelet, and take into account that the clasp will add about 1".

Editor's note: If you're making this bracelet for a child to wear, be certain to use lead-free metal chain and components, and use your best judgment when determining whether a child is old enough to wear jewelry with small parts.

Steps

 

1.      Pick up a jump ring with one of the chain-nose pliers, holding it tightly on one side. Use the second pair of chain-nose pliers to grasp the other side of the jump ring.

 

2.      While holding the pliers, rotate one of your hands slightly away from you, twisting the jump ring open. Do not pull the jump ring apart, as this will distort it; rather use a twisting motion to keep its shape.

3.      Put down one pair of pliers. Place the first button onto the open jump ring.

4.      While still holding the pliers, open jump ring, and button in one hand, pick up the second pair of pliers and close the jump ring by twisting the hand with just the pliers toward you. There should be a slight feeling that it has "clicked" back into place, and there should be no gap visible in the ring. Now you have a button charm!

5.      To attach the button charm to the chain, open a new jump ring as per step 2.

6.      Put down one pair of pliers, and pick up the button charm with attached jump ring. Hook the open jump ring through the closed jump ring on the button charm.

7.      Pick up the length of chain, singling out the second link from its end. While gently pinching this link in the hand not holding the pliers, place the link onto the open jump ring behind the button charm.

8.      While still holding the pliers, open jump ring, button charm, and chain in one hand, pick up the second pair of pliers. Clamp the pliers onto the opposite side of the open jump ring. Repeat step 4 to close the jump ring around the button charm and link.

9. Repeat steps 1-8 for each button charm you plan to use.

Editor's note: Alternately, you can add a closed jump ring to the open jump ring in step 3 before closing it in step 4. This creates the button charm with both jump rings; later, you can open the second jump ring and attach it to the chain, as in step 8.

10.      Attach one or two button charms in each link of the chain, leaving one link at each end of the chain without a charm. Attach button charms along the same side of the chain so they will hang properly.

11.  To finish the bracelet, open a new jump ring as per step 2.  Put down one pair of pliers, and pick up the clasp. Hook the open jump ring through the small loop of the clasp.

12.  Pick up one of the end links of the chain. While gently pinching this link in the hand not holding the pliers, place the link onto the open jump ring behind the clasp.

13.  While still holding the pliers, open jump ring, clasp, and chain in one hand, pick up the second pair of pliers. Clamp the pliers onto the opposite side of the open jump ring. Repeat step 4 to close the jump ring around the clasp and chain.

Optional: Add a jump ring on the other end of the chain onto which you'll hook the clasp. Adding several together can create a short length of chain to make the bracelet adjustable.

Remember, children should only make this bracelet with a parent or caregiver, as it contains small parts and tools that require adult supervision. Enjoy!

About the author/designer:
Rachel Morgan Kalina is the owner of The Wood and Watch jewelry company and the editor-in-chief of ParentGuide magazine. She knows how to wield a flame to shape metal; loves to travel; and is passionate about art, antiques, and environmental conservation. Learn more about Rachel at RachelKalina.com.

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