Paper Timeturner Necklace




About: Industrial Design student at Eindhoven University of Technology

There's something magical about paper. When words are added to it, it suddenly has the ability to bring you to a different world. When paint gets added to it, it transforms into a work of art. When it gets folded, it can be a crane. And when it gets glued together, layer by layer, it becomes a whole new material.

For this project, I decided to set myself a challenge. Having used paper as a base for jewellery before on multiple occasions (here or here for example), I knew there was a lot possible with it. But I wanted something more. Not just a static round pendant, something moveable.

And then I knew exactly what I wanted to do: create an entire time turner pendant using nothing but paper, glue and paint. Much to my own surprise, it actually worked out!

Step 1: Materials

To make your very own time turner pendant, you'll need:

- (access to) a printer

- scissors

- craft glue

- a ruler

- a pencil

- two jump rings

- a chain

Step 2: Making It Printable

For the printable design, I used one of my previous instructables as a reference.

Using those sizes as a reference, I first created the different shapes. To fill the page, I selected the pieces and copy-pasted them to fill the page. Important thing to do: minimizing the page margins. The way I like to do that is just setting them for 0,00 cm, since then it will automatically set to the lowest values possible.

Step 3: Time to Print

Print out the file added to the previous step five times. If you're using thicker paper or cardstock, a lower amount will do just fine as well.

Keep in mind that you'll need to print it at a 100% size to be able to properly use the other sizes mentioned in this instructable.

Step 4: Cut It Out

Before cutting the pieces in their specific shapes, it can be helpful to roughly cut them out first. The middle circles are a good start, since those will be the easiest to start with next step.

Step 5: The Middle Circle: Part I

Cut out the circles by following the lines. For this first part, you'll need 12 of them. Using the glue, put it together layer by layer. Try to glue them on top of each other as precisely as possible. These first 12 layers will make up the bottom part of this circle.

Step 6: The Middle Circle: Part II

For this step, you'll need to cut out 24 of the circles. After that, fold them in half twice to create the quarter circle shown. Separate the first layers by cutting off both ends. The space created by the removed bit of paper will eventually be used to connect the pieces and make your time turner spin. Once you've cut all pieces, divide them in four groups of 24 and glue them together.

Step 7: The Layout

When it comes to glueing all four pieces to the base circle you already made, it's quite important to put them on first. This way you can check if there's enough space between the pieces and make sure the empty spaces are straight across each other. If there isn't enough space, carefully cut off a bit of the piece(s).

Step 8: The Middle Circle: Part III

For this step you'll need another 12 circles. Cut them out and glue them on the layers you made in the last few steps.

Step 9: The Outer Circle: Part I

Start by cutting out the basic shape of 12 of the pieces. Carefully remove the part inside the ears of the pendant, this part will be used to add the jump rings. Once you've got your layers, time to get glueing again! Start by adding glue to the top part only. It's easy to line up the two parts here because of the shape of the ears. Once it's positioned correctly, move on by adding glue to the remaining part of the circle and glueing the bottom part together as well. Repeat this until you have 12 layers.

Step 10: The Inner Circle: Part I

The outside of this part is pretty easy to cut, but the inside can get a bit tricky. Start by poking a hole in the middle of one of the circles. Cut out that circle and make a cut through middle from this circle to get to the other side and cut that circle as well. Make sure to create a bit of space in the middle.

Step 11: The Inner Circle: Part II

Cut out 24 pieces and fold them in half. Separate the two halves by cutting parallel to this fold. After having cut them in half, the little circles are a lot easier to cut out. Once you've prepared all 48 pieces, divide them into two groups of 24 and flue them together.

Step 12: Adding the Parts

As you can see, there's quite a bit of space between the two parts. Try to get the ends as straight as possible and make sure there's enough room in the middle before glueing it together.

Step 13: The Outer Circle: Part II

For this part, you'll need to start by cutting out 24 pieces. Fold them in half by lining up the two ears first. Fold them in half again to create quarters. Instead of cutting it into four parts, like you did for the middle circle, you'll only need to cut one side of the paper for this one. Cut the side that's the furthest away from the ears. This will leave you with two asymmetrical pieces: the bottom and top halves. Again, be sure to leave a bit of space between these two halves by removing a small piece of paper.

Step 14: Dividing

Divide the parts into two piles: one for the top halves and one for the bottom halves. I accidentally cut the wrong side twice and decided to leave these pieces out, since it wouldn't make a visible difference to have two layers less.

Step 15: Putting It Together

Cut out the inside of the ears and glue all the layers together. Repeat this for the bottom half. Once both parts have been glued, it's time to add them to the base yo u already made.

Step 16: What You've Got So Far

By now your project is really starting to take shape! Take a step back and admire your amazing work : )

Step 17: The Last Few Layers

For the final part of both the inner and outer circle, repeat the step of the first part and glue this on top.

Step 18: Adding Some Glue

As you can see in the picture, there was a bit of a void between the second and third part of my outer circle. To fix something like this, simply put some glue between the layers and clamp them together until it has dried.

Step 19: Not Everything Went Right

The first image shows the design I made to create the hourglass part of the pendant. As you can see in the picture following, that didn't really go as planned. So, time to move on and start googling!

Step 20: Hourglass Beads

And the googling sure paid off. I found this site:

If you have no prior experience with making paper beads, I'd really recommend reading the entire thing.

Using their explanation I made two beads. I used a triangular piece of paper of 0,8 by 24 cm. These two beads will become the hourglass in the pendant.

All final sizes can be found in step 24, written in blue.

Step 21: Making a Rod

After having made those two beads, you'll also need something to put them on. Cut off a piece of paper with a length of 3,3 cm and roll it up as tightly as possible. Once it has the right diameter, cut off the remaining paper and glue the cylinder together.

It took me two tries to get it thin enough, the last picture shows both attempts.

Step 22: Checking the Fit

Now you can put a few pieces together! Trying this before glueing it all together is a really helpful way to see whether it all fits or not.

Step 23: The Knobs

Note: for this part I ended up making small adjustments to the design shown next step. Instead of making the triangles go all the way back to the beginning of the bead, I drew them to the point shown in the first step, 10 cm from the end.

Step 24: The Final Design

As you can see, the blue lines are pretty much what I used during the last few steps.

Step 25: An Overview

And that's all the parts you need! Time to start putting everything together I'd say : )

Step 26: See If It Fits

Just like with the first few parts, try to put it all together without glue first to check for any possible errors.

Step 27: Making It Glue-able

As you can see in the first image, the rod is a bit small in comparison to the empty space. To fix that, simply wrap and glue a bit of paper around the end. It's a bit trickier to get in, but once it's in, it will stay in place much easier.

Step 28: The Other Side

Once the first side has been altered to make it fit better, carefully push it back a little bit to be alble to work on the other side. After repeating this process, determine if you're happy with the result. If you are, add glue to the two spaces you put the rod in.

Don't worry about the movement of the inner circle, this will get fixed in a minute.

Step 29: Making It Stay

Move the beads slightly off centre and add glue to the rod on the place the beads will sit. Put them back into their position and add a bit of glue to the middle as well, to make the two parts stick together.

Step 30: Adding the Knobs

The same alteration as used for the other connector part can be used for the two knobs as well: a bit of paper wrapped and glued around the end. Try to add this part after putting the knob through the outer circle.

Once the extra paper has been added, glue it inside the empty space. Be sure use plenty of glue.

Step 31: The Paper Pendant

And with that the paper base is complete! Enjoy it for a while, or immediately move on to the next step.

Step 32: Getting the Right Color

Take a bit of silver paint and add a small amount of black paint to it. This will give you a really nice, old silver colour.

Of course, you can also make it gold, in that case just use gold paint. I'm not sure how adding black to it would work out, but if you want to feel free to try it!

Step 33: Painting

Once you've found the right colour, paint the entire pendant except the hourglass and the knobs with it. I experimented a bit with adding darker paint to it. A few layers later, I was left with something I really liked.

For the knobs:

I used a mixture with a bit less black as the original one.

For the hourglass:

I painted the hourglass using just the regular silver paint. Do keep in mind that this colour is less covering than the darker silver.

Step 34: Adding a Necklace and Last Minute Fixing

Add jump rings and a chain to the ears of the pendant.

A last minute fix:

I didn't use enough glue on one of the knobs. The solution: just add a whole lot of glue extra!

Step 35: The Finished Pendant

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Wizarding Contest

First Prize in the
Wizarding Contest

Halloween Costume Contest 2016

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest 2016



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47 Discussions


2 years ago

This is such an impressive Instructable, in so many ways.
I'll definitely look at your other tutorials.
Congratulations, kudos, and compliments abound.

1 reply

2 years ago

Congratulations on winning first prize. I think it is well deserved

3 replies

2 years ago

When I saw the first pictures, I did not imagine this thing to be made of paper. It looks like it is made from something more like wood. I never thought of this way to make stuff by hand. It may take time, but the end result is amazing and can be made by without any special tools. There is a 3D printing technique like it called LOM, if you are ever interested to see.

If you are worried at it's strength, there might be something you could try especially with paper. You could try and impregnate the paper with a watery super glue (CA). I used it myself to impregnate gypsum parts to make them stronger. The super glue should soak into any paper part and set within an hour. After that, the part should be an order of magnitude stronger. In the Netherlands there is "Bison seconde lijm" which is really strong and works well for gypsum. You can get it in any home improvement store there.

But beware to do it in a ventilated area without breathing the fumes. CA fumes are quite nasty. I know this from experience.

2 replies

Reply 2 years ago

The unexpected simplicity is what I love most about projects like this! It just shows that you don't need to know complicated techniques or own expensive tools to make something special, just glue and paper can get you so very far already.


2 years ago

"When it gets folded, it can be a crane."

it can be way more than that

(google satoshi kamiya)

2 replies

Reply 2 years ago

It can most definitely be more than a crane! Being into origami myself, I decided the best word to specify origami would be "crane", since this is definitely one of the most popular and most commonly known origami projects : )


Reply 2 years ago

like... how far are you in origami
i am at "complex" (but there is no real way to determine.)