Toolbox to jewelry box: Home made jewelry made from old hardware

FARGO -- Borrow from your toolbox to fill your jewelry box. Feminine jewelry is achieving an edgy twist with help from the hardware store. Staples like hex nuts, chain and washers transform simple jewelry into simply bold fashion statements. Blog...

Shadai Bintliff wears a handmade necklace
Shadai Bintliff wears a handmade necklace. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO -- Borrow from your toolbox to fill your jewelry box.

Feminine jewelry is achieving an edgy twist with help from the hardware store. Staples like hex nuts, chain and washers transform simple jewelry into simply bold fashion statements.

Bloggers have especially embraced the hardware jewelry trend, posting how-tos for everything from dainty wire rings to chunky chain necklaces.

We perused the Web to find a few DIY projects that yield fresh, fun wearable hardware store-inspired jewelry that doesn't dent the pocketbook.

If you're stumped with a project, check out the websites listed below each set of directions. Bloggers have photos for each step, making the how-to more understandable.


With these projects, practice makes perfect. Don't be afraid to remake something if it doesn't turn out the first time.

DIY Chevron & Chain Necklace

Note: It takes time to get the hang of fishtail braiding and sewing the chain to the braid. Work slowly and use the photos on the blog to guide your work. The statement necklace you'll end up with is worth the extra effort!


Macrame cord in two colors. (We found ours at Hobby Lobby in Fargo.)

Gold chain. (We found ours at Michael's. Hardware store chains were too thick.)

Embroidery floss

Embroidery needle



1. Cut the cord into six 110-inch pieces (three pieces of each color). You'll likely have extra cord to cut off at the end.

2. Fold the first color in half, and tie a loop at the top. The loop should be big enough to accommodate a knot (the knot and loop will act as the closure for the necklace).

3. Thread the second color through the loop so it's also half its length.

4. Criss-cross the second color over the first color, using the fishtail braid technique.

5. Continuing the fishtail technique, cross your original first color over the second color, and continue this technique until the rope is your desired necklace length.

7. Tie a knot at the end of the braid.

8. Lay the chain next to the braided rope necklace to determine how much chain is needed. Cut off excess chain using a wire cutter.


10. Now it's time to join the rope braid with the chain. Thread the embroidery floss through the needle, tightly tying the floss to the chain.

11. Thread the floss under the first link of the braid, and wrap the floss back through the chain. Repeat.

13. After wrapping the floss through the first link twice, thread it under the second link and repeat the process.

14. Continue threading until the whole chain is attached to the necklace.

15. Secure the end of the floss to the rope.

Adapted from:

Braided Hex Nut Bracelet


Three strands of cotton butcher's twine or leather cording cut into one-yard pieces (or shorter if you don't want the bracelet to wrap around the wrist twice).

Twelve to 18 small hex nuts. (Brass looks great, but they're hard to find. We used zinc hex nuts and spray painted a handful soft gold.)


1. Gather the three strands of twine/leather, and tie a knot at the top with a loop if you won't be wrapping the bracelet twice around the wrist.

If you want a wrap bracelet, leave 2 inches of slack, and knot the twine/leather.

2. Braid the material until you're about an inch away from the knot.

3. Start braiding in the hex nuts by threading the nuts before crossing the string.

For example, before braiding the far left strand over the middle strand, thread on a nut, push it against the base of the braid and cross over.

4. Repeat the steps to use all the nuts or as many as you desire.

5. Braid the remainder of the twine/leather until you have an inch of twine/leather left.

6. Knot the material to secure the braid.

7. Wrap the braid around your wrist to see how long you'd like it. It should encircle the wrist two to three times for a wrap bracelet and once for a regular bracelet.

8. Cut off any excess material and secure the bracelet with a knot or other jewelry closure.


DIY Heart Ring

Note: Take your time with this one. It'll take a few tries to get the heart just right.


20-gauge jewelry wire

Jewelry pliers (important for getting a nice curve to the heart)


1. Bend the wire over the far part of the plier to make the first hill of the heart.

2. Next, make a hard bend at the bottom of the hill. Make the second hill (or hump of the heart).

3. Squeeze the valley between the two hills to make the middle point.

4. Bend the wire so it fits around your finger. Using a rounded object about the size of your finger makes forming the ring easier and smoother. Try a thick highlighter or marker.

5. Cut off the excess wire and bend to make a loop on the end so the wire doesn't poke out.


Related Topics: ART
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