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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Make Your Own Dog Jewelry

By []Anne Clarke

We live in a country where it is normal to treat our dogs as a members of the family – giving them Christmas presents (and receiving some from them, as well), taking them everywhere with us, dressing them up, giving them gourmet food, etc. As Americans, we just love our dogs! And why shouldn’t we?

One fun way to show our love for dogs is with dog jewelry. It is possible to find many different types of dog jewelry, but why not make your own? Making dog jewelry is a fun craft for kids or a great art project for adults. Make dog jewelry that resembles your own pet, or make jewelry to give away as gifts!

Here are a few ideas for how to make your own dog jewelry:

· Shrinky-Dink. If you have never used shrinky dink, it is about time you did! Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging… basically, though, you can color on the shrinky dink sheets (about the size of a standard piece of paper) – cut out a dog shape, color it in, poke a hole in it, then stick it in the oven (again, be sure to follow the directions on the packaging!) In the oven, your shrinky dink will shrink, leaving you with beautiful and detailed charms. You can add these charms to a charm bracelet, turn them into earrings, or make it into a necklace (to make these things, be sure that you poke a hole through it before you cook it!)

· Bottle Cap Dog Earrings. Take some favorite photos of your dog and cut out pieces that will fit in the underside of a bottle cap. Adhere the photo with Mod Podge (glue-like substance), then coat over the photo a few times with more Mod Podge. You can hot glue onto the back of these some earring studs.

· Doggie Bolo Tie. Pick up a bolo tie clasp (you can likely get one at a local craft store or bead store – if not, try to contact a Western wear store). Find a round and smooth piece of wood (it will be easier to find one at your local craft store). Use a wood burning kit to create a beautiful dog or doggie bone, or paint and then seal a dog on it. Glue the clasp onto the back. You can use a leather cord as your bolo cord.

· Bead Dog. You will need to head to a bead shop for this one. Pick up some wire (preferably sterling silver, at least 22 gauge), and also find a variety of rounded beads. Choose a large, rounded bead to be the body. Weave 3 pieces of wire through the hole – keep them long for now. The three wire ends at the front will be the two front legs and the head, the wire ends at the back will be the hind legs and the tail. For the tail, use lots of little beads, then twist the wire into a ball at the end to keep them on. The little beads allow your dog’s tail to bend however you want it. Use at least two medium size beads for the legs. For the head, use small beads for the neck, and a medium one for the head. You can paint eyes and a mouth on the head.

These are only a few ideas of what you can do to make your own dog jewelry. Be creative. Look around your house and see what you can use. Most of all, have fun!

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on dog jewerly, please visit []Top Dog Jewelry.

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