Upcycled Paperclip Chain Necklace!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Here's to a colorful and elegant twist on that old office cube classic: the paperclip chain. I was inspired to make it after spying a similar necklace that my friend Rebecca was wearing in the office a couple of weeks ago.

When she told me that she scored the amazingly simple accessory while on vacation in Cambodia earlier this year, that's when I experienced the creative flash of an I-could-so-make-that moment: Seeing as I won't be able to afford travel to Cambodia anytime soon (I wish!), I decided to set out on a far more affordable trip...to the local 99-cent store!

-box of paperclips
-all-purpose scissors
-woven plastic material (laundry bag from the dollar store, an Ikea shopping bag, all-purpose tarpaulin from the hardware store)*
-Aleene's Jewel-It Embellishing Glue

Make it:
1. Link 38 to 48 paperclips in a chain. Hang the chain around your neck, see if you like the length, and add or subtract paperclips to your liking.

2. Measure and cut one 1 1/2" by 1 1/4" rectangle from the woven bag. Use that rectangle as a template to cut more rectangles. Cut as many rectangles as there are paperclips in your chain.

3. Select one rectangular piece. Fold the long sides in 1/4" and crease. Then fold the piece in half lengthwise, crease it, and unfold. Fold the two short ends into the center line and crease again.

4. Refold the center crease, pinching the piece around the center of a paperclip in the chain to create a sort of "bead."

5. Squeeze the glue generously along the open edge (the motion is sort of like mustard on a hotdog). Pin it in place with a spare paperclip to dry.

6. Repeat with the remaining rectangular pieces until every link on the paper chain is covered by a bead. Let the beads dry completely before removing the spare paperclips.

7. Remove the paperclips, touch up any finicky beads with an extra dab of glue, and repeat the entire process as many times as desired to create multiple colorful chains.

8. Drape them around your neck, and off you go!

Happy National Craft Month!! 

*Incidentally, these necklaces are made from the same sort of bags that Rami made his chic challenge-winning Project Runway All-Stars dollar store dress from, below! What a cool material to play with.

All photos by Megan Nicolay except for the Project Runway screenshot, via SheKnows.com.

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