Making Jewelry From Recycled Materials

Written by porcshe n. moran
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Making Jewelry From Recycled Materials
(glass bottle:Paul Bodea, tools:geishaboy500/THOR, all other photos from stock.xchng)

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Types of Jewelry

People of any age range and skill level can make jewellery from recycled materials. You can make the jewellery for yourself, give it as a gift or even start a business selling it. Bracelets, necklaces earrings and rings are some of the types of jewellery that can be made from recycled materials. The type of jewellery that you want to make will determine the materials and tools you will need.

Making Jewelry From Recycled Materials
Bracelets are easy to make from recycled materials.


Making jewellery from recycled materials is a relatively inexpensive hobby, because most of the recycled materials can be found around your house. Everything from glass, paper, wine corks, bottle tops, newspapers, safety pins and typewriter keys can be recycled into jewellery. Not only is it affordable, but it also helps the environment. In her book "Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects," Carole Rodgers writes that the size, weight and fragility of the materials should be considered. Also, she suggests avoiding objects with sharp edges.

Your level of skill is another factor in picking materials. For example, making beads out of recycled glass, which requires the use of a blow torch, is more difficult than using safety pins to make a bracelet. When working with recycled materials, it is important to clean the materials thoroughly before you begin using them to create your jewellery.

Making Jewelry From Recycled Materials
Turning recycled glass into beads is an advanced jewellery making skill.

Tools and Equipment

Tools for basic jewellery-making include pliers, wire cutters, scissors, glue, clasps, threading needles, wire, thread, and tin snips. For more advanced projects, tools such as hammers, blow torches, drills and centre punches might be needed. Consider the safety procedures associated with the tools and equipment you are using. Work gloves and safety goggles can protect you while making jewellery from recycled materials.

Making Jewelry From Recycled Materials
The right tools are essential for making jewellery from recycled materials.


Instructions for making jewellery from recycled materials can be found in books, on videos or on the internet. There are also workshops and classes that you can take to learn the proper techniques from people experienced in making jewellery from recycled materials. Make sure you have all of the supplies you need before starting the project. Use a ruler to measure items such as wire so that your jewellery will be the correct fit. Choose a clean, spacious work area and give yourself plenty of time so that you can work at a relaxed pace.

An easy example of how to make jewellery from recycled materials is a safety pin bracelet. First, organise your materials. You will need safety pins, seed beads, spacer beads, elastic cord and scissors. Next, thread the seed beads and spacer beads onto the safety pins. Cut two pieces of cord to the specified length and string one piece through the top and one piece through the bottom of the safety pins until the bracelet is long enough for your wrist. Tie the ends of the bracelet together and make sure everything is secure before you wear it.

Making Jewelry From Recycled Materials
Find resources on jewellery making techniques.

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