Not Just Earrings
The Art of Upcycling - Making Jewely From Plastic
If you perceive of upcycled jewelry as taking your mother's costume jewelry, breaking it down and reassembling in a new way.... well that's one way of doing it. But this isn't that kind of jewelry.
Upcycling plastic takes recycling in a new direction. It's the art of reworking something we might otherwise have thrown away and turning it into something beautiful?
When you upcycle plastic, you can literally turn trash: shampoo, lotion and cleaning supply bottles, even coffee cans, into jewelry treasures.
"Recycled Red" Earrings
A Pretty Plastic Quest
"Good To The Last Drop" Earrings From A Coffee Can
Upcycling isn't so new
I started making upcycled jewelry years ago. Of course it wasn't called "upcycled" back then. Most people weren't even talking about being "Green," and saving the planet had nothing to do with it.
It was nearly 20 years ago and I had limited knowledge of local bead and jewelry making suppliers or jewelry supply catalogs; but I still had a driving desire to learn and experiment with creating jewelry from new and different materials.
Upcycle Coffee Cans Too
I don't remember the specific moment I contemplated making jewelry from a coffee can; it could easily have been early one morning after my second or third cup of coffee. But somehow the idea of cutting up a coffee can and turning it into jewelry seemed ideal. I was a serious coffee lover way before Starbucks came to town. That meant I made it myself, which gave me easy access to those colorful metal cans. And it was free.
"Credit Crunch" Upcycled Earrings
An upcycle DIY
- Crafting Jewelry With The Nice Lady: Turn Unused Plastic Credit and Gift Cards into Jewelry
A quick tutorial for creating upcycled jewelry
Learn about Upcycling (See, I didn't make up the word)
"An Upcycled Dangle" Earrings
Upcycling Before it was Upcycling
I upcycled coffee cans into jewelry long before I knew how to use a jeweler's saw or a blowtorch; so I cut my cans with metal shears from a local hardware store. It was tedious work dealing with those sharp coffee can edges.
For cans with labels, I peeled them off and used a soldering iron to meld copper to bare metal. For the painted kind, I incorporated the colorful designs into my work.
I sold recycled creations right alongside my sterling and copper jewelry at arts and craft shows. I remember the fascination with what I was doing. Teachers, in particular, thought the idea of recycling coffee cans was wonderful and bought them to introduce the idea to their classes.
Say Whatver You Want!
Maria on December 19, 2014:
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Stephanie Henkel from USA on September 01, 2011:
I love the creative way you've upcycled plastic and tins! The jewelry is so pretty! What a great craft project this would make for a group or for kids. Voted up and useful!
danielleantosz from Florida on July 20, 2011:
very awesome! love the credit card ones.
Carol Rucker (author) from Cincinnati on September 22, 2010:
Thank you for all of your comments.
recoverytta on September 22, 2010:
very nice, was searching plastic making, came across this site, ver creative, good job :)
fetty from South Jersey on July 06, 2010:
What a wonderful way to keep plastic out of the landfill. Your jewelry is so unique. Great hub.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on July 04, 2010:
Very creative! and way before your time, LOL. Love the 'wild women' earrings. Congrats on your hubnugget nomination and good luck to you.
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on July 04, 2010:
Carol, you are a Hubnugget wannabe! Check out the arts and designs category. Wooohooo! https://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/The-hubnugge...
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 04, 2010:
Very clever way to make jewelry. Congrats on your nomination.
Money Glitch from Texas on July 03, 2010:
Very nice jewelry. Congrats on being selected as a nominee of this week's HubNuggets Wannabes Contest.
Carol Rucker (author) from Cincinnati on June 26, 2010:
Thank you for your comments.
rosycreations from Virginia on June 26, 2010:
That is very creative.
askjanbrass from St. Louis, MO on May 28, 2010:
These earrings are just so adorable and creative! I especially love the ones that use different credit cards. What an inventive way to control your spending. Cheers!