How to Make Potato Jewelry - FeltMagnet - Crafts
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How to Make Potato Jewelry

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

How to Make Potato Jewelry.  No it's not turquoise, it's potatoes!

How to Make Potato Jewelry. No it's not turquoise, it's potatoes!

Go into any department store today and you'll find big chunky beaded jewelry at high prices. You can make your own department store fashion statement at a fraction of the price using, of all things, potatoes. Making jewelry out of potatoes is a fun and simple craft that is great for all ages. From the first step of making the potato beads, to the resulting gorgeous piece of jewelry, you are sure to surprise friends and family when they discover that the necklace you just gave them is made out of the same thing they find on their dinner plate.

Because you'll need plenty of time to prepare, this is the perfect craft for people that help out in a class regularly, like sunday school or a weekly senior group. Make sure to allow yourself at least 3 classes, or 2 weeks, for this project.

With a few inexpensive supplies you'll be making jewelry out of potatoes in no time.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

1 5lb (or as many as you want) bag of russet potatoes (or another type)

Peeling knife

Bamboo skewers

Wax paper

Acrylic paints

Acrylic spray sealer

Craft paint brushes

Embroidery floss/elastic thread

Scissors

Decorative Beads (if desired)

Long embroidery needles for beading

Old baking sheets

Glue

An instructional slide show on making potato jewelry

After 2 weeks, the potatoes are not a very pretty sight.

After 2 weeks, the potatoes are not a very pretty sight.

Potato beads ready for a fun project!

Potato beads ready for a fun project!

How to prepare the potato beads

You will need about 2 weeks to complete the process of making the potato beads.

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.
  2. Cut the potatoes to the desired size. For this demonstration I cut approximately 1 1/2" chunks. This size made large chunky beads. Note that the potatoes will shrink by at least a third, so if they are cut too small, they will break easily.
  3. Put the potatoes on the bamboo skewers and place them on wax paper covered baking sheets or another surface. Use a portable surface so they can be moved easily.
  4. Put the skewer filled trays in an out-of-the-way spot and let them dry for at least 10 days or up to 2 weeks.
  5. Important: Give each potato a twist on the skewer every day to prevent it from sticking to the skewer.
  6. Once they have dried completely and feel as hard as rocks, they are ready to paint.
  7. Leaving the potatoes on the skewers and using acrylic paints, paint each bead, making sure to cover the entire surface of the potato.
  8. Let dry overnight.
  9. Give the potatoes a second coating of acrylic paint and let dry overnight again.
  10. Once the painted potatoes are completely dry, spray them with an acrylic sealer spray. Do this step outside or in a well-ventilated area and keep kids away!
  11. Allow the finished beads to dry overnight.
  12. Take the beads off the skewers. Some may be tough to remove and there will be a few that break.
  13. The potato beads are ready to use.

How to Make a Potato Necklace

Making a necklace with potato beads is easy and takes no time at all.

  1. Using any surface, start by laying out your beads in a design. Add other types of beads for a different look. Once you are happy with the look, it's time to start beading.
  2. Thread a large embroidery needle with your desired thread. For this necklace I used embroidery floss. I always cut an extremely long piece of thread so that there is plenty of extra length for knotting. I would not recommend using elastic thread for a necklace. The bead weight will stretch it out as it hangs around the neck.
  3. The necklace in this demonstration is long enough to fit over a head, but if you want a shorter style, like a choker, then you'll need to affix a necklace clasp to the ends of the string.
  4. When finished beading, remove the needle from the thread and tie a knot. Make sure to tie the knot close enough to the beads so it disappears in the beading. This ensures a seamless finished look. Once you have the first knot tied, tie a few more for safe measure.
  5. Slip the necklace on and admire your handiwork!

* To make a bracelet, follow the above steps, but instead of using embroidery floss, I suggest using elastic thread. It makes it much easier to slip over the wrist and makes the bracelet more comfortable for daily wear. As with the necklace, a clasp can be added instead of knotting. It is your personal preference.

Helpful Hints

  • Make sure your needle fits through all of your different bead sizes.
  • Don't disassemble your bead layout once you have chosen it.
  • Before tying the knots in your necklace, make sure it will fit over your head. If not, add beads or a necklace clasp.
  • Tie at least 3 knots for safety and add a dab of glue on the knot for an extra hold.
Bracelets

Bracelets

© 2012 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 10, 2018:

Hi Celeste -

I know, it doesn't make any sense, but it works. It does take time though. But the results are always interesting and definitely unique!

Celeste Wilson on November 09, 2018:

I would never in a million years have thought of using potatoes to make beads. This is super cool. Thank you for sharing this craft. I love it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 30, 2015:

Hi lbrummer - Glad you think this project is interesting. I agree and it's not everyday we can tell someone we are wearing potato jewelry! Now if I could only figure out how to turn potatoes into diamonds (just kidding) !!!! Thanks for stopping by and reading. Have a great weekend!

Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on January 29, 2015:

Very interesting. This looks like a project anyone could enjoy.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 20, 2014:

Thank you JessicaBarst. It might be a bit difficult to do ovals, but it would definitely be fun to try. As they dry the shapes change, wrinkling and shrinking, but it would be worth it to see what they look like. Glad you enjoyed the hub and appreciate the comments.

Jessica Barst from Dallas, TX on August 16, 2014:

Oh how cool! I wonder if it would be too difficult to shape them into rounds and ovals? (Do I have enough patience for that??).

Thanks for the great idea! I always love to find new materials to make into jewelry :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 02, 2014:

What a lovely comment Dclark. I'm so glad you found this recipe and I hope you create some lovely pieces out of the potatoes. I still get people who are skeptical, but then they think it is really cool. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Dclark on January 01, 2014:

In the '70's my family moved to WA and my sister that lives here was wearing a necklace one day and I complimented her on it. She said she had made it, I ask her what types of beads they were and she said, "Potato beads". I tried and tried to get her to tell me the truth about the beads, and she kept insisting they were "potato beads". I've been dabbling in jewelry making for several years and I kept thinking about "potato beads", my sister passed away 1 1/2 years ago and I did not get the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I will be making them as soon as I get back from the grocery store.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 27, 2013:

Thanks Marian Designs!

Marian Cates from Columbia River Gorge, WA on June 27, 2013:

Wow, very cool.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 19, 2013:

Thanks so much agusfanani - You are right. Jewelry like this is really expensive in the stores. This could save a lot of money! I appreciate the comments.

agusfanani from Indonesia on June 19, 2013:

Considering the expensive prices of those beaded jewelries at the malls, I think you've given a breakthrough in this potato jewelry. This really a great idea. Vote up..

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 13, 2013:

Thanks azrestoexp! Glad you liked it and hope you have fun trying it. It is definitely fun to do and everyone gets a kick out of it.

Arizona's Restoration Experts, LLC on June 12, 2013:

This is the coolest thing ever!!! And I thought I was so smart. So excited, I can't wait to try this. Voted up.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 04, 2013:

I appreciate it Marian Designs. A few weeks ago I saw a potato necklace on someone and the woman was surprised that I knew what it was. They were really are conversation starters. Thanks for the nice comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 04, 2013:

Thanks so much IslandBites!

Marian Cates from Columbia River Gorge, WA on May 03, 2013:

Wow, I would never in a million years have thought of making jewelry from potatoes. But it looks great. You've done a great job with the photos and video. Enjoyable, to say the least.

IslandBites from Puerto Rico on May 02, 2013:

Great idea.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 01, 2013:

I appreciate it NornsMercy. Give it a try if you get a chance. It's loads of fun.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 01, 2013:

Thanks so much for the kind comments Tracy. This hub always surprises people!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 01, 2013:

Thanks prettynutjob30. I hope you give it a try.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 01, 2013:

Hi Eccentric-Lhee - I am definitely checking out your hub. I've never heard of orange peel jewelry. Glad you enjoyed this hub and thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 01, 2013:

Thanks so much Just Ask Susan! It really is fun and people always want to know where they can get some pieces.

Chace from Charlotte, NC on April 30, 2013:

How cool! I never knew you could make jewelry with potatoes...

Tracy Lynn Conway from Virginia, USA on April 30, 2013:

Very interesting! I would have never imagined making potato beads. Great explanation and images!

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on April 30, 2013:

Great hub, voted up, more and shared, this is really pretty.

Dawn from Canada on April 30, 2013:

This is great, I have a hub on orange peel jewelry, never thought of using potatoes though, great hub, voted up!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on April 30, 2013:

I've never seen anything like this before. Very interesting and the results are beautiful. I know a lot of people that would love to try making potato jewelry and I'll be sharing your hub as well as pinning it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 26, 2013:

Thanks vibesites! I hope you do give it a try to enjoy it. It is totally fun and unique!

vibesites from United States on April 26, 2013:

It's unimaginable that potatoes can be made into jewelry! Very creative, I would like to try my hand on this. This is might be the best way to start a conversation. Voted up and interesting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2013:

Thanks so much rajan. This is such a conversation craft. Wear a necklace like this and it is sure to be a conversation starter.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 21, 2013:

This is both creative and very attractive. If I had just seen and not read about it I would have known it was made of potato.

Excellent explanation and pictures.

Voted up, useful and beautiful. Shared and pinned.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 14, 2013:

I appreciate the nice comments livingsta. It really is a fun and unique craft.

livingsta from United Kingdom on April 13, 2013:

Wow, what a creative idea. I looked at the title and thought, how this could be possible. This is so beautiful. Looks very pretty too.

Voted up awesome and interesting. Sharing, pinning and tweeting!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 10, 2013:

Thanks so much Michelle. I appreciate it.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 08, 2013:

This is fun and creative, Glim! Way cool!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 07, 2013:

Thank you Kathryn - I hope you get a chance to give it a try. It really is a lot of fun.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 06, 2013:

Thanks so much. These are always fun to wear and tell people about because they never believe they are potatoes.

twig22bend on March 06, 2013:

Wow! This is really different and the jewelry is so attractive. Thanks for sharing.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on March 06, 2013:

That is so cool! I have never thought of turning potatoes into beads. I may try it sometime! Thanks for sharing this with us.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 06, 2013:

Thanks so much Daisy! I just wore the turquoise one the other day. My grandmother always said that potatoes were the perfect vegetable, but I bet she never knew she could make jewelry from them! I appreciate the comments and the share.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on March 06, 2013:

Glimmer,

Thanks for publishing this article. What a clever idea!

I've used potatoes in printmaking and as stamps, but not in jewelrymaking. I'm going to have to try this.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 12, 2013:

Thanks so much MixedKreations. When I first tried this I thought they would rot too, but they definitely don't. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Linda Keesee from North Texas on February 12, 2013:

How neat. I never would of dreamed of making jewelry out of potatoes. I would of thought that they would rot. I will have to give this a try. Your's turned out so lovely!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 01, 2013:

Thanks savingkathy! It's just one of those weird projects that turns out really nicely. It's also a great conversation starter at parties. I appreciate your comments.

Kathy Sima from Ontario, Canada on February 01, 2013:

Wow. I never would have guessed those beads were made with dried out potatoes. What an interesting idea. This looks like a fun project for kids. Thanks for providing such easy-to-follow instructions. The photos and video are great!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 20, 2012:

Thanks so much drosostalitsa! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and hope you give it a try.

drosostalitsa from Greece on December 20, 2012:

Great idea! Jewelry making is so fun, especially when using unusual materials. Thank you for sharing. I am definitely going to try this.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 27, 2012:

Cathy - I hope you give it a try. It is loads of fun and people get such a kick out of it. Thanks for visiting.

Ms. Immortal from NJ on November 27, 2012:

Wow, this is a first for me, I have never heard of potato jewelry but it looks like fun and is beautiful. Thanks!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 21, 2012:

Thanks so much Sherry! It's always fun to see a reaction when I tell someone what it is made of.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on November 20, 2012:

It's hard to believe those lovely necklaces are made from potatoes. Amazing.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 20, 2012:

I appreciate it Mary. My daughter had a blast doing this and it's always fun to tell people your jewelry is made out of potatoes! They never believe it.

Mary Roark from Boise area, Idaho on November 20, 2012:

This is so awesome. I had no idea that potatoes could be dried out and used in different ways like this. I'm actually pretty excited about the idea of trying this out. It would also be a super great craft for kids to do.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 19, 2012:

Hi Au fait - I think it would a great thing for kids to give as gifts. Everyone loves homemade things. Thanks for visiting!

C E Clark from North Texas on November 18, 2012:

Have never heard of this before. Sounds very interesting and just in time for Christmas so the kids can make their own presents.

Voted up and interesting!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 07, 2012:

Thanks so much 2besure! It still amazes that these pieces are made of potatoes and I wear them! I appreciate the visit!

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on November 07, 2012:

When I saw the title of this hub, I just had to read it! Nothing is impossible. What a creative way to make beautiful jewelry and create a conversational piece! Vote up!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 30, 2012:

Thanks Enelle Lamb! It's a lot of fun.

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on October 29, 2012:

Great idea! I might just branch out from wire wrapping to potato beads! Thanks for sharing this!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 20, 2012:

Thanks so much frogyfish. I would think that drying in the oven, no matter how low would actually cook them, but give it a shot. You never know. Someone else asked about a dehydrator. I imagine that that method might work better. I appreciate the comments.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on October 20, 2012:

Absurdly fantastic and beautiful! Will have to try your process soon - but couldn't I speed it up by drying slowly in an oven? This is totally unique, so thanks for your sharing here.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 06, 2012:

Thanks Margarita! It is amazing and people never believe me when I tell them it's potatoes! Great icebreaker if you are somewhere where you don't know a lot of people!

MargaritaEden from Oregon on October 04, 2012:

Amazing! I learn something new everyday, I had no idea you could do something like this with potatoes!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 27, 2012:

I appreciate it recappers. My daughter who is 9 really enjoyed it although she was a little impatient waiting for the potatoes to harden.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 27, 2012:

Thanks vespawoolf! My daughter really enjoyed it and had fun designing jewelry. I appreciate the vote!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 27, 2012:

This is a great idea, and so eco-friendly as well. With potatoes being so cheap and abundant here, I think it would be a fun project to tackle with my friends and their families. The kids would have a great time painting and stringing the "beads". Thanks so much...voted up!

recappers delight on September 27, 2012:

This is a neat hub. I am going to show this to my daughter. I think she might enjoy doing this.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 25, 2012:

I appreciate the comments lcbenefield! I hope your niece enjoys the jewelry.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 25, 2012:

Pringoooals - I hope you enjoy this craft. It's loads of fun. Thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 25, 2012:

Thanks so much Jamie! I think they would look great with glitter or they also have that metallic acrylic paint which would probably look great too!

lcbenefield from Georgia on September 25, 2012:

How fun! I cannot wait to try this! I would have never thought of using potatoes for jewelry. One of my nieces loves to make jewelry. She will go nuts for this idea. Thanks for shaing this.

Karina from Edinburgh on September 25, 2012:

How original! What a great idea. Potatoes are always available and such a great fun for the kids! I'am going to try it!

Jamie Brock from Texas on September 25, 2012:

I have never heard of making potato jewelry.. what an awesome idea! I guess when they are dried out, they are kind of like flowers that have been dried out? Thank you so much for such an awesome tutorial!! I could see maybe even adding some pretty glitter to them or wonder if you could dip them in resin to make them even more durable though they sound pretty durable already. Great hub, voting up!!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 23, 2012:

Thanks so much for your support ishwaryaa! I appreciate the comments. This jewelry is a lot of fun to make.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on September 22, 2012:

Potato jewelry concept is very unique, economical and creative! There are endless possibilities needed to be explored in the world of creative crafts! I am now into jewelry-designing course and studied the basics and details of this course with an ambition of becoming a professional jewelry-designer. Your hub is well-presented with a helpful video, clear instructions and eye-catching photos! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & pinned

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 21, 2012:

Thanks Torys Ten! I hope your daughters like the idea.

Torys Ten from Central Utah on September 21, 2012:

You have the greatest ideas! I'll show my jewelry making daughters this.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 21, 2012:

Thanks so much flash! I really appreciate it. These are fun and make great conversation pieces.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 21, 2012:

Thanks so much nularej! Your seven year old will have lots of fun.

nylarej from Ph on September 20, 2012:

@GimmerTwin Fan:

My 7-year old daughter just saw your potato jewelry and she is wanting it badly... We'll totally give it a try over the weekend then.

Also, I have pinned it to pinterest yesterday and got a lot of repins!

Marty Andersen from Salina, Utah on September 20, 2012:

I love the potato jewelry. Can't wait to try it myself! It's so fun to see the fun and creative things people come up with. Awesome hub!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 20, 2012:

Thanks nylarej! The nice thing about this is you can start it and set it aside for a while.

nylarej from Ph on September 20, 2012:

What an amazing and cool hub! How I wish I have spare time to do this again. I used to make recyclable jewelries and wish I can get more time probably with my daughter. She'll surely love this!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 20, 2012:

Thanks for the vote and share Movie Master! I can't wait to hear how your pieces turn out.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on September 20, 2012:

I just can't wait to give this a go! what a fantastic idea!

Thank you,voted up and shared.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 19, 2012:

Thanks tillsontitan! I appreciate the votes and share! Chunky jewelry is everywhere and with a piece like this, if it gets lost or broken it really is no big deal. With some of the paint colors out there one could get really creative too.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 19, 2012:

It is a little weird, but boy is it a conversation piece. Surprisingly, they only get an earthy smell and none of mine rotted, just got solid. The bigger pieces took longer to harden and they sure don't look pretty before they are painted. I always washed my hands after touching the potatoes. Thanks for commenting!

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on September 19, 2012:

That is a great (if a little weird) craft idea. Just one question, don't the potatoes start to smell or rot? The beads look great and so much fun, buying beads like that would no doubt cost, so this is an ingenious cheap idea. Thanks

Mary Craig from New York on September 19, 2012:

Who would've thought? As you point out, this idea is very timely. Big, clunky jewelry is everywhere and seldom cheap. This is a great project, a great alternative to expensive jewelry and a creative hub.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Shared with my followers.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

I appreciate it lyricwriter. It's one of those funky things that was really fun to do. The results are pretty cool.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

Thanks so much jennzie! It is definitely a conversation piece. People get such a kick out of the fact that they are potatoes.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

Hi suzzycue - Not sure how long they last, but they are sealed and painted so I imagine a long time. The key is to make sure the potatoes are fully dried out before they are painted and sealed. Thanks for the visit.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

Ignugent - Thanks so much for the votes. I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

Thank you so much Suzie HQ! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to do. It is such a fun unique thing.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

Thanks Tammy. It was lots of fun to do. I appreciate your support.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2012:

Hi barbergirl - I wondered about the dehydrator too, but since I don't have one I went the old fashioned route. Can you put the skewers in the dehydrator? I've never used one. I hope you give it a shot! Thanks.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on September 18, 2012:

Glimmer, you're such a creative gal. Great job on directions and more. Never dreamed of such a thing. LOL Awesome idea!

Jenn from Pennsylvania on September 18, 2012:

I would have never thought that you could make jewelry with potatoes! Very creative and cool idea. Voted up!

Susan Britton from Ontario, Canada on September 18, 2012:

I am in awe just like the other hubbers commenting here. How long do they last, a year, before they break down or do they stay exactly how you make them? Very Cool.