Can you believe this stunning necklace is made from a supermarket carton?

Papier mache necklace

It’s simple to make a necklace using papier mache

You will need:

✤ Egg box
✤ PVA glue
✤ Cocktail stick
✤ Chopstick or knitting needle
✤ Fine-grade sandpaper
✤ White acrylic paint
✤ Acrylic ink or paint
✤ Bead cores
✤ Decorative glass beads
✤ Waxed cotton necklace cord
✤ Kitchen sieve
✤ Medium and small bowls
✤ Varnish or embossing powder
✤ Spray adhesive
✤ Heat gun
✤ Board to protect work surface

Note: One cardboard egg box for a dozen eggs will make about 40 beads.

1 Tear up the egg box into tiny pieces and place in a bowl. Pour in some boiling water and leave to stand for at least an hour.

Papier mache jewellery

2 As if you were making a crumble, work the soggy box with your fingers until you have a soupy mass. You can speed things up by using a stick blender instead.

Papier mache jewellery

TIP If the clasps are too big to thread your beads on, you may need to take them off using two pairs of long-nosed pliers.

3 Tip into a kitchen sieve and press out as much water as you can. Squeeze about four tablespoons of PVA glue into the mix and work it well with your hands.

Papier mache jewellery

4 Pull off a small piece of the ‘clay’ and shape it into a ball by rolling it in your hands. Give it  a good 30-second roll so that it’s smooth and round, pressing over any visible cracks.

Papier mache jewellery

5 Carefully push the cocktail stick through the middle of the ball. Then use a chopstick, or knitting needle, to make the hole large enough for the bead cores. Repeat to make six more beads.

Papier mache jewellery

6 Leave the beads somewhere warm overnight to dry. Then, once completely dry, sand them a little to make them as smooth as possible.

Papier mache jewellery

TIP You can speed up the drying time by placing the beads over a radiator.

7 Apply a coat of white acrylic paint – this will make the top colour much more vivid. Then, once dry, paint the beads any colour you like with either acrylic paint or ink.

Papier mache jewellery

8 Either finish with a coat or two of varnish or, as we have, use embossing powder: first, pop a bead on the end of a chopstick and apply a little spray adhesive in a well-ventilated area.

Papier mache jewellery

9 Pour some embossing powder into a small bowl and dip the adhered bead into it, so it’s completely coated. Then aim the heat gun at the bead, keeping it turning – the embossing powder will melt and dry almost at once to give a lovely glassy appearance.

Papier mache jewellery

10 Use a little PVA to glue in the bead cores.

Papier mache jewellery

11 Thread the egg box beads on to the waxed cotton cord, alternating with decorative glass beads, or whatever you have handy.

A patterned necklace made from papier mache

This papier mache necklace would dress up any ensemble