Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Paperclip Necklaces {A Crafty How-To}

Crafting Community at the Ace Hotel

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a fantastic craft weekend at the Ace Hotel presented by Karen Kimmel of Kimmel Kids and several other Los Angeles area artists. One of the workshops I most looked forward to was this one on paperclip necklaces. These are incredibly easy, and I think they look super cool. To make them, you need a whole bunch of paperclips, a pair of scissors and vinyl masking tape, which you can buy online here. Each roll is about $2.50 and they have a great assortment of colors. If you intend to make shorter choker-length necklace or bracelets, you will also need a set of jewelry pliers, some large jump rings and clasps.
Crafting Community at the Ace Hotel

To make the necklaces, start by cutting approximately 2 inch pieces of tape, and sticking them around the edge of a bowl, tray or plate. (I actually decided after a while that it worked better to stick a long piece to my lap, and cut pieces as I went, so you can do that too!) Wrap your first paperclip by placing the paperclip off-centered on the tape. Roll the short end around, line up the edges and make contact - sticky side to sticky side. Then roll the longer end around the paperclip. Hook your next paperclip onto the first one and wrap the same way. It doesn't work very well to make your design and then wrap it - the paperclips flop around a bit too much, but of course you could play with designs and then take them apart and wrap them. You can do some pretty elaborate things by interlocking them - check out a couple of really cool examples here.
Crafting Community at the Ace Hotel

To attach the jump rings and clasps - just bend the rings open side to side like a door, and slide the paperclip ends onto them, then close. This helps keep them from opening up and letting the clips slide off. If you purchase these things at a bead shop you can have the staff show you how to use them. I predict you'll be bitten by the jewelry bug in no time. :)

The paperclip wrapping can get a little tedious after a while, but it's very medatitive, and something you could easily do sitting around with a group of girlfriends. In fact - I think a paperclip necklace party sounds like a fine idea!

3 comments:

  1. I did this last year and one of my print reps complemented me on my necklace. I told her what it was and she didn't believe me. I let her borrow my tape and she did a craft day with her granddaughters. It was a huge hit.

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  2. i've been reading your blog lately and just opened my anthropologie catalog and saw this:

    http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=19593169

    $168. ridiculous! i love that store, but after reading your post about how you made basically the same thing at a kid's crafting event, my faith in the store has been eroded . . .

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  3. OH my goodness. That's really something - I think she used the larger paper clips - but yes, you could make one of those no sweat in about 2 hours, with $20. worth of materials - assuming you buy whole rolls of the tape!

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