JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Geometric Necklace from Upcycled Gift Cards

The other day, I was putting my daughter's giftcards in the place we keep all of them. I took out all the cards, to see which ones remained. I noticed a majority were Walmart giftcards. I kept these out, to check the balances, and put the others back where they belong. I took to looking up the balances on their website. This was a lot of work to scratch off the card and pin strip on each card, only to find out that 17 of the 18 cards were empty. My husband claims blame for this happening. He had put them all back, because he mixed up which were empty and which weren't, after using a self check out register. However, I figured since I now had a stack of thin plastic cards, I should use them for something creative. I've been pondering how to make a geometric metallic necklace, and these cards prove to be the perfect material.

Now, we all get giftcards occasionally...for birthdays, holidays, prizes in contests, etc. Sometimes the store will let you keep them after the money is drained from them. Some places won't, so if you want to keep your giftcard, ask the cashier (if you aren't using a self check out or spending it on the internet) if you can keep yours. If you have a pretty one, you might not want to paint it, but instead incorporate the existing print into a jewelry design. I have rather plain blue Walmart giftcards, which are a perfect option for painting. Despite having 17 cards at my disposal, I only used 2 for this project. I used a few more for another necklace design, which is more colorful. Look for that one tomorrow.

Moving on, if you want to learn how to turn your giftcards into a geometric necklace, follow the below tutorial. If this design isn't your preference, you can use the tutorial as a general guide for how to alter the cards into a necklace. As you can clearly see, I have substantial chest tattoos. I love both large statement necklaces and small delicate ones. I'll likely wear this one out with friends tomorrow night, for band performances, and other times I feel like being a bit more flashy and bold than normal.

The finished necklace.

Pictured is a majority of the supplies. I've listed ALL needed supplies below. I forgot a few things in the photo...oops. I left out photographing some larger helpful thing.

  • 2 Empty Gift Cards - These are from Walmart. You want plain ones that don't have impressions in them, like a credit or debit card does. By "Empty" I mean that the money has been spent or there is a few cents left. I know some stores only let you keep them if there is money on them
  • Clear Plastic Primer Spray Paint - Valspar Clear Plastic Primer great one. Since the cards are plastic, you need this primer on them to help any other paints bond
  • Chrome Spray Paint - This one is Valspar Silver Brilliant Metals, and I get the best Chrome results with it. I've used it for a lot of plastic projects. You DON'T need a sealer, or you will ruin the shiny finish. Trust me! I've screwed that up enough to remember...
  • Old Scissors - Mine are cheap ones from Dollar Tree. They are old, but still sharp enough to cut through the cards without a problem
  • A Dremel with a 5/64" Drill Bit -  I prefer using a Dremel Rotary Tool to a hand crank one for this, because it gets through the plastic quickly and easily. The bit I chose makes holes that my jump rings easily fit into without being too large. The drill bit is from a 7 piece drill bit set.
  • Silver Chain - This is a small links "silver colored" craft chain from Michael's. This is for the necklace part. This Silver Chain from Blue Moon Beads is another suitable option. I've used both kinds of chain without problems for many years.
  • 22 Gauge Silver Wire - I make my own jump rings with 22 gauge silver craft wire, since I make a lot of jewelry randomly. You can buy jump rings in a pre-made jump rings pack, should you want to. If you make a lot of jewelry, it's faster and cheaper to make your own. If you don't, a pre-made pack will work well
  • 2 Pairs of Jewelry Pliers - I use one pair in each hand when working with jump rings. If you don't have jewelry pliers, needle nose pliers will also do
  • 1 pair of Wire Cutters/Nippers - These are needed for cutting the wire to make jump rings. My pliers and wire nippers are from a pack of 5 jewelry making tools
  • 1 Silver Lobster Clasp - I prefer lobster clasps to round spring ones. They are easier for me to handle when putting on or taking off necklaces and bracelets. These come in a multi-pack, but if you like making jewelry, you'll eventually use up the whole pack
  • A Small Dowel RodThe dowel rod is for wrapping the wire around it to make jump rings
  • 14 Jump Rings - We'll be making those easily later, but if you don't want to make your own, you can buy a pre-made jump rings pack
  • An Old Magazine or Phone Book - To use under the plastic pieces when drilling through them
  • An Emery Board - To sand the rough edges, round the sharp corners, and rough up the flat surfaces of the plastic. I prefer emery boards to sand paper for these small projects.
  • Wax Paper or Plastic Bag - To protect your outside work space, for spray painting. I found the primer didn't dry completely on the wax paper, but did fine on the pieces. For a plastic bag, you can use a shopping or trash bag. I normally use a trash bag  but I thought I'd change that up today, so I had a cleaner work surface than my over used trash bags
  • 2 Plastic Zip Sandwich Bags - The sandwich bags are to keep the scraps and project pieces separate, and to keep up with them. They are small and can get lost easily
**I am affiliated with Amazon, and receive a small compensation if you chose to purchase something through the links. The money goes to fund more projects.**


1) With one card and the scissors, cut one large triangle horizontally (this is the largest one you see in the below photo, which will be cut apart soon). I cut from the middle of one short edge across to the opposite corner, twice to make the large triangle. Put the scraps into one of the sandwich bags. You can use them later to make something else...earrings perhaps.

2) With that large triangle, about 1/4 inch in from each side, cut an even V. You will get a separate smaller triangle from these cuts. Set the large V aside. With that new smaller triangle, about 1/4 inch in, cut an even V. You will get a small triangle from these cuts.

3) The 3 pieces will fit snug into each other, but I wanted to give them a gap. This was rather easy to do. With the smaller V, I cut off a little at the short top edges. Do a little evenly at a time, till the space between the big V and little V is to your liking. Do the same thing with the small triangle. You can check the gap size by laying the pieces inside each other, with the top edges lined up. Set these pieces inside one the other sandwich bag, so they don't get lost.

4) With the other gift card vertically and the scissors, cut several semi-even triangles from it. Start with one corner and cut at an angle to the other side, about 1/2 inch away from the opposite corner of the same side. Set that piece in the scraps bag. Then, go to the other side, starting at the tip of the angled cut, cut back across at an angle, about 1 inch away from the starting corner. If you go back and forth at angles like this, you will have multiple shorter triangles. The 4 short triangles you see came from 1 card, and I have a few extra for something else. You will only need 4 short triangles in addition to your long layered one, for this project. Any extra triangles or large scraps should go in the scrap bag. Put all the pieces for this project into their separate bag.

5) Set the magazine onto your work surface. Add the drill bit to your Dremel. Turn your drill onto the low setting (mine only has low, high, or off options). Get 1 piece out of the project bag. While holding the piece against the magazine, carefully drill a hole by one top corner. Stop the drill. Remove any plastic or paper from the drill bit. Drill a hole into the other corner, and repeat removing the debris from the drill bit and work area. Put the piece back into the project bag. Do this for each piece. For the layered pieces, you need only one hole for the small triangle, and one per V top end.

6) Get one piece out of the bag. With the emery board, carefully file the edges, and round the corners. File the front and back by the holes, and across the open area...mostly on the back where there is some raised ink. This will help the paint adhere smoothly and so the pieces don't stab you when wearing the finished necklace. Put each piece back into the bag after you are done sanding it.

Steps 1-6 are finished

7) With your project bag, large piece of wax paper or plastic bag, and clear primer spray paint, head outside. Lay the wax paper or plastic bag down on your work surface. Lay your project pieces face up out on the paper. Carefully spray the piece with the clear primer, following the suggested instructions on the can. Let them dry for several minutes. Drying time can vary based on the temperature and moisture conditions outside. After the 1st sides are dry, flip over all the pieces and spray paint the other sides with the same clear primer. Let dry again.

8) With the Chrome spray paint, spray all of the pieces carefully, following the instructions on the can. Let dry for several minutes. This might take longer to dry than the primer. After the pieces are dry, flip them over again, so they are face up. Spray paint them Chrome. After they are dry, give them a 2nd coat on the top with the Chrome spray paint. Let dry again. 

9) After the pieces are dry, carefully bring them inside. Don't to put them back into the bag, or you might ruin the Chrome finish. Be careful when touching them, as this paint can be finicky and might smudge the finish or leave fingerprints. You can gently buff out any of these, when you are finished making the necklace.

Both sides were primed and painted. This is the front sides of all the pieces.

10) Next, we need to make jump rings. There are several ways to make them, but I like to wrap the wire around a small wooden dowel rod, forming a tight coil. Then, I put the coil off the dowel's take a little yanking. I clip off the non-coiled ends of the wire coil, using my wire cutters. I pull the coil apart a bit, and cut even jump rings from the coil. Sometimes I can cut two at once. Occasionally  I make double jump rings, were I cut ever other section of the coil. We only need single ones for this. Make as many as you would like to, and put any extras into a little container. I have a small beading container filled with jump rings, that I keep in my jewelry making tool box. You will need 14 jump rings for this project.

11) Open all the jump rings using the 2 plier method. This is the way I do it, so it's easier to handle the holes, jump rings, and chain. Set them aside. I use the lid of the jar I keep extra jump rings in, so they don't escape.

12) Next we need to make the necklace chain section. I like making an adjustable one, that I can make longer or shorter if I chose to that day. Lay the chain around your neck, and place the end at your collarbone in the center of your neck (or a bit lower). Bring the length of chain around the meet that. Add about 2-4 inches of extra length, if you want the necklace to be adjustable, and pinch that measurement with your fingers. If you don't want it adjustable, pinch the measurement where the length meet the end. Using the wire cutters, cut through the chain at the end measurement you chose.

13) Slip the lobster clasp and one chain end onto a jump ring. Close the jump ring using the two plier method. 

14) For me, since I made mine adjustable, I wanted to keep track of where that collarbone measurement is. I put the chain back around my neck, and brought the lobster clasp to meet where the chain at the collarbone, like I did before. I pinched that measurement, and added an extra jump ring into a link at that measurement. This can be easily removed later, if you want to.

15) Time to add all the pieces to the chain. Hold the now chain necklace up, matching the lobster clasp to that extra jump ring. It will be in half now. Add a jump ring to that center chain link. Add the small triangle to that jump ring, and close the jump ring with the 2 pliers method. Now, which ever you find easier, you can add the jump rings to the pieces 1st, or the the chain as you lay out your design spacing. I did a mix of both. It's important to make sure your chain doesn't twist as you are attaching the pieces, or it will look odd when you are done. If you can see by the below photo, the chain section I'm working on, is flat. Keep in mind the spacing between your pieces, as to keep it symmetrical and even. Take your time on this step. Use the 2 plier method to close the jump ring you are handling after it's been slipped onto the piece and the chain (which ever order suits you). This will make finishing the necklace easier. After you have attached all of the pieces to the chain, you are DONE!

This is the FINISHED necklace!

If you look carefully, you can see my chain spacing. Yours won't necessarily be the same, as the sizes of your pieces and the chain links might be different. This is ok. Hopefully, you get the concept and will go make your own jewelry using this tutorial. You can use this concept to make earrings, pendant necklaces (vs this statement style), and bracelets.

To coordinate with this Geometric Necklace, I made three pairs of earrings and wrote separate tutorials for you all to use!

 I'd love to see what you've created using my tutorial! Send me an email, , and I'll likely share your project here...with you permission of course. Happy making!


  1. OMG that is a great tutorial! I also like using paint chips to make cute DIY necklaces! Check out my blog for my tutorial:
    -Jenna ;)

    1. Thanks. Paint chips are great too! I love the examples you showed! I'm thinking of getting some new paint chips and making some jewelry with them. I also have a bunch of blue ones left over from making this skull.


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