It was nearly ten years ago director James Cameron’s effects-driven fantasy, Avatar hit theatres, and now this tale is getting some new attention with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park’s latest land, Pandora — The World of Avatar debuting to the public May 27.
In celebration of Pandora, Mother’s Day, and the beauty of Mother Nature, here are three easy jewelry crafts inspired by Pandora’s native inhabitants, the Na’vi:
Na’vi Hair Feathers
This is an easy variation of a dwarf braid craft I did in the past, but it incorporates a more natural, less industrial tone.
Black yarn or hemp cord (or color to match your hair)
Simple hair clip
Natural wood pony beads
Yellow, red, or other craft feathers.
This particular feather clip is similar to the one often seen in Neytiri’s hair.
First, take three long strands of cord (about 20″ long, to be safe), and tie the center of them over the hair clip. This will make six equal stands or cord hanging from the clip.
Make a simple braid with the first three strands as long as you want, and add five or six of the pony beads at the end. Tie off the bottom and secure with a small bit of craft of super glue.
With the next three strands, begin braiding, and gradually lace the feathers in every inch or so, until you get the length you need. Some craft feathers come with little loops attached at the end, but others you can attach by stringing a bead over one strand, and inserting the end of the feather in it. Secure with drop of craft glue.
Make your strands a good length to compliment the wearer. My beaded strand is about 8″ long, and my feathered strand is 6″, not including the feathers at the end.
These next two crafts I found commercial versions of in a collector’s catalog when the movie first released, but I remember the cost ranging from $30 to $50. These easy patterns can be made nearly identical for a fraction of the cost.
Three green glass beads (two oval, and one round or disc-shaped)
Thin hemp cord (about 1mm diameter)
One plastic pony bead (any earth tone)
Take three two-foot-long strands of hemp, and tie off the end, leaving a loop. Next, knot these using a common spiral knot tie (there are several online videos and visual tutorials for this, and it is easy to master).
Once you’ve created about 5″ of the pattern (or longer, depending on the neck size), string one of the oval beads on two or three of the cords. Make sure to pull the outside strands tight around the bead, and continue the spiral cord pattern for another inch.
String on the disc or round bead in the same manner, then continue on with one more inch, and add the second oval bead. Complete the cord with the spiral knot, until it is the length you desire, then tie the final pony bead on the end, as the clasp.
I like to use more than I need, when I’m working as it’s easier to cut the end off, than to try and seamlessly attach more cord.
Clear stretchy bead cord (1 to 1.5mm in diameter)
Three types of turquoise or turquoise-colored beads:
•Round 5 or 6 mm beads
•Round 2 or 3 mm beads
• Tube beads about 14″ x 5″ mm
This looks harder than it is, and once you get the weaving pattern down, it is just a matter of repeating the process until it is the desired length. The first one I made was about 11″ in diameter, but stretches over my upper arm easily.
Cut two 24″ pieces of stretch cord, and string eight small beads, plus one tube bead on each. Fold each strand between the tube bead and the small beads. This makes four strands with which to weave the design.
With the two stands of small beads on the outside, bring the tube beads together and string a large round bead over both strands.
String a tube bead on each of the two strands coming from the center round bead, and bring each tube bead out to meet the end of the string of small beads. String one round bead over both strands of where each tube bead and small bead string meet.
Now, start over from there, and string one tube bead on one strand, and eight more small beads on one strand on each side, and one tube bead on the other strand on each side, just like start of the pattern.
Repeat the process until the band is as long as you need it.
To finish it off, tie the two remaining ends of each strand between the original space between the first tube beads and small bead strands. Tie two or three tight knots, and add a tiny drop of super glue, if you need for extra security, before clipping of the excess cord. You’re going to be pulling this band a little, if you’re pulling it up over your arm, so make sure your closing knots are good and secure.
Although the colors and bead types chosen for these crafts are intended to look as close to the movie versions as possible, different colors and shapes can be used for original designs.
I’ve done one armband version with natural turquoise beads I purchased Fire Mountain Gems, as well as with some plain plastic beads. Even the bands that don’t look prop worthy can still look pretty cool.
Be your own Na’vi, and look your best when your friends greet you with Oel Ngati Kameie:
I See You.