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
-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
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
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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