These enamel style necklaces are great for kids to explore colour & patterns, & cost next to nothing to make.
To make these necklaces all you need are 3 things; washers (we bought ours from a hardware store), nail varnish, & thread/cord! I had some old bottles of nail varnish which we perfect for this activity, but we did buy a few extra neon colours (Minnie's choice) to brighten up our selection.
To transform the washer into a colorful necklace simply add a coat of coloured nail varnish & set aside to dry. We left ours for 30 mins & then added an extra coat if any metal was showing through. After making several of these we discovered it was helpful to have a table covering underneath the washers in case of spills (or eager painting)! We also found it useful to add just a small amount of sicky tac to the back of the washers to prevent them slipping when the varnish was applied.
Minnie soon discovered that she could create patterns by gently dropping small drops of different colours onto the varnished surface.
She later discovered that if you do this while the initial coat is still wet the colours blend together. What is fascinating to watch is how the colours don't mix completely, but form a variety of different shapes depending on how much varnish is added.
After exploring various colours & glitter varnishes we wanted to see if we could create more patterns, so with a few cocktail sticks Minnie started to experiment by swirling the wet varnishes together. Simply running the stick through the drops of varnish created beautiful feathered shapes. Minnie loved moving the stick in different directions & discovering the new patterns it produced. Obviously the more the colours were moved around, the more they mixed together & became blurred. To create bold patterns we only swirled the paint once or twice
We found that the more varnish you add the longer it takes to dry, so we left our multi-coloured washers to dry overnight before threading the cord through to complete our necklaces. We've both had so much fun with this activity & created quite a collection now!
These have made great gifts for friends & family, & because they're so light & flat they've been ideal to send in the mail.
This has been a fun project to explore patterns & colour blending, & enabled Minnie to paint on a smaller, alternative surface. Usually our art activities are undertaken on a much larger scale, so it's been good to experiment with these smaller circular designs. The varnish too has been fascinating to work with, & offered Minnie a new painting experience which she clearly enjoyed!
Who would've thought these beautiful enamel style necklaces were made from washers & nail varnish!
I should add that due to the smell of the varnish we always take this activity outside! If you would like to make these indoors I would recommend doing so in a well ventilated room.