DIY Native American Medallions

I’ve always had a love of Native American arts, but lately I have become even more engrossed by the lives of these talented and resourceful people. Every night, my younger daughter and I have been reading about the Native Americans who lived in the Grand Canyon hundreds and thousands of years ago. We look at photos from the early 1900’s of beautiful Paiute women – we study their clothes and my daughter wonders what their voices sounded like. Our imaginations run on.

With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about ways for the kids to make Native American inspired crafts with things we have around the house. Working with cardboard, jute, markers and plastic craft beads, I was able to make these easy Native American inspired medallion necklaces…

Native American inspired medallion necklaces made from cardboard are fun and easy to make.

These designs are quite easy for children to replicate - they are mostly straight lines, triangles and circles.

To begin, trace out a circle onto your cardboard (mine was about 2.5-inches in diameter) and then cut it out.

Sketch out your design in pencil first.

Go over your pencil lines with black marker.

Fill in your design with thin markers. I used a cross-hatching technique because I wanted these to look like they were woven or beaded.

The finished designs.

To create the necklace, I took a yard of jute, folded it in half and tied the ends together. I strung 3 beads onto the doubled jute and hot glued the medallion onto the jute. I then cut open the top, strung on three beads on both sides and knotted to secure. I tied the two ends of the jute together to close.
I hung these with my African necklaces and they mingled quite well together.