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Recycled Jewelry Craft Ideas

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Old Jewelry in Box

Making jewelry from recycled items can result in beautiful, unique, and fun bracelets, earrings, etc. This is a guide about recycled jewelry craft ideas.


Solutions: Recycled Jewelry Craft Ideas

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Recycled Domino Pin

Completed project.Use your imagination and leftover scraps from other craft projects to create one-of-a-kind pins for yourself or for inexpensive gifts. This pin was created using a domino, canceled postage stamps, a tiny button, and gold embroidery thread.

Approximate Time: About 1 hour


  • domino
  • canceled postage stamps
  • tiny button
  • gold embroidery thread
  • acrylic sealer (or Mod Podge)
  • pin back
  • craft glue
  • scissors
  • small paint brush
  • gold acrylic paint


  1. Place stamps on domino, overlapping them some, until you are pleased with the placement. Carefully lift each one and glue in place.
  2. Cut several pieces of gold thread about 1 1/2 inches long, and glue in place around one end of the domino. Glue a tiny button on top of the threads near the corner of the domino.
  3. Paint outer edges of domino gold.
  4. Using a small paint brush, apply a coat of acrylic sealer to top of domino and allow to dry. You can apply additional coats, if desired, but allow time to dry between each coat.
  5. When completely dry, turn domino over and glue on a pin back.
View of back of domino with pin added.

By Rachel's Mom from Wilkesboro, NC

Tip: Make Your Own Guitar Pick Earrings

My daughter wanted some neat earrings she had seen at the mall, but they were pricey. She decided she would make her own. She took two guitar picks and heated a sewing needle to poke a hole in the tops of the picks. She then inserted jump rings and ear wires to make her earrings. They turned out really cute. A necklace to match could also be crafted.

Some people have made jewelry out of hotel room keys. I've never made any, but I think you could cut them into various shapes and make earrings in the same way mentioned above. I've also seen old credit cards cut up and crafted into these items. You can choose to decoupage a photo or design onto the plastic. If earrings are out, then you could craft a necklace or bracelet out of this plastic material. If you need a larger hole poked in the plastic, a heated nail works as well for this purpose. Just hold it with some pliers so as not to get a burn.

Note: Old credit cards are useful for fridge magnets. I use them for the stiff backing for my cross-stitched fridge magnets. Glue the cross-stitched design on the card, allow to dry and attach a magnet with tacky glue. When I get "junk mail credit card offers" I have plenty of these cards.

Source: My daughter

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

Craft Project: Recycled Jewelry Brooch

Instead of throwing away a single earring because you lost one or getting rid of broken necklaces and bracelets, use what is left to create one-of-a-kind pins.

Approximate Time: About 30 minutes


  • jewelry findings
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks or E6000 glue
  • wire cutters
  • pin back
  • piece of cardboard (optional)


Cut the post or clip from back of earrings and disassemble broken jewelry.

Lay pieces out until you get them in a pleasing design that suits you.

Carefully lift each piece and apply glue to hold in place.

When glue is dry, turn piece over and glue on a pin back. (If necessary, you can use a piece of cardboard as a base for your design.)

By Rachel's Mom from Wilkesboro, NC

Craft: Jewelry From Recycled Giftcards

Make fun jewelry with used gift cards rather than throw them away! Cut them into desired pieces, drill holes using an electric drill and drill bit, then connect pieces with jump rings. Finish by connecting desired clasps to each end of bracelet or necklace with jump rings. If you have any rough edges, use a dremel or sand paper to smooth edges.

By Dominique from Kalamazoo, MI

Tip: Bobby Pin Jewelry

Bobby Pin NecklaceDid you know that bobby pins now come in many colors? On one of my visits to the local discount store I found a huge selection of colored bobby pins along with the normal colored ones. I decided to see what a necklace would look like with these dangling. I thought it was great because you could coordinate with your outfit. You could even do earrings.

By Louella from Billings, MT

Recycled Cardboard Bangles

cuff and bangle braceletsThese bangles are made with recycled cardboard tape rolls. They are all made into bracelets that you can wear on your arm. They are very inexpensive and fun to make!

Approximate Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cardboard tape roll
  • 1 6 x 6 piece of fabric, any color any pattern
  • duct tape, any color, any pattern


  1. Place the fabric over tape roll.

  2. Tape the fabric onto the inside area of tape roll.

  3. Add strips of duct tape over the outside of the roll. The thinner the strips are the better the bangle looks.

  4. You can add stickers, gems, sequins, etc. to your bangle to add more style.

      By rocketrider2011 from IA

Tip: Junk Jewelry From Remnants

Jewelry made from jeans hardware.I use remnants from the jeans projects that I've done and turned them into junk jewelry like I've seen selling close to $100

By Kate from Singapore

Tip: Magnets From Old Pins and Earrings

You can glue small round magnets to the backs of pins and earrings. They are bright and cheery, especially floral and starburst types. Just snap off the pin backs and clips or posts with a pair of needle nose pliers, then glue on the magnets with either a glue gun or cement type glue.

By Karen H. from Pawtucket, RI

Festive Timepiece

If you want to create an eye-catching fashion accessory for the holiday, why not have a go at making a fun, festive timepiece. All you need is an old watch; some felt or ribbon to cover the strap and a few additional items for decoration. In no time at all you'll have something to wear for that special party, where you're bound to stand out from the crowd and everyone is sure to want to ask you the time!

Approximate Time: 30 minutes plus drying time


  • an old watch
  • a pair of scissors
  • non-toxic PVA glue
  • felt or ribbon
  • leather shoe dye
  • beads, sequins, feathers, flowers, etc. to decorate


  1. Make sure the strap on your watch is clean. Cut strips of felt or strong ribbon and glue them onto the strap. Let dry.

  2. Add sequins, feathers, flowers, etc. at intervals along the watchstrap for decoration.

  3. To finish, tie bows to either side of your watch face.

For an alternative to felt and ribbon, simply paint the watchstrap with leather shoe dye or watered down fabric paints.

Customize some cheap watches bought from a budget store; they'll make perfect gifts for all your family and friends. You could even create a gift box for each watch or to give guests a real surprise, make your own crackers and place a festive timepiece inside each one.

By Anne from United Kingdom

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Recycled Jewelry Brooch

By Shauna Smith Duty ***

*** Can't afford designer jewelry? Want to have trendy accessories that your friends will compliment? Give new life to your broken necklaces, matchless earrings, and miscellaneous charms and beads from the bottom of your jewelry box. Recycled jewelry can make great accessories for personal use or gift giving. The one-of-a-kind creations you make will become treasured works of art.

What you'll need:

  • Unwanted Jewelry and Beads
  • Large Safety Pins or Pin Backs from the Craft Store
  • Hot Glue
  • Lace, Feathers, Ribbon, and Trim Scraps
  • Cardboard or Foam for Backing (cut into shapes approx. 2" in diameter)
  • Needle Nosed Pliers

With needle nosed pliers, disassemble all of your scrap jewelry pieces. Spread the pieces on a cloth for easy access. Decide which beads and charms compliment each other, and group them into piles. The sample brooch features a collection of heart shaped charms. On cardboard backing, arrange the pieces so that none of the cardboard shows. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the pieces to the cardboard and to one another. Overlap some pieces and have fun with varying arrangements. They can be glued into shapes, such as half moons, crescents, squares, circles, or lines.

A colorful bead or charm will add zest to your brooch. Add ribbon and lace scraps to the piece for more personality. A few feathers poking upward or fur trim along the edges will make your design scream "original".

On the back of your brooch, hot glue either the permanently closed arm of a large safety pin or a pin back from the craft store. Don't forget to sign the cardboard backing. Your creation is a work of art!

About The Author: Shauna Smith Duty is a freelance writer with a penache for writing family and parenting articles. She composes articles for both print and web publications, reviews children's books and movies, writes short plays, and provides editing services. Visit her online at

RE: Recycled Jewelry Brooch

This is a great idea, I have a lot of broken jewelry. thanks (07/25/2005)

By Teresa P.

RE: Recycled Jewelry Brooch

One time when I was shopping in a thrift store, I over heard a gal ask the cashier if they had any "old jewelry", then she asked if they sold any "broken jewelry". I couldn't help but ask, what she was going to do with broken jewelry. She replied that she makes jewelry and that she's always looking for bits and parts of other's jewelry to accentuate her pieces. It never hurts to ask. (12/31/2005)

By badwater