30 July 2010
Author: Brenna Weatherby
I have to believe that I get my love of jewelry from my grandmother. She had boxes and boxes of all different kinds of jewelry. Family heirlooms, costume pieces, as well as items that she had purchased on her travels. So when she passed away a few years ago, I made a point to keep all of the jewelry that I could find. I wanted to wear the pieces that fit my style and tastes. But I also wanted to take elements of pieces that I wasn’t so fond of, and reuse them in new pieces of recycled jewelry that I created to suit my style.
If you have a lot of unused jewelry like I did, chances are there are going to be a fair amount of pieces that you would like to reuse. After searching through the boxes that held my grandmother’s jewelry, I found beads, pendants and other findings that I was sure I could use in new pieces. I took beads from old earrings and necklaces, combined the ones that looked great together, added some new beads, and strung new necklaces and bracelets. I also used a number of pendants on new beaded necklaces as well as on simple chains.
Home Decor Ideas
In addition to creating new necklaces and bracelets, bits and pieces can be used to create other crafts, or add to things that you have around the house. This is really an idea with endless possibilities. Do you have a box of earrings that are broken or missing their pair? Why not dress up a plain picture frame by gluing the individual pieces to the outside of the frame. Or, decorate your jewelry box by fastening the individual pieces around the edge of the box. These individual pieces could also be attached around the bottom of a lampshade to add a bit of style.
Talk to a Jeweler
Other option for recycling unused jewelry is the creation of a completely new piece using the metal and precious stones. My grandmother had a large number of gold chains that I was not using, as I had removed the pendants for future use or the chains were broken. She also had some gold rings with beautiful stones, but I wanted to create something a bit different. So I looked into having the stones removed and gold melted, and used both to create a new piece. If you are interested in this technique, talk to a number of local jewelers before you move forward with an idea. Different jewelers are going to have different design ideas, and you may have to meet with a few before you come across the person who is going to design that perfect piece.
Letting Someone Else Recycle Your Jewelry
As I began to sort through everything that my grandmother had owned, I found that there were a number of items that I didn’t want to keep. I was coming across items that were broken and I could not easily fix, as well as items that I was not interested in working with. I researched how I could allow someone else to recycle the pieces, and found that I had a few options.
- First, there are a number of jewelry designers that purchase lots of items on websites like eBay and Etsy. Many of these designers have skills, such as metalsmithing, that I was not as familiar with, and you may not be either. They were much more interested in some of the pieces that I had than I was, and were willing to buy different sized lots of broken and unbroken jewelry.
- If you are searching for recycled items to use in future pieces, I would highly recommend checking the internet for jewelry lots. You’ll be purchasing a large quantity of items at a price that is much lower than you would pay if you were to shop retail. Also, if you’re the one selling the jewelry, you will be able to make some money that can be put towards purchasing supplies for other pieces that you want to create with some of your recycled items.
Whether you decide to turn unused jewelry into new pieces that you create, or you decide to let someone else use the items in their own pieces, there are a number of ways to work with recycled jewelry. Putting the jewelry to good use is better than letting it sit unused in a box or other container. I enjoyed recycling my grandmother’s jewelry, and every time I pick up one of my new pieces I have fond memories of her. Why not start creating your own recycled jewelry memories today?