Making crafts by hand can be extremely rewarding, and people have been using copper to create a variety of materials for thousands of years. For example, cave dwellers used copper axes as weapons and tools for survival. And archaeologists find copper items regularly during excavation projects. In fact, a copper pendant that dates back to 8700 B.C. turned up in the region that is currently known as northern Iraq [source: CDA].
Copper is everywhere. Although you might not notice it, it's all over your house. If you live in a single-family home, you most likely have 439 lbs (199.127 kg) of copper surrounding you right now [source: CDA]. Some of the copper will be located in built-in household appliances. When these appliances break, it's easy to make a phone call and have them hauled away. However, you can also strip out the metal to make recycled copper crafts.
Artists and architects use copper in a variety of projects. Some large copper projects, such as the Statue of Liberty, which contains a whopping 179,000 lbs (81,193 kg) of copper, are best left to the pros. However, there are still plenty of smaller crafting projects to tackle in your down time.
First and foremost, you're going to have to get your hands on some copper. If you have old appliances, you can strip out the wiring to expose the copper. You can also purchase recycled copper tubes or sheets from your local scrap metal company or hardware store. If you are purchasing recycled copper, make sure you're getting it from a reputable source so that it doesn't contain impurities [source: CDA]. Once you have the product in hand, you're ready to get crafting.
In this article, we'll take a look a recycled copper jewelry, sprinklers, sculptures and mobiles. Let's get started by learning about jewelry.