How to Make a Credit-Card Bracelet

May 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Recycling, Tips | 103 Comments

Everyone knows that credit cards are for buying stuff you can’t afford. You get the stuff now, but don’t have to pay until, uh, later. Credit cards are based on the obsolete premise that in the future you’ll have more money than you have today. In the current economy, using credit cards to rack up high-interest debt is the world’s dumbest idea. The time has come to throw that credit card away —

Or to give it a whole new life as something else. Instead of using your credit card to buy a bracelet, why not turn the card into the bracelet? Pretty much useless for their original intended purpose, credit cards are like the vanished currency of a long-lost civilization. And just as humans have always adorned themselves with shiny accessories made of old coins, the time has come to do the same with credit cards. More lustrous than real gold, durable yet permeable, “gold cards,” “platinum cards” and American Express cards in particular make glorious jewelry. Repurpose these relics into tomorrow’s gems.

A step-by-step photo guide

Before you get started, you will of course need to salvage an old credit card that you’ve discarded — or a new credit card that you’re about to stop using!

cut the cards into little pieces

1. Cut the card into your chosen shapes: squares, rectangles, and ovals work best. Try to get at least six pieces out of each card.

trim the corners until they are rounded

2. If you’ve chosen squares or rectangles, trim their corners to form curves. (A bracelet that jabs you or catches on things is not a fun bracelet.) Arrange the pieces in an order that pleases you.

drill two holes along each edge

3. Using an electric drill, make holes in each card-piece through which loops will be inserted. Ensure that these holes are close enough to the edges of the plastic to accommodate at least half the diameter of each loop. Also ensure that the holes are big enough to allow the loops smooth movement. (Lacking a drill, you can make holes in the pieces using a hammer and a small nail, but the impact will create unwieldy raised edges around the holes on the reverse side.) Interior pieces need two holes at each end (equalling four holes per piece); the terminating pieces need two holes on one edge and one central hole on the final outer edge (equalling three holes each) for affixing the clasp mechanism.

Thread connecting loops through each hole and squeeze them closed

4. Insert loops through holes to connect all the pieces. Squeeze the loops tight so that they won’t slip off. Affix clasp mechanism of your choice.

The final product

Voila! The final product.

Your new credit card bracelet

5. Enjoy your finished credit-card bracelet.

Other types of jewelry can also be made with credit cards.

A ring made from a credit card and broken windshield glass

The credit-card ring — with windshield-glass “gems” scavenged from the scene of an auto burglary.

earrings made from a Visa card

Credit-card earrings. Use your imagination to find ways of incorporating cards into other jewelry (or jewelry parts) that you’ve scavenged.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.