With environmental awareness has risen the need for the use of eco-friendly materials in every walk of life. People are more concerned now, and are looking for ways to reuse and recycle the things they may have simply discarded otherwise. Among all the items that can be created with recycled material is jewelry. You will be amazed at the number of things you can do with bottle caps, glass bottles, your old t-shirts, feathers you find on the streets, and other such material. For those of you who like to explore their creative side, and do something for the environment, here's how you can make some awesome jewelry from recycled materials.
Paper Mache Jewelry from Recycled Newspapers
Paper mache is the best form of recycling old newspapers and other paper scraps. Use a paper mache recipe to prepare it, and then go on to making jewelry with it in different shapes. For instance, you can make paper mache beads and run them through an old electrical wire to make your very own necklace or bracelet. On the other hand, you can make huge pendants in a variety of shapes such as stars and hearts with paper mache, along with matching earrings. The only new material you will need here are the French earwires and jump and split rings to connect these parts. Paint these in a splash of a single color, or a rainbow of colors, and you have some amazing jewelry to sell.
Earrings from Beer Bottle Caps and Soda Cans
So you keep downing beers and keep discarding the caps. Ever thought of retaining them as a memory of the good times you've had? If you have retained beer bottle caps, then making earrings from them is the best way to recycle them. Simply punch a hole at the top end of the cap and run the earwire through it. You can also make a longer earring by stringing together about three caps with wires through the center. Leave the earrings as they are or paint over them to give them a designer look.
All those old t-shirts, shirts, dresses and scarves can be now put to great use by making gorgeous necklaces with them. Cut together strips of a variety of fabrics, roll up these strips, and braid them together to make a simple necklace. Choose the combination of colors and fabrics wisely. For instance, you could make a braided necklace with an orange scarf and a black t-shirt for a color contrast and a contrast in texture. Another great idea is to take an old electrical wire (they make the best chains for recycled necklaces), measured to the size of your neck and a little extra for leeway, and start by balling up a piece of fabric at one end (a medium size), followed by a button from an old blouse, and a piece of fabric, and then a button, in an alternating fashion, up to the other end. Finally, connect a silver hook to the wire, and you are good to go.
Accessories with Tire Tubes
Pick up feathers you find on the streets, or cut out huge feathers from tire tubes to make wonderful earrings. Tire tubes can be found at dump yards, and are great materials to make earrings with. You can also make handcuffs by carving a strip of the desired widths with a blade (preferably while it is held in place on a wooden block or a cutting board) into patterns of your choice. These could be geometric shapes or random cuts through and through. Again, use a bracelet hook with a connector to hold the cuff in place. Tire tubes are quite flexible and can be used to make several other pieces of jewelry. For instance, make loops with these tubes, and then run them through a strip of tire tube to make a necklace. Paint them over with eco-friendly paints to add color to them, or wrap them with comic strip cuttings from newspapers, and apply a coat of clear nail polish to protect the paper.
Keyhole Earrings and Necklace
Sifting through a thrift shop may bring you across brass keyholes that can be beautifully transformed into earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Working with brass may be a little difficult as you do need to be careful while punching holes through them. A good quality brass hole punch will do the trick. Punch a hole at the top of a keyhole to make way for a chain (from an old piece of jewelry, preferably in the color of the brass keyhole) to pass by. You could make a charms bracelet by following the same method for other keyholes. Again, the hole punch will be required to make earrings too. These look gorgeous and give an appearance of vintage jewelry. Just polish them, once they are ready, so that they look as elegant as ever.
It is very easy to make jewelry from recycled materials. All you have to do is scout around for things that can be reused, including circuit boards, plastic sheets, chocolate box covers, buttons, old newspapers, and the like, and try and think as creatively as possible. Remember to keep the necessary tools at hand to reuse them, and practice safety measures to do so. You are bound to be able to make some beautiful jewelry from recycled materials which can then be given out as gifts or used to help you create your own recycled jewelry business! Enjoy!