DIY washer necklaces

by Bar

DIY washer necklaces | Small for Big

These necklaces are the bomb. Simple and fun to make, plus they are completely wearable. My daughter made these obsessively for about a week. She then sold them at a fair and now her friends are all walking around wearing them at school! My little entrepreneur.


~ Washers from hardware store, ranging in size 1.5” to 2” diameter. I picked heavier ones made from stainless steel.

~ Nailpolish

~ Yarn, baker’s twine or suede rope. I got my suede and yarn at Michael’s, but you can also try Walmart or Target. The baker’s twine is from Etsy. I cut about a yard for each necklace.

~ Beads. All of our beads are from Michael’s, but again…you can try Walmart or Target. We uses small glass seed beads, and then larger wooden beads and plastic berry beads.

~ Sewing needles. We used the larger size tapestry needles, and one size down from that. If you get a mixed pack you will have choices.

How to:

Start by painting the washers. My daughter did most of these (she’s thirteen), but I tried some, too. I found that it was better to really go heavy with the polish. You almost have to pour it on (but don’t) and then spread it out with the brush. We only painted the top and tried not to let it run off the sides.

After the washers are dry, it’s time to string and bead them. This is where you can get really creative. The possibilities are endless!

The hardest part is getting the string through the needle. Beyond that, these really are very easy to make. I have been wearing my teal one with the suede rope and it looks like something I bought at Anthropologie! Except it cost about two dollars…love it.

This is an excellent summer craft to do with your older kids. And they also make lovely teacher gifts!

xo Bar
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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenni Bailey June 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

These are brilliant! So, if you flip them over the washers are still silver on the back, yes? My daughter had her birthday party this past weekend and it was so hectic that I forgot to hand out the bottles of bubbles I had specially wrapped up for all the guests. Now I’m thinking maybe she can make these and mail them along with her thank you cards! Her friends would love them!


2 mari June 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Brilliant idea Jenni! I think she’ll feel so good making them too!


3 Bar June 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Oh gosh, I’ve done that before…forgetting to hand out the goodies. Yes, so we just painted one side, the other is silver. But you could let it dry overnight and paint the other side, too :) Hope you try…they really are amazingly simple and look so chic! xo Bar


4 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag June 19, 2013 at 12:47 am

LOVE THESE! My daughter would flip over this!


5 meri cherry June 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I can’t wait to these with my art camp next week. So great!


6 Bar June 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

So happy the necklaces have inspired you guys! There is something very addictive about putting on the nail polish. Also, for little ones…you can leave the washers plain and put on those sticky back jewels. Have fun!!


7 mari June 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Oh my girl would love that, jewels are her fave right now!


8 Frau_Mahlzahn June 23, 2013 at 7:01 am

Great idea, my daughter will love it!

So long,


9 Karla June 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Wonder about using glitter glue instead of nail polish. I happen to have aabout 16 bottles of that stuff I need to use up. Think I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.


10 Bar August 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

hi karla, did you try the glitter? that sounds like a really good idea, would love to know how it went! bar


11 Karla October 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I did try the glitter glue. It worked ok, but wasn’t as visible. The opaque nail polish seems to work best. We’ve had lots of fun making them for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.


12 Karla October 28, 2013 at 11:02 pm

I should mention that we also used nuts (opposite of bolts). They’re pretty cute too.


13 Bar November 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Good to know. Glitter glue maybe over the nail polish? What a great addition to the shoeboxes, I love hearing this story! Thank you Karla. xo Bar


14 Kristi July 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

What a cute idea! Would you mind explaining how you attached the twine to the washers? Did you just tie them or is this where you used the needle?


15 Bar July 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

hi kiristi, the needle is for stringing the beads actually. to attach the twine to the washer, here’s what you do: fold the twine in half. take the end that is a loop (the middle of your piece of twine) and put it through the hole in the washer, coming in from behind. now take the loose ends of the twine and put them through the loop. pull tight. that’s it! it’s hard to explain, i wish i could just show you. but hopefully you can get this. once you do, you will realize how easy it is. good luck!


16 Kristi July 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Thank you! That helps alot.


17 Vicki July 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I wanted something that was not “girly” for the boys at camp. So I used acrylic paint and did one up in a camo design. I coated it with clear nail polish to finish it. This was a big hit with all the ladies as well.


18 Bar August 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

would love to see your camp necklaces! thank you for trying my craft and i’m glad it was a hit! xo bar


19 kendra July 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I’m an after school day care teacher and I used nail polish to paint washers for our Mother’s Day present. We made them into key chains. Both boys and girls enjoyed it. My nail polish basket will never be the same. (there is a picture on my blog link)


20 Bar July 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm

key chains! what a great idea…they looked very cute. thanks for sharing, kendra :)


21 Nikki August 4, 2013 at 7:33 am

Oh my eldest girl would LOVE these! Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to start this little project with her :)


22 Susana November 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I love this!
We want to make it at my daughters birthday in January, she becomes 12!
Thank you very much and greetins from Berlin, Germany!


23 Bar November 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm

That will be a lovely birthday craft, Susana! Send photos if you can! xo Bar


24 Adrienne March 26, 2014 at 12:26 am

Love it! So clever and funky! Can’t wait to try this at my daughter’s 10th birthday party.


25 Bar March 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm

thank you adrienne!! post photos on your instagram (if you have one) and tag me @artbarblog…would love to see!! xo bar


26 Erica April 14, 2014 at 9:55 am

This looks so cute. I’ve been eyeing the necklaces that have your child’s name on them. Do you think there is an easy way to put four together??? Like different colors and maybe their names on them??? I haven’t tried so I’m not sure if it would work or not.

Thanks for any ideas.


27 Bar May 6, 2014 at 6:35 am

hi erica, i love that idea! i think you could but the letters of their name inside the circles and then attach them with yarn on the sides. let me know if you do this, would love to see a photo! xo bar


28 Julie April 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

What a fabulous idea! I would like to use these as a Make It/Take It event. How long does it take the nail polish to dry?


29 Bar May 6, 2014 at 6:33 am

hi julie! it doesn’t take too long for them to dry, just as long as it takes for nail polish to dry (20 minutes-ish)…and you could help it along with a hair dryer. good luck!! xo bar


30 Jessica April 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm

These look perfect for an easy craft for a large group with varying skill levels. I was just wondering, does the paint last? Would it help to seal it with some kind of sealant spray? So cute!


31 Bar May 6, 2014 at 6:27 am

hi jessica, yes the paint lasts! it’s been about a year and no chipping so far. that nail polish sticks pretty well tot he washers. let me know if you use a sealant…would be interested to know! xo bar


32 hilke May 14, 2014 at 9:52 am

Thanks nice idea!
We will do it on the next rainy day.


33 Amanda July 8, 2014 at 6:59 am

I am going to do these with my kids and my older girl scout troop! love them!!


34 Kristin December 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

This is brilliant and will do at my daughter’s 10th birthday this Friday. Do you think we could put a coat of quick dry on top so that it can be done in 30-45 minutes or so?


35 Paula February 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Love your idea! I was looking for a project to do with my granddaughters. They will love this and so will I! Thank you!!


36 mari February 13, 2015 at 9:44 am

I hope you enjoy!


37 Mary March 2, 2015 at 10:38 am

growing up on a farm, washers were around all time. I would string these on any type of string I could find and wear. Just did not have paint or nail polish to decorate.


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Would Dollar tree nail polish work? How did you fasten the necklace together……just tie it in a knot??


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