Craft Friday: Upcycling and hobby jewelry

Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

Depending on what you do with things after they've... well, become "junk", you can either

recycle or repurpose or repair or reuse or upcycle them

A lot of things can be reused (think: clothes) or repurposed, and some things (like compost, paper, glass and metal) can and should definitively be recycled if you have no need of them anymore. If something is broken so that it can be repaired and continued to be used, then by goddess do it!
But truly upcycling stuff... now that's a challenge fit for any hobby jewelry maker.

Most upcycling is really just repair and maintenance. Things like broken locks and clasps can be exchanged for functioning ones, frayed strings and knots in necklaces can be cut off and the thing re-strung with new cord/string, and most things can be cleaned and buffed up until they gleam again.

On step further is the people who create new jewelry from old (that they've either found/bought cheaply/inherited), and people who look at something and suddenly gets ideas about how it could be used to create (sometimes really really quirky) jewelry.

On a side note, the term findings in jewelry is coined
from these found objects to be used for new jewelry.
Most people buy pre-made findings, and some create their own.
It's all according to your own taste and skill, I guess.

But, back to upcycling. And jewelry.

I think the most common "crafty" upcycled thing in jewelry, at least this season, seems to be common bottle caps. Basically, all you have to do is get enough bottle caps for you project and then "fill" them or use them however you like. If "filled", it's done most often with a waterbased glue/varnish that, when dry, is able to keep various small parts adhered to the "bottom" of the cap. Photos, glitter, beads, you name it.
Take a look at what I mean. And after scrolling down a little there, then you can go and look at this. I think I like the Coca-Cola necklace one best, but the Sprite earrings are also kinda okay.

Another thing is, again, paper beads. But I'm not gonna write about that, since I already did.

Then, there's things like candy wrappers, small plastic kid toys like Barbie parts (is it just me that find some of those to be quite creepy?) and their accessories and even more Barbie....

The list of upcycled jewelry made from plastic can be made looooong. Mainly since plastic is considered a "cheap material that can't really be reused after it's been used even once".

But back then to "quirky". Before I become even more into "ecodesign".
I'm going to share with you some upcycled jewelry that I like that keeps true to the spirit of upcycling.

Michelle's bread tag robots.
Michelle's upcycled jewelry blog is full of quirky things like this.

Amy Phaffman's colored pencil jewelry.
Not that I haven't seen "pencil jewelry" before,
but she had real good photos on her page of
the ones she's made.

And just my type of tea... um, bracelet!
Abigail Maryrose Clark's "Teacup Bracelets".

So, good people, trying to find new media with which to expand your jewelry designs can be really creative. As long as you have enough weird materials on hand, that is.

Oh, and remember:

This is also Michelle's, and she made it for
Earth Day of 2011.

Happy upcycling to you :)