Fantastic Frugal DIY Ribbon Washer Necklace

I am big on statement jewelery-pieces that just jump out at you and say “look at me!”.  Big dangly earrings, unusual necklaces or bracelets.  I love them all!

But of course although I love big pieces, I don’t love big price tags. I love things I can pick up at a pittance at the dollar store, thrift store etc, or even make myself.

When I saw this tutorial for a modern looking necklace made from washers and ribbon at The Small Object I knew I had to try it.  I went to Lowes and picked up twenty 5/8″ washers for $.10 each.  I had a roll of lime green satin ribbon that I had picked up at Walmart’s for $2 that was about the right width.  So following the tutorial on The Small Object and for the low price of  $4 I was able to make this necklace:

This is a great, modern piece.

Woven Ribbon and Washer Necklace

I love how the washers lay next to each other.

wearing the washer necklace

Here it is on. You can change the legnth by adjusting where you tie the ribbon on the back.

My husband pointed out that galvanized washers should be used for this, otherwise the salt and moisture from your skin will cause the metal to tarnish.  Honestly I’m not sure if the ones I bought were galvanized or not. . .

I found a washer choker selling on Etsy for $10 that you could make using the same directions and just 4 washers (so $.40 plus ribbon cost).  I know several teens who would love one of those!

Another thought I had was that you could buy a single large washer-say 1 1/2″ or so across-and use that as a pendant by itself.

So what do you think of my hardware fashion statement?

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  1. Yankee says

    Stainless steel or chrome as opposed to galvanized – they will last longer and look prettier (galvanized metals are usually ‘cloudy’ in appearance and not smooth to the touch).


  2. says

    Love this idea. I have a daughter graduating from BCC this month so may go scoping out some ribbon and see what size washers I have laying around.

    • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says

      Glad you like it! I can guarantee she’ll be the only one of her friends who has one :)

  3. Carol from Tauranga, New Zealand says

    Fab! – I have just made one from bright red ribbon and dark walnut 28mm round wooden rings – all from Spotlight – awesome!

  4. sharon sapienza says

    love this look. Just saw tutorial on using alcohol ink to “finish” washers for jewelry – could be great with this project

  5. Christina says

    They’re zinc plated. The galvanized will last a hair longer, but zinc will last plenty long. Longer than you’ll be wearing that necklace, for sure. I’m currently making one out of galvanized washers but I love the rough, less shiny nature of them. (Galvanizing is really just a different way of putting zinc on a metal object.)


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