Handmade Jewelry Using Game and Toy Pieces: Fun, Crafty Creations
Old board game pieces, plastic toys, toy jewelry sets, and other playthings can find renewed purpose as components for handmade jewelry. Game pieces like dice, dominos, chess pieces, and colorful plastic toys work surprisingly well for creating unique DIY earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more. Upcycling toys and games into wearable accessories is an eco-friendly approach that also infuses jewelry with nostalgia and personality. With a bit of creativity and some simple jewelry-making techniques, you can transform childhood favorites and discarded toys into one-of-a-kind statement pieces.
Why Make Jewelry from Toys and Games?
Jewelry crafted from recycled game and toy parts has many advantages:
- Sustainable – It gives new life to items that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Budget-friendly – Toys can often be sourced for free or cheap, saving money.
- Nostalgic – Old toys and games evoke happy memories.
- Unique – Game pieces allow for truly one-of-a-kind designs.
- Customizable – Repurpose specific toys meaningful to you.
- Conversation-starter – Jewelry from games/toys provides an interesting backstory.
With some basic jewelry supplies and techniques, it’s simple to turn sentimental old toys and game parts into amazing wearable accessories!
Best Toys and Game Parts for Making Jewelry
Almost any toy or game piece can be incorporated into handmade jewelry. Some of the best options include:
Dice, Dominos, and Game Tiles
- Wooden, plastic, or clay tiles work well as pendants or focal beads.
- Great for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings.
Chess and Checker Pieces
- Repurpose plastic or wood chess/checker pieces as charms, drops, or beads.
- Kings, queens, knights, rooks provide interesting shapes.
Old Plastic Toys
- Lego bricks, play jewelry beads, army figures, animals, trains, cars, dolls.
- Disassemble into components to integrate creatively.
Marbles and Balls
- Glass or plastic marbles, jacks, ball bearings, bead cubes.
- Incorporate into necklaces, earrings, rings.
- Colorful plastic pawns, markers, or tokens from board games.
- Monopoly game houses, hotels, or money work too.
- Recycle individual cards or card decks into jewelry components.
- Glue together into paper beads or cut into cardstock shapes.
Useful Supplies for Making Toy Jewelry
In addition to the toys themselves, you’ll need some basic jewelry-making supplies:
- Jewelry pliers – For bending, shaping wires and findings.
- Wire cutters – For cutting wire cleanly.
- Jewelry wire – For attaching pendants and charms onto chains and cords.
- Jump rings – For connecting charms and other elements.
- Chain – Delicate chains complement toy pendants.
- Cording – Stringing material for beaded look.
- Clasps – Secure chains or cords around necks and wrists.
- Glue – For adhering toy pieces together or onto findings.
- Beads – Incorporate with toy components to embellish.
- Jewelry findings – Head pins, eye pins, earring posts, ring bases, crimp beads, etc.
Techniques for Crafting Toy Jewelry
These basic techniques will help you get started making jewelry from game and toy parts:
Cleaning and Prepping Pieces
- Wash toys and game parts in soapy water to remove dirt and grime before crafting.
- Carefully remove anysharp edges, points, or unsafe areas using sandpaper or nail file.
- Disassemble toys into smaller elements if needed.
- Cut or sand some pieces to achieve the desired shape.
Painting and Embellishing Toys
- Enhance plastic toys with acrylic craft paints or nail polish. Add color, glitter, or dimensional designs.
- Embellish with permanent markers, rhinestones, decals, modeling clay, or washable glue designs.
- Rub buffing papers over plastic or wood pieces for a polished, stained effect.
Attaching Wires, Eyelets, and Loops
- Use pliers to open jump rings, attach eye pins, and bend wire.
- Glue on flat ear posts, pin backs, or small magnets to toys to create earrings or pins.
- Attach loops or eye pins to top of toy pendants so they can dangle freely from chains.
Stringing and Connecting Components
- Use jump rings to connect toy charms onto chains, cords, or wire.
- Repurpose small plastic toy beads, bricks, etc. by stringing together like regular beads.
- Incorporate ball chain, elastic cord, rope, or leather to complement the beads.
- Combine toy parts with crimp beads, clasps, spacers, beads, and other elements to create finished jewelry designs.
Quick DIY Jewelry Projects Using Toys
Here are some easy beginner-friendly projects for making jewelry from recycled toys:
Chess Piece Pendant Necklace
Turn a plastic chess piece into a unique personalized pendant.
- Thoroughly clean and sand a chess piece of your choice.
- Paint if desired, or embellish with permanent markers, glitter, rhinestones, etc.
- Using pliers, attach a jump ring and chain to make into a necklace.
Scrabble Tile Bracelet
Upcycle game tiles from Scrabble, Bananagrams, or Mah-Jongg into a spelling bracelet.
- Clean and polish letter tiles. Use 12-16 tiles to spell out a name or word.
- Arrange letters in order and glue together slightly spaced out and flat onto a cuff bracelet base.
Small dominos become quirky dangly earrings.
- Clean two mini plastic dominos and paint or embellish as desired.
- Using pliers, attach earring wires or posts to the top of dominos with jump rings.
A large glass marble makes an eye-catching cocktail ring.
- Choose a marble about 1.5 inches wide.
- Using E6000 glue, adhere marble securely onto a adjustable ring base. Allow to fully dry.
Upcycled Toy Jewelry Designs and Ideas
Get creative with these fun ideas for repurposing toys and games into wearable jewelry:
Necklaces from Board Game Pieces
- Transform colorful game tokens into pendants by attaching a bail with wire or jump ring.
- Glue game pawns, houses, dice, etc. into clusters for focal bead necklaces.
- String game spinners, mini dominos, mahjong tiles like beads onto cord.
Bracelets from Action Figures
- Disassemble action figure limbs and accessories and reassemble into charm bracelets.
- Use ring bases to transform small heads or bodies into quirky rings.
- Cut figure pieces into squares to make funky stamped metal cuff bracelets.
Earrings from Jacks and Marbles
- Wire wrap jacks into loops or spirals for modern geometric earrings.
- Glue posts onto large marbles or jacks to create eclectic stud earrings.
- Dangle marbles from fishhook wires or leverback earring findings.
Rings from Dice and Dominos
- Use large dice or double-six dominos as the topper on statement cocktail rings.
- Incorporate smaller dice as shank detailing on bands.
- Stack multiple domino slices together for an abstract layered look.
Necklaces from LEGOs
- Mix LEGO bricks with beads into chunky beaded necklaces.
- Affix a loop onto minifigure heads, toys, or elements to dangle as charms.
- Cut and glue bricks into custom jewel shapes for mosaic-style pendants.
More Toy Jewelry Inspiration
- Employ game spinners, chess crowns, or chess knight bases as bezels for necklace pendants
- Use numbered Lego bricks to create whimsical monogram necklace or bracelet charms
- Incorporate plastic animals, trains, cars, dolls into children’s jewelry for a personal touch
- Cut toy shovels, rakes, or tool pieces from sand toys into geometric metal pendants
- Transform playing card suites into earrings by gluing ontoMETRIC earring posts or framing in resin
- Press plastic or metal game tokens into clay or resin to create dot imprinted beads and buttons
- Stamp game board pieces into metal blank cuffs or cut pieces to use in mosaic jewelry
- Stack game tiles or building bricks between pieces of glass for unique layered pendants
- Make glam cocktail rings by setting large marbles into ornate antiqued filigree bezels
The nostalgia and playfulness of old toys and games can be preserved and reused by upcycling them into one-of-a-kind jewelry creations. With some basic jewelry making techniques, you can easily transform sentimental toy parts into handmade accessories that are eco-friendly and infused with personal meaning. Whether working with chess pieces, marbles, LEGOs, dominos, or other toys, let your imagination run wild to design jewelry that celebrates treasured memories.