Make It: Hardware Store Jewelry



Last week I took a trip to the hardware store to pick up some spray paint to give new life to my filing cabinet and happened to walk down the fasteners aisle. Where inspiration smacked me in the forehead. So many shapes, weights, and options just waiting to be gussied up and turned into something beautiful. When I came home and sat down to start creating the other piece of the puzzle seemed to be waiting in my bathroom (stay with me here) – in the form of nail polish. I have bottle upon bottle of every color in the rainbow, have never finished one in my life, and love the lacquered finish. Here’s what I ended up with.




These Hex Nut Rings were the first piece I came up with. They’re chunky for sure, but quite the statement. I love the metal finish sans any sort of color, but decided to play around with some different combinations – just painting the edges a dark navy blue, painting half fuchsia half purple, etc. These would also be fantastic strung on a chain and worn around your neck!




These Washer Brooches may be my favorite piece, I plan on clustering several different sizes together to wear at one time. Some monotone and probably one patterned. Pro Tip: While painting such a broad flat surface is to dab the nail polish rather than brush it on. Don’t be afraid to load it up with paint either, it ends up leaving a great enameled finish.




I love these Washer Hoop Earrings! I painted them with a gold flecked black polish and can’t wait to wear them out. Pro Tip: Be sure to paint the edges and backs of these guys as well as the surface. I think with the next pair I’ll do a contrasting color on the backside. Don’t be intimidated, they’re surprisingly light to wear!




I couldn’t resist doing a small pair of Washer Stud Earrings as well.




Lastly I created a large Washer Pendant, though I’m not thrilled with the black cord. I’d rather have used something like a beaded silver chain and hope to find some to replace this with. But I really like the pendant itself, especially with the swoosh of purple on navy. You could also use a smaller washer here for something more delicate of course.


• 3/4″ hex nuts (or whatever size best fits your finger)
• large washers
• small washers
• earring backings
• pins
• cord or chain
• Gorilla Glue (hot glue didn’t hold all that well)
• varied colors of nail polish



  • Sabine

    February 16, 2013 at 11:07 am Reply

    I once made a washer stud bracelet, it would perfectly match your washer stud earrings 🙂

  • Brittni

    February 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm Reply

    This is awesome. I feel like I live at the hardware store sometimes, I’m there so often. Love the hex rings so much.

    • Kelly

      February 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm Reply

      thanks, Brittni!

  • Ilsa

    February 26, 2013 at 1:59 am Reply

    I have a pendant I made out of a piece of hardware that looks somewhat like a cross between a washer and an outdoor faucet handle, like this one:

    what I did though was I folded the necklace part in half, stuck it through the middle hole and looped it over, so it will lie flat on my chest.

    it is pretty neat. I get a lot of complements on the dark metal and the bright blue twine.

  • Aimar

    March 27, 2014 at 8:43 am Reply

    So I’ve been having these ideas in my mind, but just haven’t gone to the hardware store yet. But I ask…Is nail polish the best paint you would recommend for this?? What about on acrylic panels?

    • Kelly

      March 27, 2014 at 9:45 am Reply

      I was working with what I had, I suspect any high gloss paint (except oils) would do the job just fine.

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