Monday, January 6, 2014

Craft Project: DIY Nail Polish Wash Necklaces & Magnets

Have I mentioned that I am my younger daughter's Girl Scout troop leader this year? Well, actually one of four leaders. We are doing a co-op leader thing, which has been great! Every year, our service unit puts on a holiday boutique for the girls. Troops create something to "sell" at the boutique and each troop has a booth set up to sell their wares. Each girl brings an envelope with some amount of money up to $20 in it. The girls walk around to the different booths and buy different crafts to give other people for the holidays. When they spend their money, they are done shopping and they get to eat holiday cookies. :-) The money collected is donated to a charity of the hosting troop's choice. This year the 363 Day Program was chosen. And can you believe it, in just under 2 hours, our service unit collected $3,127 for this charity! 2 hours, people. That is just amazing to me!

We gave the girls four different options for craft projects to create for the holiday boutique. They chose to create washer necklaces and gem magnets. These were soooo easy to create! And at minimal cost too.

Washer Necklaces--
What you will need:
--different size washers (I even found a mixed-size container of washers at the Dollar Store! But they aren't as nice of quality as the washers I bought at Home Depot)
--colored nail polish (again, I found this at the Dollar Store! GREAT find!)
--glitter nail polish
--clear nail polish
--string, yarn, twine--something to string the washers on for necklaces

Step one:
You can either spray paint the washers ahead of time. We did this for the girl scouts, but not the necklaces I painted with my daughters. Either way works just fine. The sprayed painted necklaces have a nicer finish on the back side. So it just depends on how picky you are with the finished look.
Here is a great tutorial for spray painting them.

Step two:
If you haven't spray painted the washers, paint a nice thick base coat of one color on the washer. Or, start using multiple colors to create stripes or a design. Let dry several minutes (Usually 10 minutes max was good) and you can then paint other designs or layers over the base coat. Sometimes you may have to put on more than one coat.

Step three:
If you like, once your design dries, paint a layer of glitter polish over the top to give it some sparkle!

Step four:
Once all layers have dried, paint a nice thick coat of clear polish over the top to seal it all and give it a nice shine.

Step five:
Leave it overnight. The next day, hang them on a string or chain of some kind and you have a great necklace!

Here are all the AMAZING necklaces my girl scouts created! These are seven and eight year olds!

--You can layer multiple sized washers to make your necklace more interesting
--You can add beads to the string if you like
--My daughters were intrigued when I showed them this post. They set out to use toothpicks to swirl the paint. And it turned out amazing! The problem with taking pictures and then posting later is that I cannot seem to find where the photos are that I took. I know I took close-up photos of this but can't find them now.
--You can use a hair dryer to dry the layers more quickly if you're in a hurry.

You can see the toothpick swirl technique used in these Mickey Mouse necklaces we created. (We found this idea for the Mickey necklaces here.)
For the swirl technique, we just painted on a base layer of white nail polish. We were liberal with the application, then add about 4 dots of color evenly around the washer (we just used red with these Mickey necklaces, but you can use multiple colors and swirl together). Add the dots of color immediately after you paint the base color. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the colored dots around the white. Sidenote: To finish the Mickey necklaces, I used wire from a picture hanging kit I bought at the Dollar Store.
You can also see how we displayed the necklaces both for the girl scout boutique and for holiday gifts for family. I just cut up thick scrapbook paper. Added 2 slits on the top. I twisted the excess necklace on the back and secured it with a piece of tape. For the gifts we gave to family, we added our "Created by" stamps.

My older daughter is currently in an "all things Minion" stage, so of course, we had to make a Minion necklace too! ;-)
And if the links above didn't satisfy you, here are two more for you to see: here and here.

Gem Magnets--
What you will need:
--clear glass gems (may be able to find at the Dollar Store, otherwise Michaels carries these)
--round magnets (Michaels sells two sizes, get the larger size. The smaller size will not hold much to a magnet board as the gem is too heavy)
--colored nail polish
--glitter nail polish
--clear nail polish
--E6000 glue

The gem magnets were even easier than the necklaces. Here's a link to a tutorial. All you have to do is paint a layer of glitter paint first. Let that dry for a few minutes. Then paint colored nail polish over the glitter layer. You can create patterns if you like. You may have to paint a few coats to get the polish thick enough to not be see-through. Once dry, you can seal with a coat of clear polish if you like. Let sit overnight. Once dry, use a small dab of E6000 glue to apply the magnet to the back.

Here are the girl scouts' creations:

I LOVED both the necklaces and the magnets! We created both for many people we gave Christmas gifts to, including teacher gifts along with a Starbucks gift card. We received wonderful feedback that everyone really liked them. I highly recommend this project for nearly all ages!


  1. So cute! How much did you sell them for? Where sis you get your "created by" stamps?

  2. I have been trying to paint some washers with nail polish, but it won't stick! Were your washers galvanized? I'm wondering if that might be the problem.

    1. Hmm...I'm not sure if they were galvanized. I just bought the cheapest washers at Home Dept. LOL! Many of these were spray painted a base color first just to speed things up for our girl scouts. But we also did many necklaces here at home without spray painting first and they turned out fine.