Holiday Gift Project for Kids No. 1: Turn Plastic Reptiles into Beautiful Jewelry

OK, I may have overstated it with the"beautiful jewelry" headline. But it's no exaggeration when I say that this project is a lot of fun, and not just for kids. I think the outcome is pretty awesome, too. But somehow, having kids around makes it more acceptable.

The inspiration for this holiday gift project comes from ANC's own Joanne Lobeski Snyder, retired teacher and lifelong artist. She's a frequent contributor ANC's Photo Cafe, and you might remember her pottery work featured during our recent auction.

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Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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19 Responses

  1. Beverly Stafford says:

    The tykes’ – and Uncle Joe’s – creations are cute as, well, bugs, but Joanne’s is a masterpiece that must elicit smiles as will the others.

  2. erin friedman says:

    I love this! We will give it a try this weekend – I’m thinking we will turn the little critters into Christmas ornaments – because our tree is weird like that. Thanks!

    When I had little ones, one of our favorite Christmas gift projects was bookmarks – little art projects adorned with ribbon and laminated. Charming and useful.

  3. Carolyn Dokter says:

    What a blessing, just to be able to be together with grandchildren, working on a project so special. It warms my heart! And the pins are beautiful!

  4. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    I remember the first time I saw Joanne wear that pin. It was so, so elegant and pretty. I couldn’t believe it when she told me how she made it. Really a worthwhile project.

  5. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Fun! We have all three grandkids this weekend. Rather than lapel pins, that table covered with colorful polish, glitter, and plastic animals has me thinking: Christmas tree ornaments. (Our tree is decorated to please kids, and it’s already a potpourri of ornaments ranging from semi-fancy to homemade—we’re not going to impress any interior decorators.)

  6. Cathy Allen says:

    Love this idea!

  7. Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

    What fun! And I think I know which friend says that glitter is “the herpes of the craft world” because that exact remark appeared on my Facebook status this afternoon! (I am Christmas Card Sparkly after sitting down to write out some cards today.)

    I love the photo of the kids and Uncle Joe all busy with their projects. Family time is the best time.

  8. Judith Salter says:

    While you have that glitter and nail polish out, go buy some clear ornaments at Michael’s. They are dirt cheap right now. Pour various colors of nail polish – small amounts – into the ornaments and swirl them roll them around so the colors go all over – then add glitter inside and shake so it sticks to the nail polish. It’s really cute and messy but great fun for the kids! I’ll try these frogs too!

  9. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Wow! Your grandchildren did a great job! Acrylic paint is easier to use than nail polish. On some plastic pieces I spray painted the surface black (outside of the house of course) and then used acrylic paint for color, glitter, and a fine grade wire to secure the glued pin to the underside of the lizard….or turtle..or frog. The wire is wrapped up the tail so that it can be positioned. I like your idea of finishing the piece with a clear coat to keep the glitter from falling off in time. It would take you two minutes to replace the “jewels” on the lizard I gave you some years ago…..may I suggest diamonds and rubies? Thank you for this great article. I really enjoyed the suggestions other readers shared.

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