Handmade Jewelry Using Paper Clips: Cool Modernist Designs

Handmade Jewelry Using Paper Clips: Cool Modernist Designs


Humble paper clips offer amazingly versatile possibilities for handcrafting modern geometric jewelry designs. With some bending, twisting, and arranging, these miniature metal pieces transform into contemporary pendants, rings, bracelets, and more.

This guide explores innovative ways to manipulate standard paper clips into wearable art pieces. Learn techniques like weaving, linking, enameling, and wire wrapping to turn ordinary office supplies into extraordinary jewelry full of industrial elegance.

Benefits of Using Paper Clips for Jewelry Making

Paper clips provide unique advantages as a jewelry making material:

  • Ultra inexpensive and virtually unlimited free supply
  • Pre-formed wire shapes ideal for connecting and interlocking
  • Metallic finishes like silver, gunmetal, and brass
  • Easily cut and bent into new forms with household pliers
  • Lightweight paper clip jewelry comfortable for all day wear
  • Discreet components grouping together into bold statements
  • Solder-free crafting requires minimal tools
  • Offers opportunity for creative upcycling and reuse

Helpful Tools for Crafting Paper Clip Jewelry

With just a few basic jewelry pliers, paper clips become workable jewelry materials:

  • Round nose pliers – Shape bends into swooping curves
  • Chain nose pliers – Make precise 90° bends and angular connections
  • Flat nose pliers – Mold flattened paddle shapes
  • Wire cutters – Snip paper clips cleanly into custom smaller pieces
  • Needle files – Smooth cut ends and fine tune shapes
  • Ruler – Measure lengths and ensure symmetry
  • Masking tape – Temporarily holds pieces together before final assembly
  • Fine point permanent marker – Mark bends before shaping for consistency
  • Jewelry glue or epoxy – Secure stacked groupings and points permanently

Stock Must-Have Paper Clip Types and Sizes

Look for these versatile paper clip varieties:

  • Jumbo – Largest size optimal for statement jewelry
  • Giant – Long length allows spanning multiple inches
  • Standard – Most widely available size perfect for starting
  • Mini – Tiny details possible with precision handiwork
  • Steel – Strong and holds shape well with enameling
  • Brass – Lovely warmth complements gold metals
  • Colored – Painted or plastic-coated options add pops of color
  • Retro – Ornately twisted shapes mimic filigree
  • Clips with grip – Ridges and slides provide built-in textures

Techniques for Making Paper Clip Jewelry

Follow these tips and methods for turning paper clips into modern jewelry designs:

  • Interlock standard clips end-to-end to form elongated chains
  • Use pliers to twist and spiral paper clips into spring-like coils
  • Wrap straightened clips into concentric circles as textured ring bands
  • Bend wide loops for graduating hoop pendants, sliding beads, or linking chains
  • Cut clips then rejoin ends to resize and eliminate small loops
  • Layer and solder multiples into graduating fringe chains and tassels
  • Angle cut clip tips before pressing flat to create arrow, chevron, and star shapes
  • Eccentrically bend and angle cut legs to form abstract shapes
  • Use an engraving tool to etch names, dates, or messages onto flattened clips

Unique Jewelry Design Ideas Using Paper Clips

Looking for design inspirations? Discover fun ways to transform humble paper clips into fashion-forward jewelry:

  • Chunky bib necklaces formed from bold chainlinks made by concentric wrapped paperclips
  • Convertible friendship bracelets with giant clips bent into S-shapes and linked together
  • Layered bangle bracelets mixing hammered cuffs with clusters of soldered mini clips
  • Dramatic chandelier earrings with spiraled clip metals cascading in gradually lengthening tiers
  • Abstract pop art rings clustering painted and stacked pairs of angular folded clips
  • Sleek hollow sculptural pendants crafted by meticulously interlinking modified clips in modern shapes
  • Everyday stud and hoop earrings substituting bent clips for plain earring posts
  • Delicate wire wrapped tree branch necklaces embellished with tiny bird and nest charms cut from mini clips
  • Bold cuffs imprinted with inspirational words spelled out in straight and bent mini paperclip components
  • Convertible necklaces designed with giant clips on slides to adjust choker, lariat or bib lengths

Fun Embellishing Techniques for Paper Clip Jewelry

Take paper clip creations up a notch by adding color, texture, and shine:

  • Paint clips using enamel, nail polish, or model paint for any color imaginable
  • Dip clip ends in liquid enamel then fire kiln to set permanent color
  • Affix rhinestone crystals and pearls using jewelry glue on bent tips
  • Coat linear paper clip pieces in glitter saturated tacky glue then allow to dry
  • Sandblast the surface of untarnished brass clips to create an artistic etched look
  • Oxidize silver clips by simmering briefly in black tea to achieve an antique gray patina
  • Hammer flattened clips to imprint with pointed dot and line motifs
  • Soak clips in vinegar solution for varying times to develop verdigris green patina
  • Wrap colorful threads around linear clips sections before tightening and gluing ends

Professional Jewelry Design Tips

Apply these pro techniques for sophisticated paper clip jewelry:

  • Polish finished pieces with sunshine cloth to restore luster between intricate sections
  • Solder stacked groupings using paste solder for durability versus glue
  • Design convertible pieces that can be worn different ways like bib necklaces converting to brooches
  • Incorporate clasps and closures made from folded and linked paperclips to continue the theme
  • Display paper clip jewelry on acrylic busts and forms to showcase three dimensional sculptures
  • Photograph folk art paper clip designs styled on painted wood backdrops for a complementary color and texture
  • Bundle completed paperclip jewelry in reusable tin cans stamped with branding for eco delivery packaging
  • Etch logos, maker marks, names or collection titles onto the sides of flattened oval or paddle paperclip segments
  • Curate cohesive jewelry collections using specific paper clip sizes, finishes, or colors for uniformity
  • Name designs after paper clip lingo like “Jumbo”, “Bend”, “Twist”, “Clasp”, “Clinch”, “Grip”, “Clamp”


With some clever bending and connecting, humble paper clips transform from mundane office supplies into contemporary wearable art jewelry. Follow principles of upcycling by giving discarded items renewed purpose.

Let your inner engineering artist envision paper clips as building blocks for light, flowing, transformable designs. Craft moveable convertible jewelry,experimental modern sculptures, and customized embellished accents using little more than pliers and creative vision.

Paper clips remove barriers to designing jewelry, placing simple raw materials for innovating directly into hands. Discover the immense possibilities hiding within everyday mundane items when viewed through the creative eye.

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