Highlights Along the Way
Family Travel, Treats, Tips, & Traditions

DIY Nanea Necklace

Disclosure: Highlights Along the Way is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. American Girl Doll sent us Nanea to facilitate this post.

The newest addition to my daughter’s American Girl Doll Collection is Nanea. Nanea joined the beautiful BeForever collection in August of 2017. Nanea is such a great addition, and we have been inspired by her to craft. My daughter and I love to craft with her American Girl Dolls.  We love to make skirts, clothing, accessories, and even furniture to display with her collection.  Today we are sharing a DIY Nanea necklace that you or your crafty child can easily make at home.

DIY Nanea Necklace

Please check out the easy DIY Nanea Necklace instructions below.

items for nanea necklace DIY craft

Nanea’s necklace is actually quite simple to make.  We actually made one for our daughter and she made several for her friends as gifts.

Supplies – you only need four things!

  • Natural Shell Beads – pay close attention to size and also that they have a pre-drilled hole.
  • Blue paint – water based
  • Jewelry Chain – larger than average links.
  • Clasp and jump ring (this can be purchased together)

This is such an easy project that you can easily make in less than an hour.  Choose how many shells you would like in your necklace and set aside. We chose to use five shells because Nanea has five shells on her necklace.

painted shells necklace

The shells on Nanea’s necklace are white with blue dots. I do not plan on painting these shells a truer white, but adding the blue shells will really make it feel like Nanea’s necklace.  To get a consistent blue dot, I use an old toll painting trick. We used the top of a toothpick to make the dots.You can also use the end of a thin paintbrush (not the brush end), dip it in the paint and it will make a consistent, round circle every time! Allow to dry, typically only 10 minutes or so.

easy painted shells

Once the blue dots on the shells are completely dry, simply string your shells in the desired spots on your chain.

make a nanea necklace

That is it!  It really could not be any easier to make. These shell necklaces are seriously so simple and so sweet!


DIY Nanea necklaces would be a really fun craft for an American Girl Doll themed birthday party or Hawaiian themed birthday party. I am not one to typically give out goody bags with tons of items at birthday parties. I do love for our party guests to bring home a special keepsake. A craft they made is the best.  These DIY Nanea necklaces would be a special souvenir of a fun, memory filled American Girl Doll themed birthday party.

american girl craft

These necklaces are also perfect for one child to make for several friends. We found this to be such a fun craft and a lovely gift for any girl who loves American Girl.

make a nanea necklace

We made these necklaces quickly in one afternoon.  It was a simple project that was not at all stressful.  My daughter did not need a lot of instruction or help from me.  I love that this necklace was not at all frustrating for kids to make, but came out so beautiful and almost professional looking.  My daughter was so proud of her creation and so similar it looked to Nanea!

While plans are not yet finalized, we hope to take our sweet Nanea along for the adventure when we visit Hawaii later in 2018. Our family has never been to Oahu, but we hope to really soon!  While this has been in the works for a while, we are even more in love with the idea now that we have read Nanea’s story and have enjoyed playing with her and learning through her. Our kids have read about and discussed the attack on Pearl Harbor before we welcomed Nanea into our home, but she has brought renewed interest in learning even more about that time.

Who is Nanea Mitchell?

nanea mitchell

Nanea Mitchell is a Hawaiian girl growing up on the island of Oahu in 1941.  BeForever Dolls always tend to do such a great job of introducing historically significant moments in their stories.  Nanea’s story explores what life was like leading up to and after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. It explores the United States entry into World War II. Not only does it shed light on a significant time in America’s history, but it also celebrates courage, patriotism, and the unique aloha spirit of the Hawaiian people. As they always do, American Girl encourages girls by showing them a story of how even one girl can make a meaningful difference in the face of scariness and change.

It is important to us that our kids have dolls and toys that don’t exclusively look like them.  It is even more important to us that when a doll is representative of a different culture, that it is represented authentically and respectfully. To help ensure the historical accuracy and cultural authenticity of Nanea’s story and products, American Girl worked closely with an advisory board who provided their expertise in Hawaiian culture, language, and history to inform all aspects of Nanea’s development – including the doll, books, outfits, and accessories.

Nanea Necklace DIY instructions

Make sure to put a pin on it!

Check out Nanea’s world and all the BeForever girls on my daughter’s favorite website!  Don’t miss out on this awesome DIY American Girl Doll Valentine’s Day Cards!

I hope that you loved this simple American Girl Doll inspired craft!  We plan on sharing more in the future.  If you make this craft, we hope you will share it on our Highlights Along the Way Facebook Page.  Make sure to pin it for the future and share with an American Girl Doll fan who also loves to craft!

Thank you again to our friends at American Girl Doll for sending us Nanea to feature in this DIY necklace blog post! We will treasure her forever!

Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Crafts, DIY
  1. Aryn says:

    First of all, where can I find the adult size version of Nanea‘a outfit?! She’s so so cute!!! This is such a great craft idea. I’m totally with you and love sending kiddos home from parties with a keepsake. You nailed it with this one! Thanks for the idea. 🙂

    • kate says:

      First of all – OMGosh I want her outfit too!! If you find one – tell me where! All her outfits are so cute – I love the 40s style! Those shorts?! Thank you for stopping by!

  2. ellen beck says:

    This is such a clever idea. I like how the necklace can be not only a craft but a group craft. Its very cute, and who wouldnt want a necklace like their doll or vice versa? !

  3. Rust says:

    My mom also encouraged these sorts of self-expression crafts ideas and I have very fond memories of many of them. There was many a rainy day where I and all of my siblings sat around the kitchen table with the supplies all laid out and spent hours in creative mode.

    The necklace is adorable!

  4. […] If you love American Girl – make sure to check out this fun American Girl Doll craft inspired by Nanea! […]

  5. […] this year, we made these beautiful DIY Nanea Necklaces just for fun.  These necklaces look just like Nanea’s and they are really quite simple to […]

  6. […] Follow Highlights Along the Way on Pinterest and repin either of these posts, repin both and get 2 entries.  American Girl Inspired Printable   , Nanea inspired Necklace DIY […]

  7. Heather P says:

    This is a great idea. Can’t wait to do this with my daughters!

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