Being crafty and partaking in DIY projects is extremely on trend. Hence, toy and game companies ranging from ALEX Brands to Crayola are producing kits that help kids create their own jewelry and trinkets. Among the newest DIY kits are "Gemmies" byTech 4 Kids that are comprised ofsmall and extremely shiny gem-like beads that adhere to rubber bands to create figurines and/or decorative items for backpacks, purses and more. Essentially, Gemmies are a 3D beading craft--akin to the sets offered by Cra-Z-Art and American Girl--that come with design templates and light-up pedestals.Like many beading Crafts that are sold in Michaels and Hobby Lobby, the Gemmies line appeals largely to tween girls and several new sets are being released just in time for the 2016 back-to-school season and impending holidays.

Beading sets

Gemmies recently introduced new shimmer-filled sets that encourage girls to create extra sparkly pieces of jewelry and figurines. The sizable “Design Studio” and smaller “theme” and “activity” packs all include Gemmies in various vibrant colors and provide comprehensive directions for how to build an array of models including cute animals, fruits and rings. The brand focuses on giving kids theability to craft figurines which is something relatively rare in an area dominated by jewelry and trinket projects and it thereby renders the franchise somewhat unique.The “Gemmies Design Studio” makes the figurine creation process easy by including highly-visual design templates on a cheerfully hued plastic platform that essentially works as a small desk.

The gems also adhere to the rubber bands precisely as advertised so it is not difficult to make figures with them and creating unique designs is strongly encouraged. However noting that these sets all have several small pieces, they are not intended for children under age six.

DIY appeal

Gemmies is just one of several creativity-centered DIY series that were inspired by Asia’s huge bead weaving trend, yet the franchise was specifically designed for young girls to be able to use so the instructions are markedly simpler than those of professional kits.

At present, Gemmies beads come in eight different colors. "The recent phenomenon of DIY projects is partly due to the fact that you can create anything your imagination can think of,” saidHugh Kennedy of Tech 4 Kids.“DIY projects provide children with the power of creativity while promoting tons of free-play activity.Spending time with friends, fashion and DIY creations are a priority for most tween girls, and being able to create unique 3D characters, jewelry and fashion accessories that they can show off makes Gemmies a lot of fun." Given the success of Gemmies, Tech 4 Kids plans to release many more sets in the near future and will soon be announcing product collaborations.

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