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Upcycle Your Jewelry for Earth Day!

Earth Day started on April 22,1970 with the hopes of educating and spreading awareness on protecting the places we hold sacred. After witnessing a devastating oil spill off the coast of California, Sen. Gaylord Nelson organized the first ever national Earth Day! 20 million people across the United States participated! By 2010, Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, more than 1 billion people in more than 180 countries around the world were estimated to have celebrated in some form. Each year it becomes more and more crucial for each and every one of us to do our part and go green!

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to make fabulous jewelry for yourself out of something that would otherwise be thrown out! Wait until you see what you can do with an old plastic bottle or even that outdated magazine lying around. In honor of Earth Day I decided to take a look around and see what trash I could upcycle into fun jewelry! The beauty about Upcycling is there are endless creative possibilities when it comes to reusing everyday items! Try and do your part this Earth Day and every day by finding ways to reuse!

Once recycled, magazines cannot be used to make new magazines.  However, they do help to make newspaper, tissue, writing paper and paperboard. This necklace is made with magazine pages that have been sitting around for some time. By folding the paper and rolling it up into a wheel shape, you can make fun pendants to incorporate into your jewelry designs! I used Diamond Glaze to coat the paper and give it a more glossy appearance. With 5-Minute-Epoxy, I connected each piece together, added jump rings and attached black Silk Ribbon to complete the necklace.

Did you know it takes about 400 years for aluminum to break down naturally? I decided to use a 13/16” Circle Punch to punch out circle shapes from an aluminum can. I used the 1.25 Metal Hole Punch Pliers and made holes that I connected with jump rings to make this fun and funky necklace. I used the extra aluminum circles and made some earrings to match!

From recycling a single plastic bottle you are conserving what would be six hours of light for a 60-watt light bulb! I decided to experiment with some plastic soda bottles that Cody, one of the jewelry designers, had lying around! I cut as many different size circles as I could out of a couple bottles, I turned to the Butane Micro Torch to carefully heat up the plastic. You can also use a heat gun as long as you hold the plastic in place. Keeping the flame at a good distance from the plastic, you could start to see the ends curling and taking different forms. Once I had my desired look I punched a hole through the center using the 1.25 Hole Punch Pliers. Using Size 8 Turquoise Nylon Bead Cord, I strung each piece on and made a fun modern statement necklace.

Your best bet when trying to recycle leather is to find another use for it! Using some leather strips bought from a thrift store, I decided to go with the trend and cut the leather to form this fringe, I punched holes in the top corners using the 1.25 Hole Punch Pliers and connected the chain using jump rings! There was some extra leather so I cut it out in the shape of leaves and made a pair of earrings (hanging from the potted plant) to go with my necklace! A quick and fun way to add some edge to your look.

What are you doing to show your support this Earth Day? Write a comment below and let us know!

Waste less and reuse more! Happy Earth Day! – Allie

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45 comments to Upcycle Your Jewelry for Earth Day!

  • Jane Penrose

    Thanks for the great blog post. Lots of wonderful ideas for reusing materials otherwise destined for the landfill.

  • are the edges of the aluminum can discs sharp?

  • Clever ideas! Thanks for sharing!


    Hi Mary! The punches Allie used to make her aluminum can necklace and earrings made very smooth cuts without any rough or sharp edges.

  • Ani

    Brillant! Thanks for thinking outside the box

  • [...] finally, our friends at feature a number of jewelry projects on their blog that you can make yourself from otherwise discarded [...]

  • Love it!!!!! This video captures the personality of Greenwood.

  • [...] If you want more great upcycling ideas, you can take a look at last years projects from our Upcycle Your Jewelry For Earth Day Blog! [...]

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