This side-by-side project is so simple, but at the same time, creates such a beautiful and meaningful piece for both Bigs and Smalls. Grownups, you can create a Mother’s Day necklace by wrapping one washer per child in a color/colors of your choosing. The disks can then be bound together to create a beautiful geometric necklace full of meaning.
For you Smalls, create a necklace with a wrapped washer, one for each year of your age, in whatever colors you like, and string them on a chain.
We’ve made these for a Mother’s Day gift, and made another set for ourselves — and we’ve been wearing them all the time!
In addition to Mother’s Day, the Small version would be a wonderful birthday tradition, don’t you think? Create the first necklace together and then, every year bind a new colorful disk and add it to your “small’s” necklace. The necklace would be a perfect gift for a friend too.
Let’s start creating!
- Chain necklace
- Big: Waxed Linen
- Small: Embroidery Thread
- Super Glue, optional
For both types of necklaces, you’ll begin by cutting an arm’s length of thread. Fold this thread in half and insert the top loop of this thread into the middle of the washer. Draw the tail of the thread through the loop forming a connection. You will have a double length to use for wrapping, rather than a single thread.
Hold the washer with one hand and carefully begin binding the washer. You will want to bind it smoothly and evenly. To bind, insert the end of the thread into the middle of the washer, pulling it out tightly, laying this double thread smoothly across the surface of the washer and continuing in this way all the way around the washer until it was completely covered.
I found the best technique for binding was to hold the washer in my left hand, holding the already bound thread in place with my fingers, while using my right hand to do the binding. If you are right handed, reverse this. By looping the thread into the middle, I found that I could see the binding best and keep it the most even.
Those are the universal steps for both necklaces, but now we move into specific steps for each. We’ll start with the BIG necklace.
Continue to bind the washer until it is completely covered and tie off the final thread but do not cut the end. Bind as many washers as desired, finishing them all in the same way.
Once all the washers have been neatly bound and tied, you’ll attach them. Carefully clip the cord of one of the two disks, but leave the other tail long. Use that long thread to tie the two together, then wrap the thread through both holes three times, and end by tying a knot and clipping the excess — keep the knot on the back side of the washer.
If you do not have a long thread tail, simply cut a new length of thread, tie these two disks together with the the new piece and wrap this binding three times, then clip.
Continue connecting all disks together in this fashion until all of your washers are attached.
To finish, cut 2 new pieces of the this same thread. Each will serve as a side of the necklace. Cut these pieces accordingly — make these long enough for the necklace to sit at the correct length on your neck and also allow enough extra for tying a knot to the disks, and additional length for tying as a closure at the back of your neck.
Tie one piece of thread to the middle side of each side of the disks (one on the far left side of the left disk and one at the far right side of the right disk)
Waxed linen binds itself well but, if you are concerned with loose ends not holding or for extra wear, dot the end of the thread with super glue at the time. Let the glue dry.
Once dried, you Mother’s Necklace is ready for wearing! Enjoy!
Now it’s time for the SMALL tutorial.
When the washer is completely covered (using the direction above), tie off the final thread and carefully clip the knot. Bind as many washers as desired, finishing them all in the same way. If you are concerned with loose ends not holding or for extra wear-and-tear dot the end of the thread with super glue with adult supervision. Let the glue dry.
Once completely dry, thread the chain with these colored disks and close the clasp — and your necklace is ready for wearing!
P.S. — The Big & Small series is about projects grownups and kids can do together. There’s a more advanced (and some times more sophisticated) project for BIGS (those are the grownups), and a simpler, related project for SMALLS (those are the kids). We love thinking of you and your littles making them side by side. Find all the posts in the Big & Small series here.