Toddler Art Tuesdays: Dyed Nature Necklaces

Hi friends!  Welcome to our fifth installment of Toddler Art Tuesdays! I have paired up with the fabulous Lindsay from You Are the Roots to bring you an exciting art activity you can do with toddlers every Tuesday for the month of April.  Check out what we created for this week’s theme- “wearable art!”

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

This week’s activity was a bit of a departure from our typical ooey-gooey art experiences.  It turned out to be a great fine-motor activity for the twins and a bit of a labor of love on my part, but seeing them take so much pride in their very own “neckanices” was totally worth it!

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

The idea for this activity struck me after observing how much the twins enjoyed digging through a box of beautiful shells given to us by my Granny.  They loved examining each shell and commenting on the various colors, sizes, and textures they encountered.  I picked out a few that were similar in shape and size for our project, along with some plain round wooden beads from my crafty stash.  To round out the collection, I found a large stick and used a hand saw to cut it into bead-sized chunks (above left).  Then I used my drill to make holes in the wood chunks and the shells. *Note- I used a ceramic bit to make the holes in the shells.  To keep the shells from cracking, I placed them on a towel and filled them with a little water before drilling.  The water kept the drill bit from getting too hot, and the towel absorbed some of the vibration from the drill.  Remember to go slow and steady when drilling the shells to keep them from shattering.

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

After all the holes were drilled, the twins helped me create some different colors of dye using an Easter egg dye kit purchased on clearance last month.  I have been dye-ing (get it??) to try coloring shells with this method after seeing this post at The Educator’s Spin On It!  The twins had so much fun watching the dye tablets fizz and color the water.

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

Once we made the dye, the twins decided what colors they wanted all the pieces to be and dropped them into the dye cups.  Then we lined them up on our new blue picnic table to bask in the sun for a few hours.  I came out several times and rotated the floating pieces so that each side would soak up an equal amount of color.

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

After the pieces had soaked all afternoon, I fished them out and let them dry overnight on a paper towel.  See how beautifully the colors turned out?

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

I presented the twins with our basketful of dyed goodies along with some long pieces of turquoise yarn for stringing.  To make it easier for their little hands to thread the yarn through the holes in the objects, I hot glued the ends of the yarn pieces to some 1/4″ dowel pins (pictured above).  It worked like a charm- the twins were able to thread the yarn easily through the holes in all the natural objects.

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

We made our necklaces- where else- in our new play fort.  We do everything up there these days!

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!

When the twins were done with their necklaces, I simply tied the ends in a bow and snipped off the excess length and stringing peg with a pair of scissors.  And there you have it! A simple, beautiful, toddler-created piece of art that would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift as well!

*Be sure to supervise your toddler any time they have something around their neck, a potential choking hazard!

Dyed Nature Necklaces at Twodaloo!



Now, if you don’t mind, head on over to You are the Roots and check out what Lindsay and Ethan were up to this week…if the picture above is any indication, it may just be the cutest post EVER!!

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  1. For older kids you can probably combine this with a visit to the beach to collect the shells to make necklaces and even make your own dyes with them out of flowers, onion skins etc to dye the materials

    • Stephanie says:

      Great ideas! Too bad we don’t have an ocean nearby…these shells are special to us, though, because they were collected by my Grandmother! Thank you for reading!

  2. These are so beautiful! You know I’m a sucker for using natural materials in kids art/activities. :)
    Are you going to share the details of your play fort, or did I miss that somehow?

  3. I bet the kids just loved putting their necklaces together. These turned out so neat, and I love that once they are done wearing them as necklaces you’ll have a new set of lacing beads to play with over and over again.

  4. I love those necklaces!! You know, I have been a total scardy cart about getting the drill out.. but I am beginning to think I NEED to get over that, as there are so many lovely nature crafts we are missing out on!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  5. I absolutely adore this idea and those necklaces are beautiful! I would totally wear one myself. Pinned!

  6. I love the nature necklace! Particularly making beads out of branches/twigs. Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Too cute! The little guy in the pics is adorable too:) Happy Mother’s Day and just posted on Craft Gossip! Thanks for submitting:)

  8. So pretty and I love the idea of dyeing! I’ll be featuring it on The Crafty Crow!

  9. I have read so many articles concerning the blogger lovers except this piece of writing is in fact a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.


  1. […] and either is the heat. Collect some nature items and make these fun nature necklaces! Head over to Twodaloo for the […]

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  3. […] Toddler Art Tuesdays: Dyed Nature Necklaces […]

  4. […] Dyed Nature Necklaces- These necklaces are a great way to use up leftover Easter egg dye and also an excellent  fine […]