Who doesn’t love rummaging through the recycled jewellery at second hand stores and garage sales looking for those special treasures to upcycle? I just love it and get so excited when I find something that’s pretty unique.

I’ve always collected bits and pieces and used recycled beads and various other parts in finished jewellery pieces but it’s only been the last 12 months or so that I’ve really taken to incorporating polymer and recycled pieces together.

This is one of the best stashes I found about 6 months ago.  This whole batch of necklaces cost me $13 and there are some treasures in here that’s for sure.  Check those amazing wooden round beads right at the  front.

I pull everything apart that I feel needs pulling apart and pop it into small containers or zip lock bags for use in upcoming works.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a theme in mind, gather a whole bunch of beads that fit the theme on your workspace, then mix and match until you’re happy with the finished look.  The necklace on the right was pulled apart 6 or 7 times until I was happy with the balance of the overall piece.  The clasp has been recycled from another piece I made a few years ago.

Rings can be included in your finished necklace pieces as well.  If you have a ring shank that can be easily manipulated, why not create a bail and use as is.  You’ll note I’ve used some of those gorgeous wooden rounds in this piece.

The necklace (top left) is a polymer creation made about 4 years ago now.  I decided to pull it apart and used the polymer components (with a mix of recycled beads) in two gorgeous, new pieces.

The piece on the left includes some luscious timber beads (long rectangles) which was from a bangle I pulled apart.

The beads in both of these necklaces came from some vintage necklaces.  They include some gorgeous bone tubes and textured bone disc beads.  The black feature components are polymer clay and they were originally created to use as clasps in large, statement pieces.  I didn’t quite like the way they sat so luckily was able to recycle them and created something new.

So you can see, with a little bit of time to rummage, some planning and imagination…the old, can indeed become new and incredible again.

I would love to hear and see your stories on how you recycle jewellery.  It’s such an exciting topic for me and quite important in this “disposable society” we find ourselves in now.

I hope you enjoyed the blog post today and feel free to comment or contact me with any questions or thoughts.

Have a great day everyone.

Love Deb




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Chris Kaitlyn
5 years ago

Very inspirational…getting my brain to think of new ideas. Thank you for the great article!