Bear claw necklaces were made by two Indian tribes: The Cheyenne and The Fox. They made Bear claw necklaces and leg belts out of materials in their own environment. These Bear claw necklaces were worn for ceremonies or other special events. They were worn to show clan designation, position, or to represent an event that had happened in life. With shells, animal claws, carved bone and jewelry, the tribes made these beautiful bear claw necklaces among other pieces of jewelry.
You can make your own bear claw necklace with some self-hardening clay, toothpicks, acrylic paint and paintbrush, a strong cord, piece of leather or ribbon, and some large beads.
First, you will need to make the bear claws. Roll out your clay into tear-shaped pieces and bend them into curve-shapes. Get a toothpick wet and poke it through the top of each claw and rotate the toothpick as you push it in and out. Now you will need to let the bear claws dry so place them on a plate until they are firm.
To make round beads, roll your clay into small balls. Use your wet toothpick to poke holes through each bead and let them dry as you did the claws.
If you desire square beads for your bear claw necklace, make round balls of clay and shape them into cubes with your fingers. Again, use a wet toothpick to make holes in each bead. You can also experiment and make cylinder or triangle shaped beads as well.
For the bear claw neckalce pendant, roll out a 1″ diameter piece of clay and flatten it like a pancake. Use your wet fingers to smooth the sides. To make a hanger for your pendant, you will need to get a small hotdog sized piece of clay and join it smoothly to the top of the pendant. Try to get all of the seams smoothed out for a smooth finish and let the pendant dry.
Now you are ready for the finishing touches to your bear claw neckalces! Add some paint to your claws, beads, and pendant. After the paint is dry, you can can use your paintbrush to add designs of your choice. Dragonflies, butterflies, or ladybugs are cute or, you can add some other “nature” themed piece of art.
When you have decided on the arrangement of your beads, you can use darning needle to string them onto a cord large enough to wear as a necklace. Double knot the ends of the ribbon, cord, or lace and you now have your very own bear claw neckalces!