Trading in Old Jewelry for Cash
While it may be tempting to send in your gold jewelry for quick money, you need to protect yourself from scams. These days, there are plenty of "get rich quick" companies out there that will take you and your gold for a crazy ride. It's recommended that you go to a reputable jeweler, check the market price for gold and get more than one offer before you sell your valuables [source: Consumer Affairs].
Recycled Copper Jewelry
The most important tool you can have for making jewelry is a good set of pliers. If you're just creating the jewelry for fun and not as a serious hobby, you can get away with using needle-nose pliers and a wire clipper. Also, you can find a pair of pliers in ready-made jewelry kits. If you're serious about the hobby, however, you'll probably want to buy a nice pair for crafting. There are many different varieties of jewelry-making pliers, including flat-nose, round-nose, bent chain-nose or chain-nose [source: Harvey]. Talk to the jewelry expert at your craft store to help you make the right decision based on your needs.
For earring construction, you'll need copper earring hooks, which you can find in craft stores or online. From there, you can use the thin copper wiring from your built-in household appliances to add beads, stones, feathers or other decorative items to the earrings. You can also bend the copper to make fun zigzags or circular shapes [source: Bloglander].
For necklaces, rings and bracelets, you can use thicker copper wire or piping. There are many different kinds of copper, which means that some may be easier to bend than others. You can use thick pipes to make bracelets or cuffs that are easily removable [source: MadeItMyself]. You can also wrap thinner wire around thicker wire to add texture. Think of this process like twisting two pipe cleaners together.
To make recycled copper broaches or pins, you can find copper backings and clasps at the craft store or online. You can flatten large pieces or embed designs using a jewelry hammer [source: Lewton-Brain]. Then attach the backings to the jewelry using metal glue or by soldering.
If you have larger copper piping lying around, you'll be able to make much larger crafts. Read on to learn about recycled copper sprinklers.