This necklace is made with an old macaroni and cheese box. It is reversible, with one pattern on one side and a different pattern on the back.
This technique could also be adapted for a bracelet.
Step 1: You'll Need...
To make this necklace, you'll need:
• A thin cardboard box, such as a cereal box, cracker box, toothpaste box, or pasta box
• Decorative paper: this can be fancy paper, junk mail, a page from an old magazine, wrapping paper, or even just plain paper
• Podge or something else to seal the discs, such as acrylic gel medium
• Jewelry findings (jump rings and a clasp)
• A T-pin for poking holes for the jump rings (a very small awl or large needle would also work)
• A compass, or round things of various sizes to trace
• A paintbrush for the podge
• A pencil
• Plastic wrap to catch the extra podge
Step 2: Making the Discs
The cardboard disc vary in size. The largest is in the center, and they decrease in size as they go towards the back of the necklace. For my circles, I used a plastic compass, with holes for the pencil for different set diameters. I made one large circle, with a diameter of about 4 cm. The rest of the circles are made in pairs, getting progressively smaller.
When I reached the smallest size of circle, I laid out all the discs and measured the length, to see if it would fit around my neck.
It wasn't long enough, so I made more circles of the smallest size until I was happy with the length.
Step 3: Decorating the Discs
My box was originally a really nice purple, so I didn't want to completely cover it up. For each large disc, I cut one strip of paper the height of a magazine. The smaller discs only needed half a strip. If you aren't sure how long to make your strips, make them longer and then cut off what you don't need after you finish wrapping.
Starting on the back of the discs (what was the inside of the box), wrap the strip around the disc until you are happy with the pattern.
Step 4: Sealing the First Side
Now the discs need to be sealed. First the front will be covered. I podged (is that the proper past tense of "to podge?") the discs while they were on scrap paper, but on plastic wrap they stick much less.
To help keep the strips down, make sure to get some podge under the strips as well as all over the top.
Step 5: Sealing the Back of the Discs
When the fronts of the discs are dry, their backs also need to be sealed. You can just seal them and continue, or you can do something more fancy and make a reversible necklace.
Either way, the back needs to be podged, the same way the front was. If you want it to be a reversible necklace, you can cut paper circles that match the size of the discs and place them over the podge. Then it needs one more coat to seal over this paper.
When the back is dry, give the edges a podging too. If you've been fairly messy, they may already be coated, but it's still a good idea to cover them.
Step 6: Stabbing Holes in the Discs
After the discs dry again, you need to make holes to put the jump rings in. Use a t-pin or a thick needle to make two holes in each disc, opposite each other. They should be close enough to the edges that two can be joined with a jump ring, but far enough from the edges that the jump rings will not rip the discs. If it helps, you can cut out more cardboard discs to practice the spacing with.
I jabbed the discs on an old, papery raspberry container, but there are many other things you could use, such as a sponge, or a magazine. Anything that you can put tiny holes in would work, not the hardwood floor or an heirloom table.
Step 7: Joining the Discs
The discs are all attached with jump rings. To open a jump ring, slide the ends so that one comes towards you and one away. The ends are not supposed to be pulled directly apart.
Once you've opened your jump ring, thread the largest disc on. This will be the centre of your necklace. Then add one of the next largest discs. The two sides with the same pattern should face each other. Close the jump ring.
Add the other disc on the other side of the large disc in the same way. Continue building your necklace on both sides, using smaller and smaller discs.
Step 8: Adding the Clasp
Once you've added all of your discs, you are ready to add the clasp. Put an open jump ring on the last disc on one side, then add one side of the clasp and close the jump ring. Add the other side of the clasp to the other side of the necklace.
Step 9: Completion!
Yay! Your necklace is now finished!