Making jewelry can involve low tech and inexpensive materials. This instructable will show you how to make jewelry using the simplest of materials: construction paper, glue, sandpaper and time.

I have done this project with elementary students as young as second grade. It CAN be done with more sophisticated equipment, but since I don't own any of these items except for a dremel tool, I won't show you that path. But hey, if you have the equipment, use it!

I'm completing this instructable as a teaching tool as I plan on showing my middle school art students this as a demo for class. (And they will be completing through low tech methods!)

Construction paper, card stock
hand drill or hand punch
jewelry findings

Step 1: Trace, Cut and Glue

Identify subject and shape.
First figure out what you're going to make, and make some drawings until you have a good shape. Draw on cardstock, cardboard or index card.

Cut out the design.
After you have cut out the design, flip it over so you don't see the drawn image side to check how the design works as a negative image and to fix any cuts that need to be refined. You can see any "mistakes" from this angle.

Trace. Trace....trace some more.
Then begin tracing. You'll need to carefully trace 20-30 and then cut them out as carefully as you can.
If you had one of those fancy machines you could use it and then presto! But alas, no fancy machine...

Stack and glue.
Begin gluing your shapes together, spreading the glue around the surface of the paper, and stacking up the shapes. You'll especially want glue near the outside edges, but you also don't want a puddle. Press the stack down occasionally to squeeze out extra glue.
Use wax paper to protect your table top and also to keep it from gluing to your table.

Let dry overnight.
I did this with my middle school classes about 40+ years ago. They loved it. This was a great project to teach the value of the investment of time to achieve a quality outcome. <br>Couple suggestions: <br>Make your first one a simple abstract or geometric shape. <br>Thin the glue with water so it goes on lightly and use a brush to apply. <br>Glue all the shapes together, alternating colors, quickly and neatly, then immediately compress between to smooth pieces do wood in a vice or with c-clamps. (Use some wax paper on both sides of the piece to keep it from sticking to the wood). Crank it down as tight as you can get it and let it set for 24 hours. This will come out as hard a piece of plastic or Masonite, <br>Sand the piece using progressively finer grades of sand paper, tapering the outside edges to a sharp edge (like a thin wedge) allowing the alternating colors to become moe evident. <br>Finish with high gloss lacquer or nail polish. <br>You will be stunned at the quality, and no one will believe it's paper.
I actually did this with my elementary students about 25 years ago and all of your comments are perfectly accurate! When I do this with art classes (100+ or more students), there isn't enough clamps and etc to go around, so we just press down hard and put under a stack of books. <br> <br>Thanks for your comments! I appreciate the feedback and constructive criticism.
Lol sooo cute! It kind of reminds me of shrinky dinks
What a great idea for kids and adults! Thanks for sharing and have a super weekend! <br>sunshiine
Love having a Sunshiine comment! Thanks!
I wished I had time to experiment with this. I love it! <br>sunshiine
The most time consuming part is cutting out the 20-30 shapes. If you have one of those clever machines, it doesn't take as long!(Of course I don't have one of those...) But really it doesn't take that much time if you have a simple design to cut out. <br>
Lol so cool...I remember making a brooch like this at school, a lot of years ago ;)
Funny how things you did as a kid come back! Thanks for stopping by!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an artist, environmentalist, animal lover, gardener, recycling nut, a high school teacher, crafter, Mom, Christian and widow who reads a lot in between ... More »
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