Baby Loves Those Beaded Necklaces

Jan 31, 2012

Welcome to our new Jewelry Stringing blog. We're excited to start an ongoing conversation with our jewelry-making buddies: you! On our end, you'll be hearing from me, Danielle Fox, editorial director of the bead group at Interweave; Debbie Blair, managing editor of Stringing and beading special issues; and Chloe Chatenever, assistant editor of Stringing and beading special issues. Together, we hope to bring you beading news, jewelry inspiration,behind-the-scenes stories, and much, much more.
Today, I can't help but write about my little niece, Pearl (left). She turned one last weekend. I'm proud to say that this fifteen-pound cutie is already a jewelry fan. And she happens to have great taste, too. In fact, her favorite necklace of mine (right) was just published in the Spring 2012 issue of Stringing

I know, however, that it's not the craftsmanship or the design or even the beauty of the colorful enameled beads by Cathy Collison of Glass Garden Beads that Pearl admires. Rather, she loves the necklace because it's fun to put in her mouth. For this reason, I always try to wash the beads with a clean, damp cloth before I see her. And, of course, I've looked into whether this habit could be bad for Pearl. The necklace is strung in such a way that she couldn't swallow a bead while I was wearing it, and I haven't been able to find any evidence that the beads are toxic. For the record, I am not promoting feeding beads to babies...or adults, for that matter! 

Because Pearl likes this beaded necklace so much, her mom, my sister, Heather, asked me to help her make a similar one (left). Something cute enough for her to want to wear, but safe enough if Pearl wanted to put it in her mouth while Heather was holding her. We decided smooth plastic rounds were the ticket (the yellow beads are from MK Beads and the other plastic beads are from The Beadin' Path), and we agreed that undyed leather was a great stringing material as it was strong, flexible, and natural. I love the chain Heather picked, too. It's from AD Adornments.

Have you ever made a piece of jewelry with a child in mind or have you ever made jewelry with your siblings? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Send me a comment.

Thanks for following our ALL NEW Jewelry Stringing blog.

Danielle Fox


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Ricki Ayer wrote
on Feb 1, 2012 7:26 AM


As a beader who does mostly stringing, I am very happy to see this blog.  I have sometimes felt a little "lost" among the bead embroidery and weaving folk on the forums.  While I love to see all the beautiful things they make and keep tempting me to try, I look forward to interacting with other stringers.  

I loved your story about your niece and the "baby friendly" jewelry.  My niece (22 yrs old) often tells me that her son, my great-nephew, who just turned 1 year old has always been fascinated by earrings that she wears that I have made for her.  He loves to tap them to watch them move - he has always been surprisingly good about not yanking on them too hard - he just seems to enjoy watching them move and catch the light.

I am looking forward to more posts and seeing more stringing news and projects.


Ayer Baubles

on Feb 1, 2012 6:17 PM

is this going to be a newsletter as well? that would be lovely if it was. I do stringing and wire work myself and as with Ricki although I like looking at the bead embroidery and maybe something I might do someday I too look forward to this blog .

sis988 wrote
on Feb 1, 2012 10:17 PM


Oh yeah - thrilled about the new Just Stringing blog.  I signed up for this newsletter thinking that's what it was about - stringing.  Turns out it was mostly about seed beading, which is fine - and like the other bloggers, I enjoy looking at it, but just not my thing. I kept the newsletter for the occasional helpful tips and ever so often some news on the stringing venue.  

So kudo's for getting this blog going.

I string, but I also like to incorporate chain, and sometimes ribbon or leather in my designs.  Just like Ricki - I'm looking forward to more stringing news, projects, and tips.  



EMAcreations wrote
on Feb 2, 2012 10:13 AM

My daughter turned 2 just a few months ago, she has loved jewelry since she was about a year old as well. It started as a mouth fasination, for which I stuck to plastic jewelry with large beads and made sure to double or triple my string passes so it couldn't break in her mouth.

The last few months though she's very interested in dressing up and wearing her own jewelry. Her favorite is a beaded bead bracelet that I made her. The beads look like little choo-choo-trains, her favorite thing. She picked the colors herself. I also got her her very own beginner stringing kit, which is filled with colorful plastic beads and charms, as well as elastic string, so now she even helps make her own stretchy bracelets.

Mainly when I am making jewelry with her in mind, I think about the same things as when I make for adults; theme, shape, color, but with the added category of safety. For instance, I would never give a small child a necklace to wear herself if it wasn't easy to tear. This way she can never choke herself with it because it would rip first. Also, with children who still have oral fixations, I would never use small or breakable beads because this too is a choking hazard. Also, my daughter happens to be pretty wild, always running, rolling, jumping, etc, you know kid stuff... So I never give her necklaces with chain or clasps in the back as I find it gets caught in her hair. Finally, kids enjoy being self-efficient, and their hand-eye coordination isn't always all there yet, so I look for easy to use clasps, and use a lot of stretchy material, or make very oversized bracelets that she can grow in to.

DanielleF@9 wrote
on Feb 6, 2012 2:07 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement!

Sheila, this is not going to be a newsletter. But check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for new posts--that's our intended schedule.

on Feb 7, 2012 9:33 AM

Ok thanks for the information!

JudyC5201 wrote
on Feb 11, 2012 4:30 PM

It is a lovely necklace you have done. One thing I thought of though, plastic can have unkown toxic chemicals in it, like BPA. etc. For that reason I would have gone for a nice solid smooth glass which is more inert.

Amar Dev wrote
on Feb 11, 2012 6:13 PM

I love stone healing and I have made several necklaces (for my own son too, who is 12 now) made with amber. Amber is supposed to help with teething pain. It's not a stone so they can touch it or gum it. I just make sure its knotted well and can't be pulled off. I use undyed leather too.


on Jun 12, 2012 12:13 PM

The Tucson bead shows are always a blast. A nd this year was no exception. I attended the To Bead True