Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas badges

We are heading into the last week of English classes and yesterday was Monday's last class. After spending months trying to think of a new Christmas craft I could do with buttons (someone gave me a large box!) I went back to an old favorite. Safety pin badges.

I must have done this with students at least 6 years ago because it was all new to the kids who come to me now. The children like making the badges and people always comment on them when I wear one at Christmas, so the parents are impressed too. Give it a try!

You need 11 or 12 safety pins of the same size. (Size 2 in Japan. 9 beads need to be able to fit on a pin.)

The preparation is putting 9 or 10 safety pins onto the base pin. The base pin has to be opened a bit and the other pins fed onto the BACK of the pin.... through that little loop. It is no harder than trying to get a key off of your key ring but you have to feed all the other pins on the same direction...

Once all the pins are set, the badge is ready for the children.

I drew up 5 or 6 Christmas patterns on a grid using colored pencils. Each grid is 9 beads square. (except for the JOY pin which needs 10 pins fed onto the base pin.)

After that I left it all to the children! Some chose to use the same colors I used, some were adventurous. You have to make sure they know which pin they are starting with and caution them about putting the beads in the wrong order (their picture will end up upside-down) but with an assortment of beads everyone has a great time!

Yesterday's class was mostly 2nd and 3rd graders and they had no trouble stringing the beads though there were a few poked fingers when closing the safety pins.

A last pin going through all the pins at the back will stabilize the whole badge.

This is a craft I will do again (in another 6 years when there is a new batch of children!)

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