Published on September 14th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe


Crafty Reuse: 10 DIY Jewelry Projects from Recycled Materials

lace necklace

Store bought jewelry can come with a hefty environmental impact. From the new materials to produce them to the carbon footprint that goes with shipping them all over the world, that snazzy pair of earrings from the big box store are a little bit on the heavy side. Luckily, you don’t have to buy mass-produced jewelry! Instead, you can divert some waste from the landfill and whip up cute, DIY jewelry of your very own. Here are some projects to get you going:

  1. I’m loving these paper bangles from Alma Stoller!
  2. Karen Lee shared an awesome tutorial right here on how to make a crochet lace necklace.
  3. At Cut Out + Keep, you can learn how to give a sassy makeover to an old pair of earrings from your jewelry box.
  4. Got some spare wires lying around? Ecouterre shows you how to turn them into super fun, upcycled rings!
  5. Pick up an old spoon at the thrift store, and turn it into a custom, recycled pendant!
  6. Another tute at Ecouterre, this zipper cuff is a great way to give an old zipper a new life.
  7. One more from the CAGW vault: in 2008, Kelly Rand talked about the ins and outs of making sea glass pendants!
  8. Pull out some scrap fabric and ribbon and whip up this bold, bright upcycled poppy necklace.
  9. These jersey finger knit bracelets from V & Co are a perfect way to reuse a stained or torn t-shirt.
  10. If you’ve got a stash of old paint chips, Infarrantly Creative can show you how to turn them into a mod necklace.

What I’ve noticed in a lot of recycled jewelry projects is that they often call for metal findings, which can be one of the highest impact parts of jewelry-making. Here are some resources for finding ethical metal, so your upcycled DIY jewelry can be bright green.

Have you guys made any fun, upcycled jewelry? I’d love to hear what you’re working on in the comments!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

4 Responses to Crafty Reuse: 10 DIY Jewelry Projects from Recycled Materials

  1. Infarrantlycreative says:

    Thanks for including my paint chip necklace in your round up!

  2. juana says:

    I made some jeans’s seams bracelets, a necklaces with fabric pearls made out of upholstery fabric and paper beads…

  3. Pingback: Feelgood Style | Sustainable fashion reporting, organic beauty tips, DIY projects + tutorials, + natural product reviews.

  4. Pingback: Sustainable Fashion: The Top 50 DIY Recycled Jewelry Projects | WHOLE LIVING WEB MAGAZINE: CRAFTS

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