How to Make Jewelry From Recycled Materials

Everyone wants to keep the earth green, and to recycle as much as possible. You can even make jewelry from things you might otherwise throw away. Here are some ideas for making jewelry from recycled materials.

  • String together loose items, such as spare keys, bolts, game pieces, etc. onto earring hooks or necklace chains.
  • Bend materials, such as forks and spoons, knitting needles or vinyl records, into necklaces, bracelets and rings. Heat these items until they're pliable and then bend them around a glass jar.
  • Drill a hole or two into Scrabble tiles or keyboard and typewriter keys. You can mod-podge over them or leave them as is. You can make a pendant or thread them onto a necklace or bracelet to spell out a name or a message. You can even use one tile or key for a ring. Cut colored pencils into small pieces and thread a necklace through them as if they were beads. You can do the same with a knitting needle.

[source: Witenski]


You can make paper beads to string on jewelry from wrappers, magazines, wallpaper, wrapping paper, etc. Here's one way to make paper beads:

  1. Draw ½-inch (1.3-centimeter) wide, 2½-inch (6.4-centimeter) long triangles on whatever paper you choose.
  2. Cut out the triangles.
  3. Spread glue on the side of the triangle that you don't want showing. (This will be the inside of the bead.)
  4. Lay a drinking straw horizontally on the table in front of you, on top of the wide end of the triangle.
  5. Roll up the triangle tightly around itself, onto the straw.
  6. Cut off both ends of the straw.
  7. Repeat this process until you have as many beads as you want for your jewelry.

[source: Paper U]