DIY Hanging Gems

Wedding projects are in full swing over here at the Row House Nest. With my sister Roselie’s wedding set for June, we are beginning to put together all her DIY projects for her big day. First up? Amazing DIY hanging gems! She was eyeing up similar products online and they retailed for around $118 (yikes!). So the idea was, make the gems for… you got it… LESS. AND… wait for it…. My sister’s large hanging gems cost less than $10 a gem!!!!

Yup. LIKE, WHAT? And those are for the large ones.  The gems will be hung over the dessert table. We (family effort here) are making small ones for the tables as well. It looks complicated but it isn’t too bad. You just have to have a skilled hand with the cuts – once done, you can get up to a good speed once you sort out the technique of applying the Mylar. Read below to find out how to make your own different DIY hanging gems!

DIY Hanging Gems tutorial


  • Cardstock (for prototypes only)
  • Cello tape
  • White foam core (like this one) or corrugated plastic (white foam core is easier to work with)
  • Tissue paper or metallic Mylar (we used a metallic Mylar tablecloth from a party store which was around 5$ for a very large piece)
  • Glue stick – and Modge Podge in places where we needed a little extra strength
  • White duct tape (like this)
  • String or fishing line for hanging  (and something to tie it to inside so it can’t slip out)
  • Spray paint in different metallic colours (we used gold as we had it on hand)

DIY hanging gem materials


  • Box cutter or X-ACTO knife or a rotary cutter (like this one)
  • Metal ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Stapler (preferably a dog shaped one)
  • Protractor
  • Cutting mat (self healing is best like this one)

The Pentagon Gem (5 sided)

The internal angles are all 108 degrees and the 5 sides are all 5 inches long. Using the white card stock and the protractor, draw one 5 inch side and measure 108 degrees for each side (see diagram below on the left). Cut the single pentagon shape out and use it as your template to create the flower shaped pattern below (on the right).

Pentagon shape for hanging gem

Using the single pentagon template, trace and draw what will become your middle pentagon (the center of the flower) on your foam core or corrugated plastic. Take the single template shape and place it on each side of what is now your center, tracing out the flower like image. Cut the outside lines through the material and discard the outside pieces. The inside lines can now be cut but only half way through (so that they become flexible). These are lines that will bend to make the shape but don’t have to be taped. You need 2 of these shapes to create the finished gem.
Pentagon gem Row House Nest
Bend the cut out pieces on the lines to form a bowl and tape them using the white duct tape. Secure the edges with 1 1/2 inch pieces of tape. Tape both shapes and shift to that they fit into each other. Before taping them in place, punch a small hole in the centre of the top and thread the fishing line (or whatever string you decide to use) through. Tie it around a nail or washer and then tape it securely to the inside of your gem. Now hold the 2 shapes in place and tape all of the edges. You may have to gently force sides to come together properly as you tape them.  Now your gem is ready to bedazzled!

The Diamond Gem

This is a two-step shape. Using the foam core or corrugated plastic, draw a 5 inch pentagon in the middle, same as for the pentagon shape described above. On each of the 5 sides, find the middle (2 1/2 inches). Measure out 3 7/8 inches on a 90 degree angle. Draw a line parallel to the 5 inch line and mark the middle of it. Measure out 4 1/2 inches each way making a 9 inch side. Draw lines from the ends of the 5 inch side to the ends of the 9 inch side for all 5 sides of the pentagon. Cut through the material on all of the outside lines. Cut half way through on the dotted lines. Bend on the dotted lines and tape the flaps together. See the top image below.
diamond gem rendering Row House Nest

For the bottom, make a template using white card stock. Draw a straight line 9 inches long. From it’s mid point (4 1/2 inches), mark a point straight down (90 degrees) at 12 1/4 inches. Connect the lines to make a triangle and cut out. Using this template, trace the triangle onto the foamcore or plastic corrugated 5 times (see image above) joining them on the edges. Cut through on the solid lines and 1/2 way through on the dotted lines. Bend on the dotted lines and tape the shape together.

completed diamond gem row house nest

Punch a hole through the centre of the pentagon and feed the fishing line through. Tie it to a nail or washer and tape it to the inside of the shape. Now attach the top and bottom together using white duct tape. It is now ready to be bedazzled!

The “Bling” Gem (or an elongated pear shape) 

So this gem is a two-step shape. The top is the same as the soccer ball gem (5 inches pentagon previously described) and the bottom is pictured below. The bottom is not exact and so you may need to fiddle with it when you are taping it together to give it a cleaner edge.  To create this gem shape, start by laying out the shape of one of the 5 sides (see diagram below). Draw a centre line and measure and mark 11 3/4 inches then mark a point up 9 inches from the bottom. Using the protractor, at the 9 inch mark draw a line at 90 degrees. Measure out 4 1/8 inches each way from the centre. Join those 4 points to create a kite shape and cut it out. Using this template, lay out 5 of them joining them as per the diagram. Cut out the shape on the outside lines and cut 1/2 way through on the 4 inside lines and then bend on those 4 lines. Fold the shape into a cone and tape it together securely.

Bling Bottom rendering Row House Nest

Step two: Joining the two shapes together (soccer ball and bling). Fit the upper and lower pieces together and tape one of the joints together. Continue going around the edge taping one joint at a time. If the edges do not fit exactly, carefully use a box cutter to trim away any extra material (watch your fingers) then tape. Once all of the joints are taped, it is ready to be bedazzeled!

Steps for decorating the gems (same procedure for all)

We first prepped each shape by placing duct tape over most of the edges. Depending on how picky you are, you can prep the shapes by spray painting them gold before adhering your metallic fringe. We found this helped make the shapes look more put together and hide ‘gaps’. Also you can place Mylar over the areas where the shape comes together to create a cleaner look. While the shapes dry, get cutting your Mylar. Lay your Mylar on the mat and use the ruler to hold it down flat. Using the rotary cutter, slice the Mylar. To save time, we cut two pieces, staples them together at the end then used scissors to cut the fringe.

cutting fringe for hanging gems

 And more…

make your own metallic fring

So working from one of the bottoms, begin slowly applying the fringe using the glue stick. Trim the edges as needed. Just keep working and before you know it, you’ll be done!
how to add metallic fringe to hanging gems - DIY tutorial

 So far, these are the gems we have finished decorating. More completed pictures to come!
DIY hanging gems how to

This project is a real family affair – my dad, sister and myself are working together to get these completed for the wedding. Can’t wait for them all to be done – and photographed professionally at the wedding.  They are going to look so beautiful! More images to come.

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