When it comes to DIY projects, I am a strong believer in the fact that making them with someone else is twice as much fun. Up until recently my daughter was a little young for much in the way of craft projects. Of course we have spent time drawing and cutting and gluing, but her fine motor skills were still fairly limited to basic cut-and-paste endeavors. Since turning 4 though, I’ve noticed her increasing interest in doing “projects,” as she likes to call them. She enjoys helping out with anything and everything, from making dinner to folding clothes, so I thought a joint craft project would be a lot of fun for both of us.
Currently, Sofia the First is the fan favorite around our house. My daughter loves Sofia’s beautiful purple dress and her lovely singing voice, and I love that she teaches the value of good character to my girl. Sofia is a great role model for little girls, showing them how to navigate difficult social situations and giving them a good example of important character qualities that I value for my daughter: kindness, loyalty, honesty, courage, and generosity. The show focuses on the notion that what truly makes a princess is what’s on the inside, which is something I can totally get behind.
On the show, Sofia wears a beautiful amulet necklace that glows when something magical happens. My daughter has a necklace that she refers to as her amulet, but it’s nothing fancy and definitely doesn’t glow, so when she got this Musical Light-Up Amulet she was over the moon. Something notable about the show is that the amulet was given to Sofia by her father, and told that it was very special and to never take it off. My little one wanted to abide by this same logic, but unfortunately I wasn’t on-board with necklace wearing at bed time. So, we came up with the compromise of creating a special jewelry box just for the amulet to keep it safe when she was sleeping. This satisfied my little one and thus the DIY Sofia the First Jewelry Box was born.
For a child as young as mine, this project will require a little bit of extra adult help during the initial constructing. But, they can help out here and there, and when it comes time to add the trim pieces (which, let’s face it, is the most fun part anyway), they can go to town bedazzling the jewelry box to their heart’s content!
DIY Sofia the First Jewelry Box
- Round oatmeal container
- 2-4 sheets of decorative paper
- Glue stick
- Lace (we used a sturdy lace-trimmed paper, but you could use a stiff fabric lace as well)
- 1 piece of thick elastic string or hair tie
- Hot glue gun and glue
- 1 large decorative jewel or button (for the closure)
- 4 wooden beads (feet for the base of your box)
- Pretty trimmings (we used: silk flowers, stick-on jewels, a strand of pearls, and glittery washi tape)
- Take the lid off of your oatmeal container and cut off the other end (careful to leave it intact). Then cut a straight line down the center, lengthwise, of the container to open it up.
- Cut a strip of the decorative paper fit to line the inside of the container, and then glue it down with your glue stick. Be generous with the glue or it won’t stick! Do the same for the outside of the container. (Cut your strip of paper to size, to line the outside of the container, but this time leave a bit of excess paper, about 1/4″, on each side. Fold the edges of the paper toward the inside of the container. You won’t see the edges once the project is complete, but this will help reinforce everything and keep the paper in place.)
- Trace four circles of paper sized to fit the ends of your jewelry box, cut them out, and then glue them on both sides of each end of your jewelry box. This will cover up any logos and give your box a more finished look.
- Now is the time to add your lace trim. I really liked this lace-trimmed paper, because it was easy to work with, but you could definitely use actual lace if you preferred. I would suggest finding a stiff, sturdy variety. Once you cut your lace trim to the length of your jewelry box, you can glue it on. You will want it to hang down a bit so it covers any gaps where you might be able to see inside the box.
- Poke a hole in the middle of the top side of the jewelry box. I just used scissors. Then feed the stretchy elastic (a hair tie will work as well) through the hole and tie a knot in it at the inside of the box. I had to do two or three knots so it was large enough to not slide out.
- This is where the hot glue gun comes into play. Hot glue your chosen decorative jewel or button onto your jewelry box, in the middle of the bottom half. Your elastic will wrap around it, and this will be your closure.
- Hot glue the edges of the round lids to the ends of your jewelry box.
- Hot glue the four wooden beads to the underside of your jewelry box, spacing them as evenly as you can. This felt very uneven when I was doing it that I was completely certain that the jewelry box wouldn’t stand on its own, but it worked perfectly.
- Now comes the fun part: beautifying your jewelry box! My daughter was able to help a bit during the earlier stages of the project, passing me glue sticks and such, but this is where our collaborative efforts really combined. She had a blast adding all the little bits and bobs to her Sofia jewelry box!
- Now you can put your jewelry box to good use storing amulets and other such important treasures!
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