Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Recycled jewellery challenge

Last week I wrote a blog post for the London Jewellery School challenging people to dig out old, forgotten jewellery and giving it a new lease of life. You can read it here in a slightly altered form!

Hands up if one of your favourite hobbies is buying jewellery supplies? Just as I thought!
Whether it’s a trip around the bead shop or a splurge online we all love the excitement of the new. But this easter, we challenge you to think differently and use what you already have.
Everyone has a box or a drawer of jewellery that they just don’t wear. Maybe pieces that you’ve bought, maybe things that have been given to you or things you made yourself.
I have a box that has some old bracelets in. When I started this project I realised I hadn’t opened the box for ages!
In the box I found this bracelet.


It’s just a high street piece but I wore it a lot a few years ago. However, as you can see,  the elastic was stretched out of shape and it was no longer wearable. So in the box it remained. Until now!

I cut the elastic and had a look at the beads to see what I could make with them. It’s useful to do this before deciding. Sometimes just the fact that it is a bracelet stops you from thinking about the beads and components differently.
After playing about with some ideas I decided to make a short choker style necklace from it.


I added some beads I already had in my stash (oh go on then, the additional beads are blue miracle beads from Beadworks!). I used two strands of tiger tail to go through the centre beads. The two strands then go through the individual beads to the ends.
I’m really pleased with my piece. It is simple but it has breathed new life into something that I could not wear before.

So why not set yourself the challenge to make at least one new piece out of something old. You can add in some beads and findings that you already have but try to resist buying anything new for this project.

We’d love to see what you make. Tweet us on @jewelleryschool with photos of your jewellery before and the finished piece.
And if you need some help and inspiration why not attend our upcycle your jewellery taster class.

Here is a before and after from our most recent upcycle your jewellery class.

Before: some earrings that the student brought along

After: she used the earrings to make a beaded charm bracelet

Excellent work for a beginner!

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