How to make a necklace from food packaging

Food carton necklace

I’ve been wanting to do this DIY for a while now. We keep throwing out food packaging and I’ve been wanting to come up with a way to re-use it. The nice thing about most plastic packaging is that it’s soft enough to cut with a Stanley knife or a pair of scissors but – it’s also firm enough to hold a shape.

The original plan was to cut triangles and squares and stitch them to a T-Shirt. But as I was cutting the packaging I changed my mind and decided to make a tribal inspired necklace. Here’s how I made this one

You need: –

  • plastic packaging – see photo to get an idea
  • lots of O-Rings – also called jump rings
  • 1 metre of waxed cord
  • a thin and a thicker wool needle to punch holes in packaging
  • pliers to bend the O-rings 
  • pencil
  • Plastic packaging to use for this necklace
  • ruler
  • paper

To make: –

First work out how much packaging you have so you can plan your design. Next draw your design onto a piece of paper and make sure the pieces fit nicely together. I used rectangles and squares – with their corners cut off. Using a pencil trace your design onto the packaging. The pencil rubs off easily with a damp cloth.

Linking the shapes with O-Rings

Cut your shapes and lay them out to make sure they fit together. Trim if necessary. Start with the thinner wool needle and carefully push a hole where your O-Ring will join the plastic pieces to each other. Then push the thicker wool needle through the same hole to make it wider.

Next join your shapes together with the O-Rings. I added two O-Rings to the top of the necklace. Then I slipped the waxed cord through them so the necklace ties at your neck. Finish the cord a knot at each end. And that was it. Simple as that.

If you had a big enough piece of plastic you could make a crescent shape or even a few cascading crescent shapes. It’s up to you but next time you are about to fling out some packaging,  consider that could be recycled into a necklace or a pair of earrings. I will show how to make matching earrings a future post

You can share your ideas for recycling on the Greenie Dresses for Less facebook page. And you can find inspiration more things to make on the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page.

Back next week.