Precious Portraits With Pendants

Have I mentioned before that I adore my first grade artists?  Check out their stunning self portraits and beautiful clay pendants!

The project began with the creation of our clay pendants – my first grader’s  very first clay project!  After some time rolling and smooshing the clay, we smashed it into a nice clay cookie and added texture with bottle caps and sticks.  After oohing and aahing at their finished glazed pendants, they spent lots of time lining up their beads in different patterns before stringing them.


Next came the portraits – we viewed self-portraits by famous artists, and there was lots of giggling as we looked in our mirrors and drew our faces.  First graders smiled into their mirrors and noticed how lines showed up around their mouths, noticed that their eyebrows were made up of little hairs, and that their ears were in line with their eyes.

Their finished portraits are so cute – and many of them captured a good likeness of themselves!



This project was inspired by a Summer 2010 article from Arts And Activities Magazine – “Jewelry Portraits” by Aimee Fresia.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 thoughts on “Precious Portraits With Pendants

  1. Thanks Rhonda! The kids strung their beads onto twistee wire. I poked two small holes in the art pieces with an awl, and the wire was inserted in the holes and twisted in the back to hold it. You could also use string and just thread it through paper punch holes, but the twistee wire was sturdier and easier for the 1st graders to use.

  2. I love, love , love this. What clay did you use and can you provide instructions on the pendants?

  3. Thank you Carla – these were loved by our parents AND 1st grade artists. Seriously the pendants were simple – I use low-fire clay for my elementary classes. They rolled a nice smooth ball about the size of a golf ball, smooshed it with their hand, and used various texture tools for patterns. I came around the room as they worked and added the “hanging hole” with a small wooden dowel (so the hole would not be too close to the edge of the clay piece and possibly crack). The pieces were glazed with Sax brand glazes. The project was easily demonstrated and created by my students in one 50-minute class (I pre-cut the clay pieces so we could pass them out quickly and begin.) Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *