Access keys | Skip to primary navigation | Skip to secondary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer
Problems viewing this site?
The Corner Toolkit  >  Themed activities  >  The Corner goes Strait Home  >  Make  >  Island necklaces

The Corner makes

Island necklaces


Using images of beads made by Erub Artist in the Torres Strait for inspiration, the activity will see children creating their very own Island necklaces using simple materials and instructions. Just like Torres Strait Islander bead makers today, encourage children to use more contemporary materials or objects they can find around the house.


Torres Strait Islanders incorporate body ornaments and jewellery in their traditional costumes.  The diversity of styles and materials differ from island to island. Materials were dependent on what sort of materials could be sourced on the island. Some common items included bird feathers, shells, animal bones/horns and other natural fibres such as wood, various seeds and coconut fibre. Torres Strait Islanders today also incorporate contemporary materials into their designs.

Key concepts

Traditional and contemporary design, using found objects

Key language

Jewellery, natural materials, contemporary materials, Torres Strait Islanders.


Wooden beads
Drinking straw
Shell template
Sticky tape on dispensers

Activity steps

Explain the Island necklace making activity to children, showing the finished prototype.

Strategic questions:

materials for necklaceStep 1:  Planning (designing)

Ask children to think about what sort of necklace design they would like to make and what sort of materials and colours they would like to use.

Strategic questions:


stringStep 2:  Preparation

Using the piece of wool or string, measure how long you would like your necklace to be. Loop one end and tie a knot big enough to secure the beads and other materials

Strategic questions


 Step 3: Making

Start weaving/attaching materials through the piece of wool or string.

 threading a necklace

 Making a necklace

 Strategic questions:

Step 4: Final step

Once you have reached the other end of the string loop and knot, tying both ends of the necklace together. Parents may need to assist children with this.

There you have it - your very own Island necklace creation!

threading  Looping a necklace 




Last updated: 23rd September 2011

Creatively engaging people with information, knowledge and community

Contact us

The Corner Kit

The Corner Toolkit

Themed Activities:
The Corner goes Strait Home

For more information please contact the State Library of Queensland's Literacy and Young People Service at