I have always had a love for crafting. It’s just so much fun to have an idea in your head and see it come to life as a real thing. Sometimes it works out great. Other times not so much lol. I have been obsessed with upcycled crafts for a few years now. I have so much fun thinking of new ways to use things and finding ways to put something to use rather than adding it to a landfill somewhere. This cute upcycled keyboard necklace is a great way to use old computer keyboards. You can get quite a few different necklaces out of one keyboard. You can even make matching earrings, bracelets, and tons of other fun ideas with them.
If you have a bunch of keyboards laying around like we do it’s a pretty safe bet that you may be a little nerdy. I thought that showing off that nerditude (yes, that’s totally a word!) would be a great tutorial for this upcycled keyboard necklace. Of course, you can use whatever word you want. I find that four-letter words tend to work the best.(Not those four-letter words!! Although it does make for a fun conversation piece when you casually drop F-Bombs with your jewelry)
Supplies Needed to Create a Keyboard Necklace
This one is a little more advanced than my previous tutorials. I promise you though if I can do this anyone can. If you feel uncomfortable working with a Dremel use a few keys that you won’t be putting in your jewelry. The space bar can be great to practice on until you get the hang of it!
All of the tools and supplies you need can be found at any craft store or an online shopping site such as Amazon. Many of them are even available at Walmart or Target!
- 1 old computer keyboard
- Craft and Jewelry Tool Kit ( more information on this below)
- Variously sized jump rings (8 small and 5 medium)
- 1 Lobster Clasp
- Dremel tool with flex attachment
- Small Dremel bit set
- Jewelry making link chain (bulk)
- Helping Hand Soldering Tool
How to Make a Computer Keyboard Necklace
The first step to making our necklace is to actually remove the keys you want from your keyboard. Use a pair of needlenose pliers to get under each key and carefully pop it off of the board. If your keys are super close together you can use a clay sculpting tool or craft pick to get the first few off and then go to the needlenose pliers.
If you are upcycling a keyboard that you are no longer using you will most likely need to clean your keys once you remove them from the board. This can be done by using warm soapy water.
Once your chosen keys are removed from the board and cleaned it is time to remove the middle part that holds each key into the board. Every keyboard is different so yours may not have this. If not, or if it doesn’t bother you, just skip this step.
Place a key into the helping hands. (Yes, this tool is for soldering but it is SO helpful for jewelry! I am pretty sure that they make them specifically for jewelry making but I just stole this one from my husband lol) This will help hold the key while you are working on it and will keep you from accidentally hurting yourself.
Using a saw tip on the Dremel tool remove the inner nub off of each key so that it is as flat as possible across the back of the key. Once you have removed each piece you can go back in with a sanding tip to smooth things over better.
Once you have the back of each key smoothed over you can switch to the drill attachment. I used the smallest drill bit available to do the first pass and then went in with a drill bit one step up to make the hole large enough for the jump rings to fit through.
You want a hole on each side of the key and you want to line them up as much as possible. If needed, you can use a chalk mark across the key to ensure your holes are level. Once you are ready to assemble your upcycled keyboard necklace you can take a damp cloth and wipe the chalk away with ease.
Add a medium-sized jump ring to each of the holes that you drilled in your keys. Connect the jump rings between the letters together so that your word is linked together with an open jump ring on each side of the word.
It is a lot easier to get in there and connect your rings if you are using a jewelry tool set. The different types of pliers are so much help in holding your pieces and really getting in there to make sure your jump rings are closed securely without overdoing it. They are super affordable on Amazon, but I have even seen them at stores like Harbor Freight if you are on a tight budget!
Once you have your word put together it’s time to attach your chain. I just eyeballed it to decide how much I wanted to add on either side. You can measure your neck to get a precise amount of chain to use. You want it to be equal on both sides of your word, however, so that it doesn’t hang weird.
I went a little over the size that I wanted mine to be so that I could hold it up and get a feel for where exactly I wanted my word to land. Once I had a length chosen I marked the ends of both chains and chose a point to add the lobster clasp on one side and a medium jump ring on the other. Using the cutters in my jewelry tool kit I cut the excess chain off and checked to make sure all of my jump rings were closed evenly.
If you want you can add a charm in the middle, add beads between the letters, or any other embellishments to make this cute upcycled keyboard neckalce match your own personal style. I have a few made that I have added 3D printed characters to, beads, to, and many other things. Once you start thinking up words to use you can really get creative with this basic necklace.
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