Make Your Own Junk Jewelry
By Courtney Han
Junk Jewelry. No, we’re not talking about the plastic necklaces you get at a child’s birthday party and during Mardi Gras. Junk jewelry is jewelry made out of recycled objects. From colored pencil beaded necklaces to house key bracelet charms, junk jewelry knows no bounds. So, if you like recycling and showing off your creativity, this jewelery is perfect for you! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
“Found Objects” Charm Bracelet or Necklace
Instead of throwing away the small odds and ends around your home, make a one of a kind bracelet or necklace. It’s like a wearable collage, and you can use almost anything that’s small enough to fit on the piece of jewelry.
- A small hand drill to make holes in some objects
- Chain bracelet- you can buy this at a jewelry store or craft store, or you can make your own with jewelry chain and a clasp
- Small jump rings to attach the charms
- Pliers to put the jump rings through the objects and onto the bracelet
- Charms: buttons, old keys, game board pieces, paper clips, random beads, small doll accessories, coins, bottle caps, and lots more!
What to do:
Attach jump rings to the small objects and attach them to the bracelet. A true work of art!
Have a cup full of tiny, down-to-the-stub pencils? Don’t throw them away! They can be made into pencil beads and strung into bracelets, necklaces, and even earrings.
- Small saw, for cutting the pencils or crayons. You can use a kitchen knife for the crayons because they are soft.
- Thin string for stringing the beads
- Crayons and pencils: You can use regular or colored pencils, depending on what look you want. You will be using the entire pencil, so sharpen the tip if it is dull.
What to do:
Slice the pencil into small, even pieces. You can decide how long or short you want to make the beads, but a centimeter each is a good size. Next, drill a hole through the center of the pencil where the graphite runs through it, and voila! You have unique, hand-made pencil beads! Alternate colors, have a solid string, or do whatever you like.
T-shirt/Old Fabric Jewelry
In less than five minutes, your scrap fabric or old t-shirt can be turned into a new bracelet. Perfect for necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and anklets.
- Fabric or t-shirt
What to do:
Cut the fabric or t-shirt into strips. For the t-shirt, cut across at the armpits so that you have a tube, then cut the tube through both layers from left to right. The width depends on how skinny or chunky you want the jewelry. Next, layer the strips together and fold them in half. Tie a knot in the middle with a loop on top, part of the “clasp” for the jewelry. Knot, weave, or braid the jewelery. At the end, use the excess string to tie around the loop.
For more ideas, go to www.cutoutandkeep.com or read Junk Jewelry by Jane Eldershaw.