Introduction: Making a Necklace Out of Shoebox Cardboard

About: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)

What if I tell that we are actually able to transform everyday used & old things into something totally unique & beautiful. And if you feel that not everything can be reused or up-cycle, then I would say its only a matter of time till someone figures out how to do that.

I believe this instructable is a good example of the aforementioned statement. My love for cardboard craft is never gonna end and if you have probably seen this, you will figure out by yourself :D.

In this instructable I will show you how you can extract corrugated sheets from cardboard of your discarded shoe box or any other similar box and transform into something unique & beautiful which is in this case a gorgeous statement necklace... Yes..I said Necklace :D.

Along with making a necklace out of shoebox cardboard, I will also show you how to use everyday things like fish tank pebbles (yes my dear, you read it right :)) to beautify corrugated jewelry.

This instructable is a newly designed version of one of my previously published ible, that you may want to check out later.

If the design of the necklace looks complex ( and awesome :D) to you, well..that was the whole idea..LOL, trust me, it is more simple than it looks.

Some of you may think of this design similar to quilling but it has its own unique characteristic. If you look carefully, the third photograph above has light passing through the corrugated layers which I think is pretty awesome :)

Lets make some necklace out of a shoebox.

Step 1: What You Need for Making a Necklace Out of Shoebox Cardboard

Off course you will need an old shoe box.

And in order for making a necklace out of shoebox cardboard , you will need following items:

  1. Corrugated cardboard sheets with thin flutes(known as e-flute )(they look finer than regular flutes): You can make such sheets by peeling off the top layer of paper from the shoebox cardboard. Visit this step to see full illustration of the process of making corrugated sheets. This might require little practice but after that it is a whole lot of fun.
  2. Some strong glue like e6000.
  3. White glue
  4. Large jump rings
  5. Lots of Small jump rings or a jewlery chain with hook.
  6. Sharp scissor
  7. Frosted finish fish decorative glass or acrylic pebbles (I chose white frosted)
  8. Eyelets (no 3)
  9. A ruler
  10. OPTIONAL Tweezer
  11. OPTIONAL Some felt sheet (I chose white).
  12. Water to keep you hydrated throughout the making :)

The most important step in corrugated design to extract and prepare corrugated sheets to work with, I have dedicated a super detailed tutorial here explaining how to do that. You may want to check it out , if you are interested.

Step 2: Preparing Corrugated Strips

At this moment you may have extracted sufficient amount of corrugated sheets in the previous step. Lets proceed further.

  1. Draw 1/2 cm lines using ruler at the back of corrugated sheets.
  2. Cut several thin stripes along the lines . My longest sheet was about 10 inch, so does the length of the stripes. You do not have to be accurate here, the longer the better.

Did I say it was easy? course yes.

Did I say not tedious? but tedious ends here and fun begins in next step :D

Step 3: Making the Pendant

Before we start making the pendant, let us give some names (just casual ) to different parts of the necklace for ease of understanding:

  1. The dangling part is pendant (which we will make shortly).
  2. The two tear drop shapes both sides are leaves.
  3. The small circles with eyelets or pebbles in the middle are gems

To make this pendant, we have to make three gems using the pebbles. See images above and follow:

  1. Pick a strip and wrap it around the pebble once using E6000 or similar. White glue may not work here, thats why I used E6000. We will use white glue henceforth.
  2. Now apply white glue on the remaining strip and wrap around the pebble multiple times, I wrapped around 4 times. You may choose to wrap more.
  3. Repeat #1-#2 for remaining 2 pebbles.
  4. The 3 pebble gems are ready.
  5. Pick a strip and wrap around a gem from the middle, see image above.
  6. Glue the strip securely around the gem such that the arrangement looks like a pendant with strings.
  7. Wrap one more strip around the gem same as you did in #5. You might want to use tweezers to hold the strips for a while (see image above) till the glue is cured.
  8. Now arrange the other two pebbles on top left and right of the pebble, glue the strips and wrap them around the two pebbles (see image with arrows marking the direction of wrap). This will combine the three gems together to make a pendant.


  1. Cut 3 small pieces of felt and glue them at the back of each pebble. I did this to emphasis the frosty white color of the pebble. It you don't want it, feel free to skip.

Step 4: Attaching Gems to Pendant

Once the pendant is ready , it is time to attach some gems as danglers. See images above and follow:

  1. We will make two gems, one big and other slightly smaller.
  2. Grap a round object like pen.
  3. Wrap a strip around it once, apply glue to the remaining strip and wrap 4 more times. Remove it from the pen.
  4. Repeat # 4 but make a smaller gem.
  5. Grab a jump ring, insert it through one of the corrugated layers of the smaller gem, attach it to corrugated layers of the bigger gem. This will form a dangler for the necklace.
  6. Grab another jump ring, insert it though the corrugated layer of the bigger gem, attach it to the corrugated layer of the pendant.

Your necklace pendant is ready.

I had replaced the gems later on with eyelet gems (then one having an eyelet in the middle) because I thought they look more beautiful.

If you have every seen a soutache necklace, you will find that this pendant looks very similar in design.

Now its time to design the leaves.

Step 5: Making the Leaves

This is one part of the making where I think you can be as creative as you may want to. In my design I ensured that the leaves should be sturdy and should not bend.

See images above and follow:

  1. Make a ellipse of around 2.5" using a corrugated strip, dont glue now.
  2. Glue the remaining strip and wrap it 3 more times.
  3. While the glue is wet, pinch one of the end to transform ellipse into a teardrop or leaf shape. The ideal place to pinch is where the strip begins and ends.
  4. Let the shape dry for a while.
  5. Repeat #1 - #4 to make one more ellipse.
  6. Wait for 5 minutes for the glue to secure the shape.

Now we have to make 6 eyelet gems, each leave will have three gems glued inside. To make a eyelet gem, glue the strip , wrap it around the eyelet till you get desired size. I could not find a good way to determine sizes of these gems such that they fit next to each other like gears inside the leaf shape. I paused making gems in the process and placed them inside the leave to have a guess about the size, this way I was able to make 3 gems which can be fit inside the leaf.

Once the gems are ready, glue them next to each other inside the leaf such that they look like gears.

Let this arrangement sit for a while for the glue to dry.

Once dried, attach the leaves to the pendant using the jump rings , just like you did for the danglers.

Make two more eyelet gems and attach to each leaf.

I could see that smile of pride on your face which is the result of the design of the necklace that is coming up. :D

We are almost there, lets make it wearable in the next step :)

Step 6: Making the Necklace Wearable

There are several ways to make this necklace wearable around neck like attaching a cotton string, or a metal chain with hook. I have had several jump rings and a hook so I chose to make a chain using jump rings. See images above and follow:

  1. Attach small jump rings in a series to form two chains of equal length.
  2. Attach hook in one of the series.
  3. Attach a large jump ring to the eyelet gems that are attached to leaves.
  4. Attach the jump ring chains to large jump rings on each sides.

Tada... your necklace is ready.

Every time I make something using corrugated sheets, I get a whole new set of ideas for the next project, I am so excited to get my hands on it again.

Few important notes:

  1. Is it waterproof? No way..protect it from water.
  2. You can apply a coat of mod-podge or clear acrylic paint for protection, I was running out of time so I did not do it, though I like the original texture. WARNING: This will not make it waterproof either.
  3. You can paint a coat of epoxy varnish , this may provide some protection from water.

I hope you will find this ible enjoyable as much as I enjoyed making & documenting it. Please do let me know should you have any queries, comments & suggestions in the comments section below.

Thank you so much for your time & efforts to visit & read this ible, I really appreciate that.

If you think it deserves, please do vote.

You are awesome :)

Stay Tuned.

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