How to Make Jewelry Out of Recycled Stuff

Written by julia hanna
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How to Make Jewelry Out of Recycled Stuff
Make a necklace out of old buttons. (buttons image by leafy from

Creating jewellery out of recycled items is a frugal way to reuse objects. You can use old buttons that have come off of clothes and beads from broken jewellery to make a new necklace and bracelet. You could purchase beading floss to make the necklace but it is more economical to use thread that can be found in most sewing kits.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Large tin
  • Old buttons (2-holed)
  • Old beads
  • Jewellery pliers
  • Sewing thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Elastic stretch cord

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    Make a Necklace Out of Recycled Buttons and Beads

  1. 1

    Sort all of the buttons into a large tin and use jewellery pliers to take the beads off the broken jewellery.

  2. 2

    Cut off two strands of thread measuring at 30 inches each, which will create a necklace that's long enough to slip over your head.

  3. 3

    Take both pieces of thread and knot them together securely at one end. Slip on the first button making sure that one thread goes through one hole and the other thread goes through the other hole.

  4. 4

    Take two beads and add one to each strand of thread.

  5. 5

    Select another button and make sure both strands of thread go through different holes.

  6. 6

    Continue the pattern of button, beads, button and beads until both strings are almost entirely filled. Finish off by securely tying together both ends of the string. Use the scissors to cut off any extra thread hanging off the necklace.

    Make a Bracelet to Match Your Necklace

  1. 1

    Measure around the diameter of your wrist. Add two inches and cut two lengths of elastic stretch cord to that measurement. Knot the cords together at one end.

  2. 2

    Slip on the first button, making sure each strand goes through a separate buttonhole.

  3. 3

    Add a bead on each strand of the bracelet.

  4. 4

    Put another button on the bracelet, making sure both strands go through different buttonholes.

  5. 5

    Continue with the button, beads, button and beads pattern until you have added enough to go around the diameter of your wrist. Knot together both ends of the elastic stretch cord and snip off the excess.

Tips and warnings

  • Sort out matching beads and buttons for making the necklace and bracelet.
  • Add a clasp if you want to shorten the length of the necklace.

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