12 Ideas for Alternative Jewelry Supplies

Alternative Jewelry SuppliesAs you may know, I am a recycled jewelry artist.  (Though, I’ve been on a bit of a break to teach.)

You may wonder what exactly that means.  I make jewelry from materials that are upcycled and/or recycled.  I use materials that are either destined for the landfills or sitting around in sheds and cabinets and transform them into wearable art.  I use little to no new resources, and the new resources I do use I try my very best to use recycled or sustainable products or products from companies whose beliefs align with mine.

Once I started watching for alternative materials to make jewelry, I started to find them everywhere.  My dad’s garage, antique stores, thrift store, auctions, yard sales, the recycling bin, etc.  Friends started giving me things.  Their chandelier fell apart?  Okay, give it to Kim.  Old keys that no longer unlock anything.  Give it to Kim.  Scrabble tile games (and more and more and more Scrabble games lol) found at auctions.  Give them to Kim.

Alternative suppliesStrolling through the rows of a flea market you might find any number of interesting little pieces just calling out to be made into jewelry.

CompassThink of the adventure bracelet you could make with an old mini compass.

Fabric Buttons 4Or the awesome button rings you could make with these beautiful buttons!

Here’s a list of even more ideas of unconventional items to use in your jewelry making:

  1. Hardware:  washers, nuts and other hardware.
  2. Keys:  Skeleton keys are awesome, but other keys can be fun, too!
  3. Buttons (of course!)
  4. Game pieces:  Dominoes, Scrabble Tiles, Rumikub pieces, Monopoly and others.
  5. Coins
  6. Old bits of things:  pieces of rulers and other items.
  7. Old little numbers and letters.
  8. Clock hands
  9. Crystals from chandeliers
  10. Keyhole covers
  11. Old milk lids
  12. Plastic bottles:  cut them up into whatever shape you want!

Just keep an open mind and see what you find!  Just remember, be careful when thinking about making earrings to not make them with materials that are too heavy.  If you find things that are rusty, you can seal them so they’re safe against your skin.

Have fun!


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