Introduction: PCB Pyramid Jewelry

About: Tate is an artist, occasionally a curator, author, social designer as well as a frequent workshop facilitator focusing on utilization of available materials, tools and site specificity.

E-Waste is a huge and growing problem in our society. As we throw away more and more objects filled with components and circuits, these things begin to pile up in landfills or get sent away to be broken down by individuals in often dangerous working conditions. Therefor we have a responsibility to take it upon ourselves to process, as much of it as possible, on our own before condemning it to the mountains of looming and unwanted electronics.

One of the most common but difficult parts of E-Waste to repurpose is the circuit board and so this project looks to find a use for that component. The following steps will utilize printed circuit boards (PCBs) to create small inverted pyramids which can be worn as either earrings or necklaces. The project is quite easy and will not take much time to complete. Happy making!

Step 1: Tools/Materials

You will need the following to complete this project:



Step 2: Cleaning

The first thing you should do is clean up your PCB of any unnecessary and large circuits or connections. The small legs on big chips can be cut through all at once with the x-acto knife. In order to work with the board you will want to get it as clean as possible so that it is easier to cut and manipulate....Just take off the bulk of the biggest and most obtrusive components quickly so you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: Cutting

Now you will need to cut your components...

For earrings you will need the following pieces:

  • 8 equilateral triangles of PCB with each side measuring 1.5cm
  • 2 square pieces of PCB with each side measuring 1.5cm

For necklaces you will need the following pieces:

  • 8 equilateral triangles of PCB with each side measuring 1.5cm
  • 2 square pieces of PCB with each side measuring 1.5cm

To draw the triangle, measure the horizontal bottom line and then draw a line perpendicular to it at the exact center. Measure and draw two lines which are both 1.5cm long and connect the end of the first horizontal line to the center line. See the image to clear up any confusion. Cut out the first triangle and use it to trace out the rest of your other triangles.

You can cut your PCB either by scoring the PSB with the x-acto knife or you can cut it using a disk cutting attachment on your Dremel rotary tool or flex shaft.

Step 4: More Cleaning

You'll need to decide on a front and a back of each of your triangles at this point.

Whichever side is going to be the back, grind/sand/file down the circuit board to expose the copper. You will be using the copper around two of each triangle's edges to solder their back sides together.

Step 5: Soldering Pyramids

Try to fix two of the PCB triangles in place at a 90° angle and solder the exposed bits of copper from each triangle to fix them together. Repeat this process to two more triangles and then solder the first pair of triangles to the second in order to form the pyramid. If soldering is not working for you, or there is not enough copper exposed, then you can use a small amount of hot-glue to attach the triangles together.

Repeat this process if you are making earrings but if you are making a necklace then you can move on to the next step.

Step 6: Sanding

Put your sandpaper on a flat surface and sand the base of the pyramids to prepare them for the square piece.

Step 7: Epoxy

Mix together equal parts of each component of your epoxy. When it is thoroughly combined, apply a small amount of it to the inner edges of the pyramids to ensure that the joints are strong.

Step 8: Square

Draw a line from edge to edge on the back side of your square(s). The point where each of those lines meet is the center of your square. Drill a small hole at the center point, just big enough to accommodate one of your silver head pins. It is possible that you will get lucky and there will already be a hole ready to use in the center of your circuit board(s).

Step 9: Soldering Again.

Put your head pin through the hole in your square piece(s) and solder the flat end of the pin to the backside of the circuit board. Epoxy the edges of the back of the square to the matching square of the pyramid.

Once the pyramid is all together, you can also solder the flat pin to the top side to your circuit board. Bend the point of the flat pin around to make a small loop and solder it closed.

For making a necklace:
Use a jump ring (which you can make out of another silver flat pin) to join the loop that you just made (coming from your pyramid) to connect it to the center point in your silver chain.

For making earrings:
Open the loop of your earring hooks and place them through the loops you just made. Close the loop of the earrings.

Step 10: Wear and Enjoy!

Now you have your PCB pyramid necklace or earrings! Wear them knowing that you repurposed something that would have contributed to the growing mass of E-Waste.

If you like this Instructable then please share it, vote for it and/or favorite it. Thank you and happy making!

Jewelry Contest 2017

Participated in the
Jewelry Contest 2017