Here at The Madhouse, both 6-year-old Juliette and 10-year-old Sophie love crafts and they also love jewellery so finding an activity that combines both was sure to go down well. When a MyStyle Craft Design & Make Paper Bead Jewellery kit arrived in the post for us to review, I instantly knew they'd love it. Even better is that it's designed to make eight pieces of jewellery so it's a great product for sisters or friends to share.
I decided to have a good look while they were still at school so that I could unpack it all and take photos without them getting impatient and grabbing bits left, right and centre ! I was impressed to see that it comes in two relatively sturdy plastic boxes, which makes it simple to keep everything neatly packed away in between sessions. Again, the fact that there are two boxes is great news if you two kids because you can split up all the contents, write a name on each box and avoid endless hours of squabbling over who gets what !
Despite a lack of googly eyes, the boxes reminded me of Mister Maker's craft supplies cupboard because they're full of interesting looking odds and ends, just begging to be sifted through. The first box contains an assortment of strips of coloured paper, glue, a double ended pokey tool (I'm sure it has a more technical name but more about that in a moment !), cocktail sticks and a square of foamy cardboard. Hmm intriguing !
The second box has everything you'd expect to find in a kit for making jewellery - string, clasps and lots of sachets of different coloured tiny beads. Seeing the size of all the little bits, I can understand why the suggested age range is 8+ because it looks very fiddly and I'm not sure Juliette would have the patience or precision needed to do it all properly.
The surprisingly long official contents list is as follows :
Paper strip books
Paper rolling tool (ahh that's what it's called !)
Tube of PVA glue
Foam Drying mat (ahh that's what the square is for !)
Coated beading wire
Plastic stretch cord
Plastic storage containers
24 page instruction book
The detailed instruction booklet outlines the basic technique for making paper beads which, I have to say, sounds very simple, although clumsy, glue-covered, child-sized fingers may well make it more complicated than it looks !
The booklet also gives you lots of ideas for things you can make, although you're free to let your imagination run wild and make whatever takes your fancy really. The great thing is, once you've used up all the paper and glue in the box, you can use up any old scraps of paper you find around the house, from magazines and wrapping paper to specially bought craft paper. That sounds like a fabulous way of recycling to me !
The detailed step-by-step instructions look simple enough ...
And the finished designs shown on the website look really pretty.
We haven't actually sat down to have a play yet, because with the back-to-school/work rush, we haven't had time to really do it justice, so I've put it aside as a stocking filler for Sophie at Christmas, knowing that she'll have plenty of time to get creative during the Christmas holidays. I'll show you our creations here on the blog afterwards.
If you have a duaghter who loves getting artistic, it's a really complete kit and - even better - one that will enable her to continue using the skills she's picked up to make even more jewellery with odds and ends found lying around in the house.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £12.99
for more information : http://www.mystylecraft.tv/Paper_Bead_Jewellery.html
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