For this month’s craft challenge I took an old idea and new inspiration to create something beautiful: a popsicle stick necklace.
Does that sound familiar? Well, it should! As part of last year’s Craft Challenge, I made popsicle stick bar necklaces. I enjoyed how those necklaces turned out so when I drew popsicle sticks as my stash busting material for the month, I knew I would do jewellery again.
The trouble was coming up with a design. Thankfully, Pinterest came to the rescue (as it usually does in these cases). I was browsing popsicle stick ideas and jewellery ideas when I came across this $86 necklace. I fell in love with the style and knew I could recreate it with popsicle sticks quite easily. Though, no gold on my version!
The process is quite simple and can be done in a very short time. It is also pretty kid friendly minus the drilling part. I spaced out my work on the popsicle stick necklace over three days since I have been busy getting my new website started. Day one was cutting the popsicle sticks and glueing them together which worked surprisingly well with white glue. Then day two was for sanding the popsicle stick blocks into the required size and shapes. I also drilled the hole for the wire brace that holds them together. Finally, day three was painting and assembling.
All in all, I was so happy with the process and the results that I will definitely be making more of these. Maybe in different colours for myself or to share as gifts. Trust me, if you try this DIY, you will fall in love with it!
So let me show you how to make your own popsicle stick necklace.
Popsicle Stick Necklace
- 21 Popsicle Sticks
- White Glue
- Acrylic Paint (Black, Brown, Tan)
- 10 cm of 20 Gauge Wire
- Preferred Length of Necklace Chain
- 4 Jump Hoops (2 small, 2 medium)
- Lobster Clasp Set
- Mini Clamps or Similar
- Sand Paper
- Drill with Extra Small Bit
- Wire Cutters
- Pliers (Round Nose Recommended)
1. Cut all of the popsicle sticks to approximately 10 cm in length. Be careful when cutting to not split the wood. If needed, cutting half way on one side then finishing the cut from the other side tends to help reduce the chance of the popsicle stick splitting.
2. Group the popsicle sticks into five sections: one section of 1 popsicle stick, one section of 3 popsicle sticks, two sections of 5 popsicle sticks, and one section of 7 popsicle sticks. Stack each group so you can visualize how they will look on the finished necklace. The order of the blocks on the necklace is 5-1-7-3-5.
3. In each group of popsicle sticks take the first stick on the pile and apply white glue in a single strip. Press the first and second sticks together. Then apply glue between the second and third. Continue until the glue is on all of the popsicle sticks in a single group (no need to let it dry yet), realign the sticks to the sides are straight, then clamp the pile together until well dried. I suggest clamping in several spots to ensure the wood does not lift or warp.
4. Once dry, sand all sides of the popsicle stick blocks (and the single popsicle stick) until you get rounded rectangles.
5. Next, you want to drill a hole in each block but you will want them to be at slightly different heights to achieve the jagged effect. For the starting block with five sticks, make the hole at 2cm. Do the same for the single stick. Then drill at 1cm for the block with seven sticks. Then 3 cm for the three stick block. And for the final block with five stick, make the hole at 2 cm again.
6. Optional: Paint on some primer like gesso.
7. Now paint your blocks with diluted acrylic paint EXCEPT the single stick. I recommend the black/brown mix I used. To achieve the brown colour use 1 part tan paint, 2 parts brown paint, and 1 part water. For the black, just add one equal part to the brown mixture after you are done with it.
8. Optional: Paint on some clear coat/finisher like modge podge.
9. To keep your blocks in line you will need a brace made of wire. Cut a length of 20 gauge wire to 10 cm and make a single loop at one end with space enough to add a jump hoop.
10. Thread the blocks onto the brace following the 5-1-7-3-5 pattern and close the brace with another single loop. If you want the blocks to remain rigidly in place, you can curl the brace loops more. If you want to blocks to move more freely, you can uncurl the brace loops more.
11. Assemble the necklace by adding two small jump hoops to the brace loops, then adding half your preferred necklace chain length to each of those hoops with 2 medium jump hoops at the end of that length. Then just add a lobster clasp set to close the necklace.
12. Wear with pride!
Want more craft ideas?
If you want more stash busting craft ideas, check out the other craft challenge bloggers and their June creations!
Mary from So Much Love, Mary: Faux Embroidery with Fabric Markers
Jemma from Thimble and Twig: How to dress up a terra cotta pot!
Heather from Shiftmama: Scrap Fabric Fairy Flags
Vanessa from Social Stampers: Cool Treats Cards
Martha from The Art in Martha: Flower Thank You Card
Megan from Make Something Mondays: Coming Soon!
Carin from the Eclectic Soapbox: Coming Soon
Deb from Lumina Spirit: Coming Soon!