Concrete Necklace Tutorial – Learn How to DIY

Concrete Necklace Tutorial - DIY // Married to the Earth

Today I’ll be sharing a DIY tutorial on how to make a Polished Concrete bar necklace that is both minimalist and modern (and perfect for handmade gift giving!). Polished concrete is an incredibly versatile and inspiring media, . It can be a little frustrating to work with at times and it might take a few mistakes before you get the result you were going for, but when you do it can be a really fulfilling (and ridiculously cheap!) creative outlet. There are two variations of this necklace, vertical and horizontal. Both variations use the same method. Remember to use disposable containers and stirring utensils, this tutorial uses fast drying cement and it will destroy anything it (unintentionally) touches. I learned that the hard way.

Supplies:

  • Professional quick drying cement in the smallest quantity available (I used the brand Cement All)
  • 1 sheet of  heavy card stock paper
  • Packing tape
  • Xacto knife  or Sliding blade paper cutter
  • water
  • Metal Ruler
  • Large embroidery sized needle
  • 18″ 1.5mm jewelry chain and clasp (I used this chain)
  • Scissors
  • small and shallow disposable container to mix cement
  • 1 Popsicle stick
  • teaspoon for measuring
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Orbital sander (I used this sander with this sandpaper)
  • Concrete Stain or charcoal powder (optional, I used this charcoal)
  1. Place your sheet of cardstock on a cutting mat or board. Using your ruler measure a 1/4″ strip along the side of the paper. The straighter this strip of paper is, the cleaner the finished lines will be on your necklace. If you have access to a sliding blade paper cutter you can use that to insure a perfectly even 1/4″ wide strip. I used the Xacto knife and ruler method which worked well enough for me.
  2. For the horizontal bar necklace, cut your 1/4″ strip of cardstock into three 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ pieces and two 1/4″ x 1/4″ pieces. For the vertical bar necklace you will need four 1 1/4″ x 1/4″ pieces and one 1/4″ x 1/4″ piece.
  3. For the vertical bar you will tape your pieces together to create a tall, narrow box with one opening at the top. The photo above demonstrates how closely to lay the pieces on the tape so that when you fold it there will be minimal warping. For the Horizontal bar you will be created a long, shallow box with one opening running side to side along the top. Make sure the outside of each box is completely reinforced with tape.
  4. Using your needle, poke a hole on each side of the paper mold where you want the chain to run through. Cut from the top of the box straight down to the needle hole on each side. Slide the chain down each cut side until it rests in the needle holes and is pulled tight so there is no slack chain in the middle of the mold (see photo above). Tape up the cuts you made with your scissors, pushing the paper against the tape from the inside with your xacto knife until it’s smooth. The horizontal bars will have a tendency to warp in the center when you add your cement: adding 1-2 pieces of tape around the middle of the mold will help prevent this, just be sure to leave enough room to pour the cement into the top of the mold. Place your mold upright on a paper towel.
  5. Measure 4 teaspoons of cement into your disposable container and then wipe all of the cement off of your teaspoon. For the darker gray cement I stirred 2 teaspoons of activated charcoal into my dry concrete because that’s what I had on hand, you can also use concrete stain or other types or dye at this point.  Add 1 teaspoon of water and stir using your popsicle stick. The consistency should be easily pour-able (like tomato soup).
  6. Pour the cement into your mold until it is level with the top. Leave to dry for at least one hour before removing the mold by slicing the tape with your xacto knife. The paper will be stuck to the side at first but you can rub it off with your fingers and a little bit of water. Let the cement harden overnight before sanding. 
  7. Carefully sand to a smooth polished finish using 220 grit sandpaper.

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7 thoughts on “Concrete Necklace Tutorial – Learn How to DIY

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