Is your jewellery box full of old earrings and broken necklaces that you never wear? Rather than selling or throwing away this surplus old jewellery, why not upcycle it? Below are 16 upcycled jewellery ideas to help you clear out that junk jewellery pile (we all have one!).
Upcycled jewellery projects make great unique gift ideas or you can keep your creations for yourself and express your one of a kind personality!
This post is a bit long, so I’ve divided it into a few sections to help you navigate – just click the hyperlink to jump to the section you are interested in!
- Turn Broken Jewellery into ‘New’ Jewellery
- Turn Broken Jewellery into Home Decor Items
- Making Everyday Accessories from Broken Jewellery
- Making Jewellery out of Upcycled Junk
Turn Broken Jewellery into ‘New’ Jewellery
The obvious place to start with upcycling your old jewellery is to turn into ‘new’ jewellery.
Below are a few favourite upcycling ideas for old broken or tarnished jewellery turned into a ‘new’ and wearable piece.
Fabric Wrapped Bangles
This simple upcycle project involves both old unwanted bracelets and scrap fabric – we love a double upcycle! You can find the full tutorial for these fabric wrapped bangles here.
Christmas Angel Jewellery
These cute little Christmas Angels were made out of colourful broken jewellery. The upcycling for these was done by Sharon Aslett of Shazazz Jewellery who wrote a fab tutorial for us about how to make your own DIY Christmas Angels that you can turn into pendants, bracelets, keychains and even Christmas Decorations.
Turn Vintage Jewellery into Hair Slides
When I had my upcycled bridal headpiece business I frequently used vintage costume jewellery to make hair slides – you know those hair combs that you tuck into an up do to make it a bit more bling!
Tutorial coming soon! Check back for the link or send me a comment to remind me!
Embellish Boring Earrings
Melissa from Pretty Delightful sent in this great example of how you can give your existing earrings a new lease of life. She turned some dull coloured earrings into bright, tasseled boho style earrings. It’s a fun a little upcycling project and she has a great tutorial with lots of process photos to guide yo along.
From Junk Pile to Bracelet
Shellie from Craftbits submitted this fun idea for using beads, pendants and other bits off of broken jewellery and turning them into your own charm style junk bracelet. You can find her tutorial here.
Cover Tarnished Jewellery
This fabric wrapped statement necklace started life as a silver coloured collar style necklace. However the metal got tarnished and turned a bit yellowy – has that happened to you?
So I wrapped it in think strips of my husband’s old shirts using a very similar technique to the fabric wrapped bangles above.
Embellished Collar ‘Choker’ Style Necklace
This is another project I made as part of my massive men’s shirt upcycling project – it’s a choker style necklace made form the collar of a man’s shirt. I used some old faux pearl beads. You could mix it up with all kinds of different types of beads from your jewellery junk drawer.
You can read about this project and the others made out of the rest of this shirt here.
Upcycling Broken Jewellery into Home Decor Items
Create Ornate Fridge Magnets
You can also turn jewellery into fridge magnets. This can be achieved by taking pendants, vintage brooches, clip on earrings or other stones and then gluing them to craft magnets.
If you have lots of quirky old pendants or ‘Grandma Brooches’, this could be a great way to put them to use. Your refrigerator will never have looked so glamourous.
We have a tutorial on this coming very soon! So check back here for the link!
Bejewelled Plant Pot
Julie from Sum of Their Stories sent in this fun idea to bling up a plain plant pot with broken jewellery as well as buttons! Kids would have lots of fun making this with you and what a great gift to give a grandparent! Julie’s tutorial can be found here.
Make a Sparkling Wind Chime
You could consider creating your own wind chime using old necklaces and bracelets as decorative features. This is a particularly great way of using up beaded necklaces that you don’t wear anymore. .
We featured some old jewellery windchimes in our summer upcycles article a while back. Those ones also used upcycled watering cans, but you could come up with your own version minus the watering can if you don’t have one!
Upcycled Jewellery into Everyday Accessories
Create your Own Glamorous Keyring
You can also turn pendants and earrings into glamorous keyrings. Keyring bases are easy to come by and keychains of all types make great gifts. We featured some more manly ones in our DIY Father’s Day Gift post and some more personalised scrap fabric keychains in this post.
Bling Up your Phone Cover
People pay a lot of money to bling up their phone covers with precious stones.
If you have lots of old jewellery, you could save yourself money by making your own upcycled bling filled phone cover.
Just start with a basic (smooth) phone cover and then start gluing stones to it with either a hot glue gun or superglue in a pattern that appeals to you! You’ll need to use flat bottom stones that are still in their settings or have smooth edges – you don’t want sharp edges on your hand when you pick up your phone!
Making Jewellery from other Upcycled Junk
Most of this post has focused on what you can do with your own broken jewellery but of course you might also want to make jewellery out of other unwanted items from around your home. Below are a few ideas including a few that have been made by some fabulous upcycling businesses – no making required – just guilt free shopping!
DIY Pendant Made from Fabric Samples
I personally think this upcycle of fabric samples into necklace pendants make great gifts. You can choose colours that mean something to the recipient or just choose their favourite colours! You can find my step by step tutorial for these DIY necklace pendants here.
Brooch Made from Broken Glasses
These fun brooches were made with the lenses from a broken pair of eyeglasses. I tried them two different ways – both involving decoupage – and you can find the full tutorial here.
Necklace Made from Vintage Silverware
You’ll find even more upcycled jewellery ideas in our DIY Personalised Gifts Post which includes more silverware jewellery ideas.
Earrings Made from Upcycled Plastic
These fab earrings are made from upcycled plastic by Cirrhopp, a brilliant small upcycling business based in Hungary.
We’ve featured Cirrhopp before with their upcycled plastic bottle earrings in our post 10 Projects Made from Rubbish You Will Actually Want to Keep. You should definitely go check out their latest stuff!
What will you make with your old jewellery?
I hope you’ve been inspired to make something ‘new’ with your junk pile of jewellery. There are so many ways to get creative with this:
- For example you could take pendants from old necklaces and use them to make earrings, or take earrings and turning them into necklace pendants.
- You can create bracelets using necklace pendants and earrings (see the ‘junk pile bracelet‘ above).
- Even diamond engagement rings can easily be upcycled into pendants and other items by adding jump rings or wrapping wire around the plain band so the diamond or other ring stone becomes the embellishment for your necklace.
Don’t forget to tag @upcyclemystuff on instagram and facebook with your brilliant upcycled creations – I’d love to see what you make!
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Check out these posts for even more great upcycled jewellery inspiration:
- 30 of the Best Upcycled Mother’s Day Gifts on Etsy
- Handmade Valentine’s Day Gifts you can DIY or Buy
- The Ultimate Guide to Upcycled Gifts on Etsy
- DIY Wedding Ideas: The Ultimate Guide to your Upcycled Wedding
- 10 DIY Personalised Gifts You Can Make From Your Upcycled Stuff!
- 10 Projects Made from Rubbish that you will actually want to keep