I've always liked to make my own Valentine love letters....all handwritten and colored with leaves and sticks and twigs and rocks and plant dyed spots, or whipping up my own chocolatey and sticky and sweet confections, and irresistible luscious liqueurs....but this year, I'm stringing wild jewels too. A little something special for my girls. They're easy enough to be a children's project but I'm keeping this one a secret because I'm making these ones for my Valentine girls. I will say though, that my fingertips didn't go without the occasional needle poke so some children my need help with this one.
Personally, I'm not one for store bought jewelry like gold rings or trinket laden necklaces. I have a lustful eye and a heart for the treasures gifted and hidden amongst Nature. I do love sea jewels and shells and seed pods and gems and stones and twigs and precious metals and such and I , especially like to find these treasures myself and make my own jewelery with wild jewels.
Nature is amazing in her ability to provide us with nourishing foods, plant medicines, and even wild plant jewels if you look closely enough. And, if you can't get that close, you can still look on your kitchen counter or in your cubbies or pantries and find plenty of useable jewels for making bracelets, necklaces, hair-clips and such.
For my Valentine necklaces I chose to string juniper berries, clove buds, lycii berries and rose hips, but there are so many other wonderful and easily assessable jewels that can be used. I like raisins, cardamom pods, orange and lemon peel, dried cranberries or blueberries, cinnamon sticks, cottonwood buds, gourd seeds seed, cones from spruce, currents etc.....I'm sure there are tons of beautiful jewels right outside your doors.
To make your Valentine Love necklaces or bracelets all you'll need is heavy duty thread, (I used Button and Carpet Thread as I find it holds up better, but you can use fishing line to) a long, thin sewing needle and dried wild jewels. Any hard wild jewels like clove, cut roots, barks, and peels need to be soaked for a bit to soften up. Just place them in a mug and pour boiling water right over the top, cover and allow to cool, then they will be string-able. Some may need to be boiled a tad longer to soften.
There's really nothing to it, you'll want to tie a knot in one end or add a clasp or button and thread on your wild jewels singly or in a pattern. I like to just tie them together when it's to my liking so that the amazingness in uninterrupted. If you're making hair-clips you can easily just hot glue your wild jewels on.
**A quick reminder that small objects are not suitable to children of choking age.
Here are my completed Wild Jewel Valentine necklaces I made for my girls. From left to right I made a solid juniper (bottom left) solid rose hips (top) and a pattern of cloves, lycii berries and juniper berries (bottom right). I made matching bracelets as well.
Do you think my girls will like them? I hope so!
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Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.
Jessica Morgan, Herbalist