Introduction: Plywood Cube Necklace

This necklace combines my love for MC Escher, funky jewellery and woodworking. Though you might argue that it's not real woodworking if it's done with a flathead screwdriver instead of a chisel ;) This project is not difficult, but requires some attention to detail and ultra focus. You wouldn't want to accidentally slip and cut your fingers with a box cutter.


4mm thick plywood
Ruler, pencil
Heavy duty box cutter
Flathead screwdriver (or tiny chisel)
Small hand saw
Sanding paper
Non-water based primer
Paint, brushes
Spray-on varnish
Blu Tack
Syringe, toothpicks
Slow drying, white resin
Chain, two jump rings, pliers
Drill and tiny drill bit

Step 1: Plywood Sheet

Step 2: Stencil, Sketching, Cutting

Print your stencil and cut it out, it will help to visualise the necklace later. Use it as a temple and trace the shape onto the sheet, or free-hand it with a ruler.

Using a box cutter and a ruler, score along the lines. You will need to apply quite a lot of pressure, so make sure your box cutter has a fresh blade and is extremely sturdy. Don't use those craft knives with long and thin blades, they are too weak.

Use a screwdriver to act as a tiny chisel and remove the first plywood layer.

Step 3: "Chiselling"

Continue cutting grooves with a screwdriver.

Step 4: Hand Sawing and Priming

Once all grooves are cut, use a hand saw to cut the necklace out of the sheet.

Use a variety of fine sanding paper to sand the outer edge of the necklace and in-between the rhombi.

Apply a thin layer of non-water based primer. It will help to keep the paint smooth. Don't use water based primer, as it will raise the wood grain.

Step 5: Painting and Varnishing

Use acrylic paints, you will need about 2-4 layers. Once painted, seal it with a spray-on varnish (matt or satin works best).

Step 6: Blu Tack

Use bits of Blu Tack to adhere the necklace to a board and seal the open ends of the grooves. Make sure it's secure before you start pouring resin.

Step 7: Applying Mod Podge With Paint

I made a mistake here, which actually turned out to be a good thing for me (I hated those black lines and opted for white ones instead) , but just in case you wanted your grooves to be visible, here's how to do it.

I mixed Mod Podge with black acrylic paint and added as much water as it took to make the liquid runny enough for a syringe. I used syringe and a toothpick to distribute the glue evenly and let it dry for 12 hours.

Some of the water evaporated, but most of that glue and water concoction got absorbed by plywood and thus raised the wood grains. It got absorbed because I forgot to use a primer inside the grooves, I only used them on the top surface of the necklace.

So, if you'd like your grooves to be visible, make sure to sand and prime them.

Step 8: Resin

In the end I decided to cover the grooves completely with resin. I also changed the colour to white to get more of a contrast between colours. I used long drying, white resin (45min) and applied it with a syringe. Used a toothpick to pop any air bubbles on the surface.

Once the resin is dry, you have to remove Blu Tack and use a box cutter to clean the edges of the necklace. You might have to shave some some resin overhangs.

Step 9: Assembly

Drill two tiny holes, use pliers to thread jump rings and attach the chain.

Plywood Challenge

Participated in the
Plywood Challenge