Colorful Reversible Necklaces (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

This colorful reversible necklace project is a delightful session of creativity!

Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Both sides of these necklaces are lovely – which side should you wear today?

Here’s a view of both sides of this necklace (and by the way, I used a rubber stamp to add the text to this pink side):

Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Colorful Reversible Necklaces – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg.

Here’s another one. I think the colorful cords are a major reason why these necklaces are so smashing:

Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This one is a choker-length reversible necklace:
Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Ready to get started? The possibilities for color and design are unlimited!

Supplies:

  • Pre-cut wooden shapes that are a good size for pendants.
    I got these at my local craft store; you might also try your hardware or home-improvement store.
    These wooden shapes came in packages of 5 to 10 pieces.
    You may be able to find some wood shapes that are pre-drilled. (Mine weren’t.)

    Wooden pendant blanks for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Scrapbooking paper, in your favorite colors.
    You can buy single sheets, or a pad of coordinating colors / motifs.
    Most craft stores offer a weekly coupon to get one item at 40% to 50% off.
    I bought this “Day at the Beach” pad of paper at my local craft store for 50% off during a sale:

    Pad of scrapbooking paper for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Craft wire / artistic wire – 20 gauge; you’ll need 5″ (12.7 cm) for a pendant bail, and 9″ (22.9 cm) for a briolette bead dangle at the bottom of the pendant.
    I used artistic wire in “Gunmetal” color.
  • Cord in a nice thickness for your necklace; you’ll need anywhere from 24″ (60.1 cm) to 40″ (101.6 cm) length, depending on how long you want your finished necklace to be.
    Get colorful, pretty cords that go with your lovely paper – don’t be conservative and use boring neutral colors! 🙂
    I got these 1/8″ (0.3175 cm) x 24 feet (7.315 meters) spools of cheery satin cord very cheaply in the fabric department of my local craft store.

    Colored satin cords for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Beads – make sure they’ll fit on your 20-gauge wire.
    Choose colors, shapes, and sizes that will work well with your scrapbooking paper and cord.
  • Optional: Briolette bead or other components for a dangle to hang at the bottom of your wood pendant.
  • Clasp for your necklace.
    I used small sterling silver hook-and-eye clasps from a huge bulk purchase I made years ago.
  • Mod Podge (water-based sealer, glue, and finish) – a small amount, for attaching your paper shapes to your wood pieces.

    Mod Podge for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Small piece of cardboard – for creating a “frame template” that helps you choose the design you’ll cut from your paper.
    (I’ll show you how to make and use this frame template below.)
  • Optional: A one-hole paper punch to help you cut out the center of your cardboard “frame template”.
  • Scissors.
  • Pencil.
  • Permanent markers (such as Sharpie) to color the edges of your wood shapes.
    Choose colors that nicely accent your scrapbooking papers.
  • Tool for making hole(s) in your wood pieces.
    I used a Crop-A-Dile punch (if you can’t find one at your local craft store, you can find them in an online search).
    You can also use a Dremel or household drill.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • Wire cutter.

OPTIONAL: Rubber Stamping Supplies:

  • Rubber stamp(s).
  • Stamping inkpad.
  • Clear, matte-finish spray lacquer to prevent the stamped ink from running.

How to Make
Colorful Reversible Necklaces:

We’ll start by making a frame template to help us easily choose which parts of our scrapbooking paper to cut out for the pendants.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Making a frame template for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Place your wooden pendant blank on your cardboard, leaving about half an inch of cardboard on each side of the wood. Draw around the wood piece using a pen or pencil.
  • Photo 2:
    Get your one-hole paper punch ready.
  • Photo 3:
    Use your one-hole paper punch to punch a few holes in the center part of the cardboard. These holes will enable you to get your scissors easily into the center of the cardboard, so you can cut along the line you marked.
  • Photo 4:
    After you’ve finished cutting out the center, you now have a frame template.

Now place your frame template on a piece of scrapbooking paper.

Move the frame around the page until the center of your template shows a part of the design that you want to put on your pendant.

Use a pencil to lightly trace around the inside of your frame template:

Using frame template on scrapbooking paper in Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then use your scissors to cut out the paper shape on the pencil lines you just drew.

Optional:

After cutting out the paper shape, I trim a tiny bit off each edge of it to make it a little smaller than the wooden pendant blank. Now when the paper is attached to the wood piece, the wood will make a tiny border (or frame) around the paper.

You’ll need to cut out a piece of scrapbooking paper for each side of your wooden pendant blank, so your necklace will be reversible:

Scrapbooking paper cut-outs for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If you’d like to rubber-stamp your paper cut-outs, now’s the time to do that.

Here’s a before and after view of a paper cut-out I rubber stamped:

Rubber stamping for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

After the stamped ink dries, I recommend using a clear, matte-finish spray lacquer to prevent the ink from running when you Mod-Podge over it.

I sprayed two light coats of lacquer on the stamped side of the paper, drying each coat thoroughly before applying the next coat.

Now let’s move on to your wood shapes.

Your pendants will look much more artistic and professional if you don’t leave the wood edges bare and unfinished.

Pick up one of your wooden pendant shapes and use a permanent marker (such as Sharpie) to color the edges of the wood.

Then color around the edge of the front and back flat surfaces of the wood piece:

Coloring edges of wooden pendant blanks for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to Mod-Podge your paper cut-outs to your wooden pendant blank.

Read and follow the instructions on the Mod-Podge bottle.

Spread out a small sheet of waxed paper for a work surface.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Mod Podge on Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Place your clean, dry wooden pendant blank on the waxed paper. Use your fingertip to scoop up a dollop of Mod Podge.
  • Photo 2:
    Spread the Mod Podge in an even layer over the entire surface of your piece of wood.
  • Photo 3:
    Place your one of your paper cut-outs where you want it to be on your wooden pendant, pressing the paper down onto your wet Mod Podge layer and smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles in your paper.
  • Photo 4:
    Scoop up another fingertip-full of Mod Podge and spread it evenly and smoothly over the entire top surface of your component, covering your paper as well as the wood around the edges.

You can dry your Mod Podge quickly using a hair dryer.

When the first side of your pendant is completely dry, turn it over and follow the same steps to attach your second paper cut-out to the other side of the pendant.

When the second side is dry, it’s time to drill a hole for your bail (and a second hole for a dangle, if your want one).

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Drilling holes in pendants for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Measure where you want the hole for your pendant’s bail, and mark the spot with a pencil. Be careful not to get too close to the edge of your pendant.
  • Photo 2:
    Use a Dremel, household drill, or Crop-A-Dile punch to make a small hole on the spot you marked. Choose a drill bit or punch size that will be larger than your 20 gauge wire.
  • Photo 3:
    Here’s a pendant with one drill hole, for the bail.
  • Photo 4:
    This pendant has a second drill hole, for a briolette bead or other dangle at the bottom of the pendant.

After making the holes, I recommend spreading one final coat of Mod Podge over the front and back surface of your pendant.

When it dries completely, it’s time to make the bail for your pendant.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Making wire bail for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Cut a 5″ (12.7 cm) piece of your 20-gauge craft wire / artistic wire.
  • Photo 2:
    Using the widest part of your round nose plier jaws, grasp the wire 1.5″ (3.81 cm) from one end. Bend the wire around the pliers jaw into a U-shape.
  • Photo 3:
    Now your wire should look like this.
  • Photo 4:
    Thread your U-shaped wire through the bail-hole of your pendant.

Now we’ll turn the U-shaped wire into a decorative bail.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Wire-wrapping the bail on Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Cross the wires over the top edge of your pendant, bending them so that they lie flat in a straight line.
  • Photo 2:
    Use the tips of your chain nose pliers to grasp the longer end of your wire right in the center of the top edge of your pendant.
    Make a 90-degree bend in the wire, so that your long wire end is now standing straight up above your pendant.
  • Photo 3:
    Now your wire should look like this.
  • Photo 4:
    Wrap the shorter wire end tightly around the base of your longer wire. About two or three wraps should be fine.

Snip off the tail of your shorter wire, and use your chain nose pliers to squeeze the cut wire end in place so it can’t poke anything.

Now we’ll add a bead and finish the bail.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

Adding a bead to the bail for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    String one or more beads onto your long wire above the pendant, so that the bead(s) are resting agains the wire-wraps you just made.
  • Photo 2:
    Use your round nose pliers to make a wrapped wire loop above the bead(s). If you’re new making wrapped loops, see my easy 3-minute video How to Make a Wrapped Wire Loop.
  • Photo 3:
    Snip off the wire tail above your bead, and use your chain nose pliers to squeeze the cut wire end in place.
  • Photo 4:
    Your finished pendant bail should look like this.

If you drilled a second hole in your pendant for a briolette bead or other dangles, now is the time to add that.

To add a wire-wrapped briolette, see my easy video, How to Wire Wrap a Briolette Bead.

Here’s the other side of my pink pendant, with the briolette dangle:
Pendant with bail and wrapped briolette for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to add our clasp and cord.

How Much Cord Do You Need?

Let’s say you want your finished necklace cord length to be 20″.

Add 4″ for the folded-over cord ends.

Add 1.5″ for the overhand knot tied above the pendant bail.

Subtract the length of your clasp ends (my clasp total length is 0.75″).

So for my cord, I used this equation:

20″ + 4″ + 1.5″ – 0.75″ = 24.75″ of cord.

I cut 24.75″ inches of cord for my longer necklaces.

You can use this equation for whatever finished cord length you like.

Simply substitute your desired final cord length for my 20″, and your clasp length for my 0.75″.

Cut your cord to the length you determined in the equation above.

Now let’s start by stringing one end of the clasp onto one end of the cord.

Then fold the cord into a U-shape, with a 2″ (5.08 cm) tail, and the clasp in the middle of the “U”.

You can either bind the U-shaped cord with wire, or tie it in a knot.

I tied my cord into a simple overhand knot:

Adding the clasp to Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now string the other end of your cord through the bail in the top of your pendant:

Stringing the cord through the pendant bail on Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now attach the other end of your clasp to the open end of your cord, the same way you attached the first end of the clasp.

I tied another simple overhand knot to hold the second clasp end in place.

Here are my clasp ends now:

Finished cord ends for Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now our pendant is strung nicely onto our finished cord.

But we have one more step to go.

To prevent the clasp end of our cord from traveling around to the front of the necklace when it’s being worn, we’ll tie a simple knot in the cord – just above the pendant bail.

I used another simple over hand knot here:

Knotted cord above pendant on Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And that’s it! Now our Colorful Reversible Necklace is finished.

Here are both sides of three more reversible necklaces.

Notice how the paper cut-outs are enhanced by the tiny strip of colorful wood frame around them.

That’s why I trim my paper to be slightly smaller than the wood pendant blanks.

Choker-length necklace from Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Blue and Yellow Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Colorful Reversible Necklaces - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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