Everything Old Can Be New Again: Make a Token Necklace

comments (0) August 11th, 2008     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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Make a one-of-a-kind necklace out of meaningful tokens or coins.
You only need a few materials to make a cool lariat necklace.
Slip the crimp on, add the token, and string the linen back through the crimp before taking the crimpers to the crimp.
Try on the necklace before finishing off the second end.
Make a one-of-a-kind necklace out of meaningful tokens or coins.

Make a one-of-a-kind necklace out of meaningful tokens or coins.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

I absolutely love turning an ordinary or old object into a new work of art. I don’t know how many times I’ve taken apart fusty vintage necklaces and turned them into something modern and chic.

An easy-peasy way to transform old streetcar or bus tokens, or even foreign coinage, is to create a lariat necklace with a couple of them. I used tokens I found in my hometown of Benton Harbor, Michigan, that were used for the streetcar that ran from the shores of Lake Michigan into town.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4-foot length of 1mm waxed linen
  • 2 tokens or coins
  • Two-hole metal punch (if your tokens don’t already have a hole)
  • Two 2mm brass crimps
  • Crimping pliers or chain-nosed pliers
  • Scissors or cutters


Step 1: Fold your waxed linen in half, wrap it around your neck, and slip the two loose ends through the folded end. Look in the mirror to see if you like where the two ends are falling on your chest. Trim the length with scissors or cutters until you are satisfied.

Step 2: If your token doesn’t have a hole, you will have to create one. Position your token in the larger metal punch and slowly twist the drill bit, verify that you are happy with where the hole is going to go, and proceed to slowly twist the bit until you have completely punched through the token. Slowly untwist the bit until the token falls off the bit. (Pulling the token off the bit can break the bit.)

Step 3: Slip a crimp bead onto one end of the waxed linen. Feed the end through the hole in your token and then back through the crimp bead, pulling the crimp bead down close to the token so that the token is secure and snug.

Step 4: Using crimping pliers, crimp your crimp bead in one direction and then in the opposite direction so it creates a rounded crimp on the waxed linen. If you are using chain-nosed pliers, just smash the crimp bead in one direction. Trim off the excess waxed linen. (At this point, I try on the necklace again to confirm the length before finishing the other end.)

Step 5: Repeat steps 2–4 with the other token. You’re done. You can fold the lariat in half, wrap it around your neck, and slip both ends through the folded end. Or experiment with wrapping it a couple of times around your neck and tying the ends loosely in a square knot. There are many different ways to wear your “everything old is new again” necklace!

All supplies and materials, except for the tokens, came from Fusion Beads.

posted in: necklace, how-to

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