Kids love costumes. They can wear a medieval costume for a play, Halloween, a Renaisance fair or just for fun. The proper jewellery really sells the reality of a costume. In medieval times, jewellery signified a person's social station. Kings wore large, expensive pieces, while many serfs never saw any jewellery, except on a priest. Here are some ideas for jewellery you can devise for your children's costumes.
Source large pieces of elaborate costume jewellery from charity or discount stores. Remember that fleur-de-lis, astrological and religious themes were popular in medieval times. Look for heavy or elaborate chains as necklaces. Use a large pin or medal as a pendant. Wrap a heavy chain several times around a child's wrist to give the impression of a heavy bracelet or cuff. Spray a heavy hardware weight chain with gold paint and use it as a necklace or belt.
Go to a jewellery supply store. Look for the inexpensive base metal shapes they have in all sizes and symbols. Consider putting many of these together with wire or glue to form a larger piece, such as a string of crosses as a necklace. Use wire cutters and jewellery pliers to weave through smaller pieces or make your own design from wire only. Obtain larger gauges of copper wire by stripping electrical wire from the hardware store.
Make jewellery from polymer clay, which comes in metallic colours. Use your imagination or look at some examples of medieval jewellery. Roll ropes of clay, braid them together and shape into a bracelet or neck cuff. Stamp a large design into a clay "pancake" with a rubber stamp. Press a piece of heavy lace or a paper doily into a flat piece of clay. Push glass jewels from a crafts store into the clay before baking.
Mix any nonplastic elements you have found into a polymer clay design to give your smaller objects more presence. Wrap wire around a curved clay 'sausage' to create a crown or tiara. Ring a silver dollar with clay to create a beefy bezel and bail. A bezel is a metal rim in which an ornament is set and a bail is a binding that connects a pendant to a necklace, usually as a loop. Use a dime as a crest in a ring you have formed around your child's finger. Make huge earrings on wires that can wrap over your daughter's ears.
Bake your polymer clay in an oven according to directions. Be sure that any glass jewels have clay curling over their edges to hold them in place. Add curls, bezels, dots, crosses, fleur-de-lis and other embellishments before baking. Press plastic jewels into the clay, then remove before baking. Glue the jewel back into its own depression after baking using white glue. Polymer clay can also be painted after baking.
Drama is more important than accuracy for young children.
Tips and warnings
- Drama is more important than accuracy for young children.