How to make children’s washer necklaces (or medals)

I spotted these really simple fun necklaces over at We Made That, and decided that we’d have a go at making our own versions.  Ok so N’s a boy, but he’s quite happy making these kind of things, and you could in fact put them in party bags if you wanted or have them as an activity at a party.

They really don’t take a lot of work, just a bit of drying time.  In fact, I found they needed quite a lot of time, more than I thought, and keeping them smooth rather than matted is really hard.  Note – don’t leave them stored next to each other as they get stuck together like a magnetic force, even when dry!

tutorial for washer necklaces

What items do you need?

All you need are washers (any size, I chose some fairly large ones), some ribbon or thread, and nail polish.  I went to Poundland and bought some from there as they tend to have some bright colours.  Greaseproof paper is also helpful

what you need for washer necklaces

How to make them?

With the washer on the greaseproof paper, paint the washer with the nail polish.  I put it on thickly so it only needed one layer.
painting washers

Leave to dry

painted washers

Turn over and repeat on the other side

Once dry, you can then add any pattern with a different colour that you want.  I tried spots which were quite effective, and a swirly pattern which wasn’t and I then turned into a vague flower.  Which was still awful, but I’m sure children wouldn’t mind.  N just liked slopping on the colour.

Leave to dry

Leave the reverse plain or repeat the pattern

You might find, depending on the colour that you need more than one layer of polish per side, but I put enough on that it ‘pooled’ so I got away with one layer.  What’s great is that if you go wrong or don’t like it, you can just paint another layer over the top (or I guess remove the whole lot with polish remover if you’re quick).

Add a ribbon through the washer, tie and then tie round the neck.  You could in theory have a selection of different washers attached to one ribbon for one necklace although it might get quite heavy.  A coloured cord might be better, and you could always tie with adjustable knots to make the cord longer and shorter as required.

washer necklaces 2

If you had smaller washers, with the addition of wirework, they could be converted to earrings with the addition of jump rings or wire, and some shepherd’s hook jewellery findings.

Have you tried painting washers or using nail polish as paint?  Share any makes you’ve made in the comments below, as I’d love to try some other items.

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6 thoughts on “How to make children’s washer necklaces (or medals)

    1. It’s definitely fun. N was all for making them, could be good for a party, but as medals they’re great – if you had those cords with snap off fasteners.

  1. I was thinking hmm looks familiar. It is! As a kid we use washers with ribbons (or any fabric) like this as a toy. The idea being you kick it up so that it wont touch the ground and if does then you lose and its the other players turn! Thank you for reminding me of my chidhood! #pocolo

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