• Imagining History

Stone Age Jewellery - Craft Activity for Kids

Updated: Oct 5

Stone Age people started making jewellery not long after they started making weaponry. Their jewellery included beads on necklaces and bracelets, pendants and hair pins. They made these beads from shells, animal teeth, animal bones or stones. They would then thread these beads onto string often made from plant stems or thin strips of animal hide. They would even sometimes decorate their jewellery by carving designs into the bead's surface.



How To Make A Stone Age Necklace


Equipment:

Mixing Bowl

Mixing Spoon

Measuring Jug

Selection of Shells (Optional)

Pen/Pencil

Wooden Skewer

Paint Brushes

Crafting Supplies/Ingredients:

125g Plain Flour

63g Fine Table Salt

60ml Water

Twine or other natural coloured string

Paint for decorating (optional)

PVA Glue/Varnish (optional)


Step 1: Prepare the Salt Dough

  • Mix together the flour and salt in the mixing bowl

  • Stir the water in to your flour/salt mixture – make sure to add a bit of water at a time to avoid making the mixture too sticky

  • Keep adding water a bit at a time until the mixture comes together to form a dough. As the dough thickens you may find it easier to kneed it with your hands rather than mixing with a spoon

  • Your dough should be easy to mould and shape (a bit like playdough). If your mixture is too sticky or wet, kneed in more flour to balance out to a better consistency


Step 2: Shape Your Beads

  • Pinch off a small lump of dough and use your fingers to shape it into your preferred bead design

  • If you need inspiration, check out the images of real Stone Age beads above or take a look at some of our ideas:

1. Shell Designs:

  • Choose a selection of shells with different patterns and textures to experiment with

  • Take a lump of dough and press it onto the shell’s surface

  • Carefully peel away the dough, making sure not to squash the pattern with your fingers

2. Teeth Designs:

  • Roll a lump of dough into a sausage shape

  • Place one end of the sausage on the worktop then shape the rest of the sausage into a cone shape with a point at the top

  • Experiment with different teeth sizes and shapes

3. Bone Designs:

  • Roll a lump of dough into a sausage shape

  • Squash each end of the sausage down slightly to form the wider top and bottom sections of the bone

4. Stone Designs:

  • Roll a lump of dough into a rough ball

  • Squash or mould into different stone shapes

  • Experiment with rough edges or smooth. Perhaps use your shells again to add texture to your stones


Step 3: Carve Your Beads

  • Use a pen or sharp pencil to carve line designs into your beads

  • Experiment with different thicknesses of lines or dots

  • We used swirl designs, shape patterns and basic line carvings of animals


Step 4: Add Bead Holes

  • Use a wooden skewer to gently push holes through your beads

  • If you have carved a design on your bead, remember to create the hole through the side of the bead (not the front) so that your design will face forwards when strung to the necklace

Step 5: Bake the Beads

  • Get an adult to heat the oven to the lowest temperature it will go to

  • Put your beads on a baking tray, then get an adult to pop it in the oven

  • Bake your beads until they harden completely – this could take about 3 hours depending on the size of your beads

  • Once hard, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack

Step 6: Decorate Your Beads (Optional)

  • Use neutral coloured paints (greys, whites, browns, greens, etc) to paint your beads

  • Make sure not to block up the holes in your beads with paint

  • Alternatively, leave them unpainted for a more natural effect and move on to step 7

Step 7: Seal the Salt Dough (Optional)

  • Once the paint is dry, coat your beads with PVA glue or varnish to seal it

  • Make sure not to block up the holes in your beads with glue or varnish!

Step 8: Add To Your Necklace

  • Thread your beads onto a length of twine long enough to go over your head

  • You may have to widen the holes with your skewer again if you have used paint or glue/varnish on your beads

  • Tie the ends of the twine together to complete your Stone Age necklace.



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