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up-cycled junk necklaces for kids by mini mad things

This is such a fun, easy project for little ones and most of the items are up-cycled from the recycling bin. We made our own 'beads' using painted cardboard and bottle tops. Threading beads is fantastic for developing fine motor skills and perseverance in children. You can also add in natural components like leaves and seed pods to add another element to your necklaces.

If you love this project but don't have the materials, check out our fun kids CRAFTS KITS, our MEGA JEWELLERY & THREADING CRAFT BOX includes all the materials you need to make these JUNK NECKLACES plus lots of other fun crafts.


  • Cord
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Paints
  • Bottle tops
  • Wooden beads
  • Natural components like leaves and seed pods (optional)


We begin this project with making a large batch of cardboard 'beads'. This is the messy process art part; squish, splodge and splatted paint all over sheets of cardboard. This kind of open-ended painting is super fun for all ages, the best part is, there is no right or wrong way of doing it, it's just about making pretty patterns.

Once the paint is dry, cut the cardboard up into shapes and punch a hole in the middle. Next make holes in the middle of the bottle tops with a hot skewer. Once you have all your materials together begin stringing the necklaces. 

fun kids process art painted cardboard

up-cycled junk necklaces kids craft activities

up-cycled junk necklaces made with cardboard and bottle tops

up-cycled junk necklaces children's craft activity

You could also add natural elements into your necklaces like leaves, seed pods or small pine cones.

up-cycled junk necklaces for kids by mini mad things


If you are looking for more jewellery making fun check out our FUN KIDS JEWELLERY E-BOOK.

10 Contemporary jewellery project tutorials for kids with easy step-by-step instructions and not a pasta necklace is sight!


Jewellery making turorial e-book for kids


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