Crafts for Native American Heritage Month

Learn to make Summer Strawberries and a Flower Bracelet to celebrate Native American Heritage Month (November 2021).

Published on November 2, 2021

crafts

By Mija, a Cristo Rey Richmond work study student

November is Native American Heritage Month, a month that recognizes the culture and heritage of Native Americans. The celebration began in 1990 when then-President George H.W. Bush designated the month of November as Native American Heritage Month.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, November “is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.”

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we made two crafts taught by the National Museum of the American Indian: flower bracelets and summer strawberries. Read on to see how to make them!

Flower Bracelets

From the National Museum of the American Indian: “Beadwork is a form of decoration and adornment that honors and shows respect for individuals, natural resources, and objects. Today, it continues to be a valuable form of Native expression and artistic skill.” We will be making flower bracelets today.

Supplies:

  • String
  • Beads (3 different colors for petals, center, and spacers)

Step 1: Tie a spacer bead to the end of your string, leaving a 1 inch tail.

Step 2: Thread one petal bead, followed by one center bead and three more petal beads. Take your string and thread it back through the first petal bead. Pull tight.

Step 3: Add two more petal beads, then thread your string back through the 4th petal bead. Pull tight to create your flower.

Step 4: Add two spacer beads.

Step 5: Repeat Step 2.

Step 6: Repeat Step 3.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 2-4 until you finish your bracelet. Add one spacer bead after your last flower.

Step 8: Tie a double knot around both ends of your bracelet. Trim excess string.

Summer Strawberries

From the National Museum of the American Indian: “Strawberries are celebrated every year by many Native communities. The plants flower in late spring and bring an abundance of nourishing fruit throughout the summer. They have long been enjoyed by Native people as the first fruit after long winter months.” Today we will be making paper strawberries.

Supplies:

  • Red construction paper
  • Green construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hole punch
  • String
  • Black marker

Step 1: Using a ruler and scissors, cut a piece of paper to be an 8.5″ by 8.5″ square.

Step 2: Fold the paper in half. Then in half again. Then in half one more time.

Step 3: Turn the paper so the long edge is on the left. Draw a curved line to look like a petal.

Step 4: Cut along the curved line.

Step 5: Draw two lines across three petals so you know where to cut.

Step 6: Cut off the three petals.

Step 7: Using a hole punch, make holes in the tip of each petal.

Step 8: Weave your string in and out of the petals.

Step 9: Tighten your string so the petals form a strawberry shape. Tie a double knot to secure it.

Step 10: Using a ruler and scissors, cut a piece of green paper to be a 4.5″ by 4.5″ square.

Step 11: Fold the paper in half. Then fold it in half again. Then fold it in half one more time.

Step 12: Turn the paper so the long side is on the left. Draw a curved line that looks like two or three leaves.

Step 13: Cut out the shape.

Step 14: Unfold the shape, then fold it in half. Using your hole punch, make a hole in the middle of the shape. When you unfold, there should be two holes near each other.

Step 15: Thread one side of your string through one hole and the other side of your string through the other. Tie a double knot to secure it.

Step 16: Draw on your seeds using a black marker.

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