Wearing Trash? 10 Recycled Jewelry Designs That Demand Attention

Recycled jewelry by Wired
Recycled jewelry by Wired

“One man’s trash is another woman’s treasure” – especially when that trash is made into jewelry! Recycled jewelry is popping up everywhere, and the materials used to create it is just as amazing as the jewelry itself. From industrial trash thrown away in Chicago to bicycle inner tubes in Holland, recycled jewelry is eco-chic, handmade, and planet-friendly

Yesterday’s News, Today’s Jewelry

Comic strip bracelet by NewspaperJewelry
Comic strip bracelet by NewspaperJewelry

Recycled newspaper comics are the start of this intriguing bracelet by NewspaperJewelry. The paper is sealed with a nontoxic, water-resistant coating and paired with Swarovski crystal and faceted glass. Holly Anne Mitchell creates an assortment of newspaper jewelry from old coupons, losing lottery tickets, stock listings, and sweetener packets.

Sprains and Fractures = New Earrings

X-ray earrings by UpcycledJewelry
X-ray earrings by UpcycledJewelry

Rescued computer components, remnant glass from windows and doors, and even abandoned x-rays are common materials for UpcycledJewelry designs. All materials are saved from the landfill by the designer and typically come from foreclosed homes that require cleanup.

New Use for an Old Board

Skateboard earrings by 2ReVert

The husband and wife team behind 2ReVert handcraft recycled jewelry from skateboards that are no longer travel-worthy. Each piece is unique and carries an unknown story of where it’s been and what it’s seen. Cuff links, skateboard coasters, and belt buckles are also part of the 2ReVert line.

Industrial Waste-Not

Indutrial waste and liquor bottles by Wired
Indutrial waste and liquor bottles by Wired

Also available in black and white, these eco-chic earrings are handmade by Wired Jewelry. This piece is made from the rubber labels of liquor bottles, collected from a local club, and fastened with metal scraps from a nearby recycling facility. Wire, rubber, transistors, and other commercial junk are picked up from various businesses in Chicago before becoming the sole materials for Wired’s recycled jewelry.

Need a Pencil?

Pencil earrings by tomatedepingles

Buttons, feathers, fabric scraps, and photo negatives make up many of tomatedpingles’s recycled jewelry. This particular pair of earrings is obviously made from the top and bottom of a pencil – the cool thing is, both pieces work so you never have to worry about having a pencil (just be careful not to break the lead)!

What do You do with an Old Bike Tire?

Inner tube necklace by  Sasja Saptenno Photo by Raoul Matulessy Photography
Inner tube necklace by Sasja Saptenno Photo by Raoul Matulessy Photography

Sasja Saptenno of Holland makes recycled jewelry with them! Saptenno saves used bike tires from a life in the landfill, picking the tubes up from friends, family, and local shops, then creates unique necklaces and bracelets. She also crafts colorful, textured shawls from discarded plastic bottles.

Recycled Watch Rings

Steampunk line by dustDesignCo
Steampunk line by dustDesignCo

dustDesignCo has found a creative way to give new life to vintage watches by handcrafting them into one-of-a-kind recycled jewelry. The Steampunk collection features 55 unique pieces, all made from the insides of classic timepieces. dustDesignCo also makes jewelry from lost LA transit tokens, vintage spirit labels, antique car parts, and other cool junk destined for the dirt.

Recycled Music

Recycled earrings by Lee Palmer
Recycled earrings by Lee Palmer

This intriguing design was an entry into the “Don’t Trash That Art!” contest sponsored by the Baton Rouge recycling office. The earrings salvage old vinyl records as well as used guitar strings. Materials used in other entries include lipstick lids, candy wrappers, bottle caps, fishing lure, and more.

Jewelry to Eat On

Recycled dish necklace by Olive Barn
Recycled dish necklace by Olive Barn

Blue willow China was a fine dining staple in homes everywhere throughout the 20th century. This piece comes from a pink willow dish originally manufactured in the 1960’s. The Olive Barn features recycled glass jewelry, handmade by Laura Bergman. Each piece of glass is a rescued fragment from old dumping sites in Pennsylvania – pieces that are typically left behind by vintage collectors. Depression glass, antique Noxema bottles, and the above willow dishes are a few of her choice materials.

Retired Strings Transformed to Jewelry

Piano string choker by Strings - and a Dare
Piano string choker by Strings - and a Dare

Another innovative design based on music, Strings…and a Dare creator Xavier Symown began her recycled jewelry career as a tribute to a musical colleague after his death. She brings new purpose to worn out instrument strings by crafting them into necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more. Xavier works with piano, guitar, and bass stings, as well as violin, viola, and cello strings.

Are you ready to make your own?

Check out Planet Green – How to Make Your Own Recycled Jewelry.

34 thoughts on “Wearing Trash? 10 Recycled Jewelry Designs That Demand Attention”

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  3. Loved the post inspired by the x-ray earrings sure something similar can be created with soda bottles,I do a lot of recycle bin crafts never thought much about jewelry probably because I don't wear it myself but its always great to be inspired into new things

    thanks for the post


  4. I'm in Houston, Texas and were looking for green conflict free ring for my fiancee and found two local companies in Texas. Green Karat and Green ORO, i went to their respective websites i.e http://www.greenkarat.com and http://www.greenoro.com. I found the prices on Green ORO much more reasonable then Green Karat. I save over $ 500 by buying from Green ORO as they are the direct manufacturers of Green Jewelry.

    Few things i found and personally visited:
    Pros and Cons:
    Green Karat
    1) Pros:
    Green Karat: been in business and internet for long years
    1) Higher Prices
    2) No In house retail showroom or store
    3) Green Karat ETA time is much more then Green ORO
    4) Don't offer high end created diamond settings or jewelry repairs
    5) No Physical Location to visit , everything is Online
    Green ORO:
    1) Reasonable and Cheaper Prices then Green Karat
    2) Direct Manufacturer and willing to work with you on Custom Jewelry
    3) Repairs are much faster on all green jewelry
    4) no outsourcing to any middle man , everything is done within their showroom and have work labs
    5) ORO Certificate of Authenticity to Back 100% recycled gold and process.
    6) One Tree & One Ring at a Time – i really love this concept as they will put one tree towards the purchase i made. Highly impressed with their unique concept.
    7) ETA is much less then Green Karat
    8) You can visit their physical Location and Showroom and can see the Green Process

  5. Hey, I heard about a new jewelry company that is launched and have a lot less expensiveness prices then Green Karat. You can check their website http://www.GreenORO.com and find lot of green jewelry pieces that are alike green karat but at very competitive rates. They specialize in green wedding bands and non-conflict diamond rings. The company is as green, environmentally and socially conscious, as a jeweler can be and unique thing is that they are offering three very exciting features which no one is offering right now.

    1- Green Box Program
    2- One Tree & One Ring a Time
    3- Make Your Own ORO Ring
    4- ORO Certificate of Authenticity [ Each ring you buy from http://www.GreenOro.com carries a Unique Tag Number ]
    The head of the company is Shimon Farkas and you can see how extensive her background is in all things green at her current website. http://www.GreenOro.com, He & his family is in jewelry business for three generations and featured on the ABC Morning News and New York Fashion Show. Shimon Farkas is the prime manufacturer of green jewelry all in house and nothing is outsourced to any third party that gives him leverage to cut down his cost and share it with the customers and also with assurance he is offering ORO Certificate of Authenticity with each ring.
    The aim is to make the pieces extremely affordable AND eco-friendly. Should be a really innovative website too, you can also ask for any Custom Design and that can be made within a matter of few weeks.

  6. What a wonderful collection of the uses of recycled materials! I have just begun my company, “Linda's Recycled Jewelry.” I began by making earrings for holiday and Birthday presents, primarily during my band's soundchecks and before shows. As I made the pieces, people walking by would ask if they were for sale. Soon I was making customized jewelry for friends and fans.

    I collect my materials at thrift stores, yard sales, auctions and the like. Then I remake the beads and such into new pieces of jewelry, primarily earrings at present, but I've begun branching out into other jewelry forms, as well. Thanks for the inspiration provided by your website and its featured contributors! My website will soon change to “lindasrecycled jewelry.com”.

  7. Small Showing but impactful thanks some great ideas i make recycled thing from whatever i get my hand on

  8. THIS………. WHO WOULD WEAR THIS???????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




  9. OK badmanm, I'm very into upcycled design but I kind of have to agree with you. Take these designs up to another level so it doesn't look like trash & then you really have something different. Good efforts though

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