Today’s handmade Christmas gift idea is one that kids can make. It’s fun and a little silly. You probably have a handful of washer in the junk drawer or in a jar in the garage. Put them to use to make a bracelet or necklace using this washer jewelry tutorial.
This post is week five in my 12 weeks of handmade Christmas gifts series. With only eight more weeks until Christmas, I’m working on projects that are easy. I’m also trying to help my own kids make handmade gifts for everyone on their lists. This washer jewelry project is one that is easy for both adults and kids to make and takes less than an hour. In fact, you and your child could make up a bunch over the weekend to hand out to classmates at school.
DIY jewelry has always been trendy and I’ve noticed a lot lately that uses washers, nuts and other hardware. This washer jewelry DIY tutorial is fun and can be done in a lot of different ways. It can be made for boys or girls and uses supplies that most people already have around the house.
12 weeks of Handmade Christmas: week 5
Washer jewelry supplies
- metal washers, assorted sizes
- nail polish, any color
- embroidery thread, any color
- ribbon and/or colored elastic
- beads (optional)
Washer jewelry instructions
Start with clean, dry washers. If they’ve been used and are rusty from hanging out in the garage, wash them with a kitchen scrubber and a rust-removing cleaner like Barkeeper’s Friend.
Step 1: Decorate the washers
If you’re painting…
Paint the washer with nail polish. Just like when doing your nails, you will probably want to do 2-3 coats. Be sure to let each coat dry completely before adding the next one.
Why nail polish? It dries in minutes, whereas paint can take a day for a single coat to dry. Also, nail polish sticks to a smooth surface more easily. (And it comes with its own brush.)
If you’re wrapping…
Begin wrapping the thread around the washer, keeping it as close together as possible. When you have covered the whole thing, tie the two ends together at the top. For a 3/4-inch washer, I wrapped the thread around about 60 times.
Step 2: Attach the washers
For a necklace…
Cut the ribbon to 24 inches or measure it to a comfortable length. You want it to be able to slip over the head, rather than adding a clasp. When the washer is dry, loop the ribbon through the middle. Tie the ends together and you’re done.
For a bracelet…
Cut the elastic to fit loosely around your wrist twice. Loop the elastic through the washer by folding it in half and sticking the loose ends through the folded end. With the other end, you won’t be able to just slip the second loop through. I did the first one, then used it as a guide to wrap the elastic in the same pattern.
If you are adding beads, thread them onto the elastic before tying on the other side of the washer.
Tie the two loose ends together snugly and you’re done.
There are lots of ways to make washer jewelry. Pair the natural metal with a leather cord. Modge podge paper instead of painting. Get creative. I’m thinking you could also use washers to make earrings.
How else could you use metal washers to make jewelry?