Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

We’re going to paint nail polish on plain wooden pendant blanks, and add a metal charm on one side – for two different looks in one necklace.

Here’s a view of both sides of this reversible pendant:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

View of each side of reversible nail polish pendant – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And another two-sided pendant:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This one is a solid color of gold-glitter nail polish all over, with a different metal charm on each side:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This nail polish jewelry project is creative and easy for people of all ages – and would be especially fun for tweens and teens at a birthday party or slumber party!

(Be sure to have plenty of glitter nail polish for young jewelry artists.) ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Pendant blanks – I used soft pine wood circles from my local craft store, measuring 1.5″ (38mm) diameter and 1/8″ (3.2mm) thick.
    I punched the hole in each pendant with a Crop-a-Dile Big Bite punch.
    Your pendant blanks can be whatever shape, size, and material you wish – as long as you can successfully paint them with nail polish.
    Wooden pendant blanks for Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Nail polish – in whatever colors you like.
    I bought 15 bottles of nail polish in a variety of colors – regular, glitter, etc. for a total of $12 at my local dollar store.
    Nail polish for Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Nail polish top coat – to seal your colorful design.
  • Metal jewelry charms – at least one for each pendant.
    Here’s what I used in the three pendants I show in this tutorial:
    Charms for Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Jump ring.
  • Chain or cord to turn your pendant into a necklace.
  • 2 pliers – flat nose / chain nose, for opening and closing your jump ring.
  • Nail polish remover, for clean ups or in case you make a mistake.

How to Make a Nail Polish
Reversible Pendant:

Start by cleaning your pendant blank with a damp paper towel, to remove any dust, etc. that may keep the nail polish from adhering to the surface.

Then dry the pendant blank completely before painting it.

Before you start painting nail polish your pendants, I recommend testing each nail polish color first on a piece of scratch paper, to get an idea of what the color and coverage will be like (this is an especially good idea if you’ve never used these colors before):

Testing nail polish colors for Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Choose a nail polish color to paint your pendant. I painted each of my pendants in a solid base color on front, back, and edges.

Paint two coats of your base color nail polish on each surface of your pendant blank, drying completely after each coat:

Painting nail polish on pendant blank for Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When your last coat of base color polish is dry, use some of your other colors to paint a design on top of the base color on one side of your pendant.

(I left one side of each pendant a solid color, so my metal charms would show up well.)

You may need to use two coats of polish on your design, drying completely after each coat:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’re finished painting, brush on a protective layer of nail polish top coat on all surfaces of your pendant; then let it dry thoroughly.

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to put your necklace together.

Twist open your jump ring and thread it through your pendant and metal charms.

Hang the jump ring on your cord or chain, then twist the jump ring shut.

Your necklace is finished!

Here’s the side of my pink pendant that has the metal charm:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And here’s the side that has the painted design:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s another pendant with a design on one side and solid color on the other.

I painted the pendant black, then added a magenta and peach nail polish design to one side.

The other side is solid black with an antiqued brass coin charm:

Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can also keep the entire pendant a solid color and hang a charm on each side of it, like the one below.

I painted gold glitter nail polish on the entire pendant:

Painting gold glitter nail polish on pendant blank for Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And hung an antiqued brass leaf charm on one side:
Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With a black charm on the other:
Nail Polish Jewelry Reversible Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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  1. 2 for 1, what a clever idea.

  2. such a totally fun and awesome idea!! love this nail polish jewelry!

  3. These are so pretty, Rena! I love the gold glitter, and also the vibrancy of the pink and green one!

  4. These are cool, but my question is, how long does this last against your skin on hot days ?

  5. Hi Sharon, thanks for asking! The nail polish top coat should help keep the colored polish in place.

  6. Colleen says:

    Hi Rene! What a fun easy way to make some cute jewelry. I’m wondering after the top coat dries, how about adding a coat of non yellowing, acrylic clear coat. I’d use the spray. That should really hold in the colors.

  7. How absolutely simple and adorable!

  8. Rena,
    You are a woman of ‘awesomeness’. I love making jewelry but find I am not creative enough. Tell me what you think of this idea and if it would sell. I have a bunch of old business cards I refuse to shred, so I took them and made circular punch outs, stacked about 10-12 together secured with glue…then I was stuck in my idea process, until I read this post.
    Thank you for my next step, which will be to punch the hole for the jump ring, apply the nail polish, and charm and that will be that! Think this will work? I am going to test it out and send you a picture when I have completed this little venture. Rena you rock!

  9. Is there anything you can’t come up with Rena? These are absolutely too cute for words and why stop at wooden discs? I have tons of metal earring ‘shapes’ I just can’t seem to ‘upcyle’ into anything, so I’ll try this idea and see wherwhat happens. Genius Rena, thanks for always nudging my brain!

  10. marlene says:

    Been using nail polish since 1997 on raw brass findings for my line of pins. It is such a versatile medium. Cheap, easy to find, and loads of color choices. You can use just about anything to seal the finished piece. You can extend a bottle for a long time (especially the glitters) by adding more clear polish, mix up some crazy colors (save the empty bottles for this). So much fun in a small bottle.
    If you use metal be sure to clean the surface with rubbing alcohol.

  11. Rena,
    You are the bomb dot com! Love this simple-very-creative idea especially for youth.
    Just participated in a Makers Faire and now talking to the faire director about doing workshops in the fall at her facility. This would be a great kick-off project. Thanks so much!

  12. These are gorgeous! I love that you can mix and match your outfits by using one side or the other – genius! Thanks for the tutorial, I’m going to try some of my own.

  13. Wow! I love this! Definitely going to try it out ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. wow Rena, its a brilliant idea . How about painting on shell beads?? will the nail paint stay on shells??
    I haven’t see wooden supplies here in india

  15. This is such a fun idea! I have tons of nail polish that would be perfect for this:)

  16. SewMagical says:

    It seems like this would be a great project for doing with kids, too. Here’s another thought…if you don’t have a punch to make the hole, use a tiny screw-in eye. You can attach your jump ring to that.

  17. My daughter and I studied your pictures and really like them! They turned out super cool! We are thinking this would be a fun mother-daughter craft! ๐Ÿ™‚
    xox, Crystelle

  18. I’ve been using different colors of nail polish, including metallics, on shells for a while and seal it with spray Krylonโ„ข varnish. They look like I cast them in silver and gold and look wonderful wire-wrapped.

    This is one example:

  19. Cool idea! Thanks for sharing!

  20. coraNation says:

    (y) Rena- this idea could take a creative mind in a myriad of directions. thanks as always for this forum

  21. These are awesome! I think I’m gonna make some for Christmas presents:)

  22. This is such a fun idea! Especially now when nail polish seems to be made in every color imaginable. They leave such a pretty shine too!

  23. Donna W says:

    OMG! I have a bunch of french charms and did not want to just use them for earrings for a group of French teachers I sell to! this is fabulous!!!!

  24. This is a really great idea! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. FUN!! When I was a kid, I used to paint all my Matchbox cars with nail polish… in the long run, ruined them all- but it was fun at the time!

  26. I love the simplicity of this project and the fact that it is so customizable. I can think of so many ideas of doing this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  27. This is great for all those broken pieces of jewelry or misc. trinkets you don’t want to toss. Love it!

  28. Cute little pendants and a great craft for little girls.

  29. Thanks for sharing, and for helping me realize that one can use nail polish on wood (not just metal!) now I can use up those bottles of purple and red that I bought for crafting!

  30. Stewart Adams says:

    Hey- yes this is a capital idea! What do u think of using these nail polishes (which I think are enamel) on beads that you aren’t finding inspiring? Rather than toss them, what’s say you paint with the nail polish? What precautions or hindrances?

  31. Stewart, I think your idea has a lot of potential! I haven’t painted beads with nail polish – but here’s how I approach “unknown situations” in jewelry making:

    I recommend that you always do a test first with a small bead or similar component you wouldnโ€™t mind messing up if it turned out to not be OK with the technique you want to try.

    After nail polish painting your test bead(s), test how durable the polish is – can you peel, rub, or scratch it off easily?

    I’d love to see / hear about the results you get with this, Stewart! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Michele Counihan says:

    I’ve experimented with nail polish on unfinished wood jewelry for a while. It is an enamel and easy to use, quick drying and colors are almost unlimited. I seal with polyurethane for extra shine and protection, but several coats of a good clear polish would probably work as well. Sources for unfinished wood jewelry shapes are hard to find, however. Best source is Philippines. Prices okay, quality very good so far.

  33. Carolyn Branch says:

    I am planning a jewelry party for tweens and teens at my church and this looks like such a fun and creative idea they will enjoy.

  34. Carolyn, that’s a lovely idea! Thanks for letting me know – I hope the jewelry party is a fun and memorable event.

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