From That to This: Southwestern DIY Ring Redo

By Brittni • posted on 02/15/2012

I found this super cheap ring from Forever 21 (I never go in there, but a friend mentioned it to me at Alt and I thought I would give it another try) and I fell in love with the design. It felt very southwestern / Native American to me, but it was missing something pretty important: color!

So I started fishing through my supplies to fix this little guy up and remembered that my paints didn’t make it in the move (they wouldn’t pack liquids for a cross country move for some reason) and my brushes are in storage – not much need for them without paint is there? So I pulled together the next best thing: nail polish and Q-Tips.

I know it sounds a little silly, but you can’t even tell the difference. Let me show you how to make your own…

Here are the materials I used: 1. nail polish (turquoise + red) 2. Q-Tips® Precision Tips (they’re new + pointy like a paintbrush – which makes them perfect for detail work)

And here’s how you can make your own…

1. Pour your first color of nail polish out on to a clean surface and dip your Q-tip in the polish.

2. Start painting the tiny details. Let the nail polish dry and then do another coat. The nail polish dries very quickly, so it won’t take long.

3. Get your next color out and start painting the same way as the first. For larger areas like the one I painted red, you’ll definitely want to do several coats or nail polish to make sure its evenly covered.

4. Finish with a clear top coat if you have one and you are good to go! Here’s the finished piece…

Oh, and then I added a little more nail polish to the outer edges (so this is more like the finished, finished piece)…

Not bad for items I had around the house already, huh? I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I’m planning to keep a pack of these little cotton swabs handy for future projects. They are great for crafts. Find more ideas on the official Q-tips Facebook page.

And if you have a few minutes, someone created a couple of crazy things out of Q-Tips and then made a video of it (there is a Q-tips sleep mask in there). It’s a really cute video.

Disclosure: I was compensated by the advertiser for this editorial feature. All opinions and ideas, however, are my own.

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37 comments | Click here to reply

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Gorgeous color combinations

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[…] DIY Cheap Ring Redo. I love these tutorials that take cheap jewelry and change them up. I’ve seen more elaborate plastic jewelry on Etsy that has looks like it was “painted” using polish, pens and paint and posted a plastic bracelet I loved here that was painted using ink (from description of materials). Really clear tutorial at Papernstitch here. […]

Felicitaciones, todos tus trabajos son geniales. Gracias por compartirlos. Saludos y suerte.


So stinkin’ CUTE!! And creative!!!


Modifying a plain ring with nail polish, how cool is this?…

Strangekitty (@Strangekitty_ca)

I love what you came up with for your version of this ring Geena. Thanks for sharing the link. Great color combo.


Great idea! I gave it a try but didn’t have those pointy qtips so it didn’t come out as precise. You can see mine in this post:


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fashion fix | alice noir

Hi Ayshe. No, I haven’t had any problems with chipping since I put the top coat on. I don’t wear it every day though, so it doesn’t get extreme wear. Hope that helps.


What a great idea. Could you tell me iff the nail polish chipped off after a while, especially on a piece of jewellery such as a ring that gets a lot of bashing? Thanks, Ayshe x

Ayshe Brandts

Love this DIY!!! “@papernstitch: have you seen my southwestern #diy ring redo? it’s new!â€

Janee Lookerse (@JaneeLookerse)

RT @Qtips: LOVE fun #costumejewelry? Here’s #howto brighten it up with @Qtips Precision Tipsâ„¢ & nail polish! via @papernstitch

(@Craftyfinds) (@Craftyfinds)

LOVE fun #costumejewelry? Here’s #howto brighten it up with @Qtips Precision Tipsâ„¢ & nail polish! via @papernstitch

Q-tips® (@Qtips)

Improve your #jewellery with nail-polish with this easy tut from @papernstitch #crafting

Craft Rehab (@CraftRehab)

[…] rings are kind of my thing right now (remember this diy from last week). So here’s a shop with lots of chunky rings to look […]

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Definitely pulled this trick before 😉 RT @alitacreates: Nail polish has many uses. Add jewelry updates to the list.

AFB (@AFBeadedJewelry)

Nail polish has many uses, car scratches and wall gouge touch ups for example. Add jewelry
updates to that list.

Alita Creates (@AlitaCreates)

From That to This: Southwestern DIY Ring Redo Nail polish goes a long way!

Princess Jasmine G (@StylebyJasmine)

Such a good idea. So simple but effective


Thanks for sharing this awesome redo idea! 😀


great idea!! “@CRAFTEDport_la: I love when some reminds me that I can like my old stuff again.â€

Korie Su (@ReTiedHeadwear)

thanks ry! the “duh” projects are the ones i enjoy doing most. glad it sparked something for you. 🙂 thanks for stopping by!


Holy smokes. This is so clever!! Thank you for this. A big “duh” moment for me. (In a great way)

Ry Pepper

Love it!


I love how simple and fabulous this idea is!


thanks shade tree. 🙂


Brilliant Idea!

ShadeTree Studio

From That to This: Southwestern DIY Ring Redo via @sharethis

prairiefibers (@kbaxterpackwood)

hey brianne! yeah, they have been working really well as paint brushes. never thought about using pencils or skewers – that’s a good idea though. these would make really good gifts too – the ring was only $3.90 at Forever 21 and the q-tips and nail polish i already had. so its quite the bargain. thanks for stopping by!


wow, these qtips seem VERY handy. I am always looking for something to use like this and most often I end up with a pencil or bamboo skewer, neither of which hold paint very well. Love the ring conversion, too! These would make great gifts


Cool idea, a splash of color RT @papernstitch: this to that: #jewelry makeover using nail polish? #diy

erosasjewelry (@erosasjewelry)

Thanks Brandi. 🙂


SUPER COOL DIY: From That to This: Southwestern DIY Ring Redo | papernstitch @papernstitch

Keeping It Indie (@keepingitindie)

SUPER COOL DIY: From That to This: Southwestern DIY Ring Redo | papernstitch @papernstitch

Brandi Powell (@sweetharvey)

Loving this – so cool! What a clever idea to put new life into a ring. I would never have thought of that!

– Brandi

Keeping It Indie
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