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Crafting Plastic Free Jewelry for Dress Up



Ditch the plastic for this eco-friendly alternative.

Happy 4th of July! Today we celebrate our independence as a country, but did you know July is also dubbed Plastic Free Month? That’s a whole month to celebrate our independence from single use or disposable plastics. The mission is to spend one whole month evaluating and eliminating the role plastics play in our lives. Since we have giant islands of plastic debris floating in the ocean, it is obvious our country (and even the world) is hooked on plastics.  

My family and I have pitched a lot of disposable plastics in previous years and are careful not to buy more (as often as we can). So this plastic free month allows me the opportunity to look deeper through the house for new ways to eliminate plastics. This time I am looking at the amount of plastic toys and play things we have. I admit we have many plastic toys in our household that we’ve purchased second hand, but many come in the form of gifts, McDonald’s toys or goody bag items from birthday parties. No judgement if these exist in your home, but it drives me crazy to visualize a giant heap of plastic toys that will never disappear from our landfills.

I am inspired to make these super cute wooden cuff bracelets from wooden craft sticks to replace some dress up jewelry in my kids’ toy chest. These are easier to make than I thought, and definitely a little more time consuming than most of my crafts. But it is worth seeing the joy my kids had making them and making up their own designs.

Materials:

1 inch wide craft sticks

Washi tape

Pint sized Mason jars

 

Begin by boiling 2 cups of water in a sauce pan. Once the water reaches a rolling boil drop in the craft sticks and set your kitchen timer for 15 minutes.

Remove the sticks with a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon, and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Once the sticks are cool to the touch begin bending them to fit inside the Mason jar. This smaller sized Mason jar makes the perfect sized bracelet to fit little ones.

Leave the bracelets to dry out overnight. The wood should still be damp enough by morning to sculpt the ends to form a cuff. This will keep the bracelet snug to your child’s wrist without falling off. You may need to return the bracelet to the jar to continue drying.


Once the bracelet is fully dry you can decorate with your washi tape. We used on long strip of tape down the middle and cut the ends of the tape to match the round ends of the craft stick. You can wrap the tape around the bracelet as well. You could also allow the kiddos to just paint their designs (using eco-friendly paint of course). We also had fun stamping words onto our bracelets with tiny rubber stamps we had on hand.

Overall this was a pretty neat craft to make. The kids love the recycling aspect of it and I love the simplicity of it. Plus, the wooden sticks will eventually biodegrade if they end up in a landfill somewhere. The washi tape is biodegradable and tree free making it an eco-friendly choice. You can make a few for play jewelry, or have fun making things you can actually wear.

Tip: if your stick cracks, or splits while trying to bend it, let it dry and you can use a nail file, or sand paper to sand it down. This will create unique imperfections for one of a kind jewelry.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest.  



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