Recycling Old Jewelry Into New Pieces

I happened upon a fun idea after I went through my jewelry box recently. I keep saying how much I value simplicity, but you couldn’t tell that by looking through my jewelry box — there were way too many earrings! I gathered up all the ones that seemed like a good idea back when I made them, but now just aren’t worn much. That cleaned out some significant space.

Then today it hit me — why not see how many new pieces I can create from old earrings I no longer wear? What a fun challenge, right? If you have made lots of jewelry pieces like I have, no doubt you have lots of pieces hanging out doing nothing and rarely being worn. Why not take this challenge and see what new jewelry pieces you can come up with?

group-of-beads.jpgHere’s what I started with. Okay, so the round gold pendant was a toss away piece from another chain. I threw it in for good measure. Hmmm. What can I create?

bead-groupings.jpgI looked at the group of beads for a while, and then I divided them into groups of beads I thought would look good together.

ideas-coming-together.jpgAlready, I’m getting some ideas. How about you?

Oh, and by the way, you are allowed to throw in chain, jump rings, beading wire, ear wires, etc, to connect all your beads and turn them into a previously uncreated, beautiful piece.

two-new-outcomes.jpgI knew I could easily come up with a few new pieces from my old beads, but the bracelet and earrings were easy favorites. I used the gold pendant as a focal bead and connected the other beads using jump rings, beading wire and a magnetic clasp. The beads for the earrings were such a natural combo, why didn’t I think of this before?? I connected the lampwork beads to the silver ovals using eyepins and jump rings. The cube Swarovski crystals were added using the same and connecting them to ear wires. I feel a party comin’ on with these puppies!

Have fun exercising your creativity with this beading challenge. Happy beading!


  1. Avatar Dan

    Nice! I do this too, although, being a guy, I generally don’t accumulate too much of my own jewelry, so I frequent yard sales and thrift shops to find stuff to recycle.

  2. Avatar michele

    Great thinking! This is a great time of year for yard sales and you never know what you’ll find — a veritable plethora of possibilities! Enjoy…


  3. Avatar Reilly :)

    I love to do this my mom leaves unfinshed progects and I recycle them 🙂 have Fun,
    Reilly 🙂

  4. Avatar Jessica :]

    kool!!! I started looking for somegreat ideas and,well,MY BRAIN IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE!!your I deas are great! along with some other sites. I’ve just got some great beads on my holiday at narooma,along with some kits :clasp kit & earing broach (although I dont realy like broaches) braclet charm chains and stuff like like with I thought was pretty useful especaily how my mum likes jewelry & stuff . I love how you recycled all that stuff that you don’t wear much and how everything turned out much more beautiful! not that it was bad before 🙂

  5. Avatar julie

    brill idea. not very good at following patterns yet this way i can still enjoy making bracelets

  6. Avatar Elizabeth

    I love to recycle jewelry. Sometimes there are old jewelry boxes at thrift stores filled with interesting items to take apart and recycle. Also the dollar store. Oh, and when some charm breaks off my kids stuff or a neclace/bracelet breaks, we gather up the remnants and save it in the bead box. After some accumulation and maybe new finds at big lots, voila- a masterpiece. I only give away my secret if someone says where did you get that?

  7. Avatar Joycelyn

    I have some jewelry that belonged to my mom. The first Christmas she was gone, my sister suggested that I take something of hers and make something for her, me and my niece (her only grandaughter). I took a necklace apart, added some blue crystals (her birthday was in March) and added an angel charm. With my nieces, I enclosed a little card saying this was something from her Grandma that I hoped she would enjoy and wear.

  8. Avatar Grace

    I started making jewelry like you from tired unwanted bracelets,then
    I went to an auction thay had a house clearence, there were boxs of
    mixed jewelry items it was my first time bidding.but I came away with quite a lot for a very small price. Ive seperated washed and organized in to colours, enough to keep me happy for a long time.

  9. Avatar Caitlyn

    I love going to thrift stores and buying unwanted jewelry and taking the beads off and using them to recreate a new better jewelry for a very low price! its alot of fun but you dont have to pay how much beads cost in the store. I reccomend doing this for any thrifty jewelry maker. I even depending on the quality will keep the clasp/ chain of the jewelry to use in different pieces!

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