Thursday, August 9, 2012

An Excercise in Freeform Upcycling

I love to thrift.  For me it is all about the hunt.  It must run in the family because my mother remembered everything she paid for things.  "I got that for only $2.99 ON SALE!!!" "It was on sale for only $9.99!"  I got into thrifting in college, I would scour the Easter Seals in Brookings SD for those button up grandpa sweaters.

The love to thrift has definitely carried into my creativity.  I get major inspiration from other peoples cast offs.  The texture, shape and color play in my mind and I can immediately weave it into something fun, modern and hip.  Like this cuff below.

I actually walked past it and then something clicked in my mind and I made a double take! 

I picked it up and looked at the shape and THE DRILL HOLES. I thought off all kinds of things to make. Now what I made is just the tip of the iceberg in my head on this but you just have to start. I did this freeform and just let loose no planning.  I think this is a great technique to use when you want out of a creative block.

Not everything in an upcycled necklace has to be from recycled products.  In this necklace I had this flower from an old necklace sitting in my recycled and reuse box FOREVER!  The glass, I bought at Beadniks in the Mall of America but it is recycled glass from Africa.

Remember the Mother of pearl sticks from the bracelet? Those are the only pieces I used from the bracelet in this. 

The leather is cut off ends in my scrap leather cording bag. DON'T THROW THAT AWAY!  It can be reused in so many different ways!

Next time you are looking for inspirations head to your local thrift store or your Grandmas jewelry box that you inherited.  Make someones trash into something fabulous. It makes you feel good and it is really rewarding to see something dated and shabby turned into something modern and fun.



  1. Very nice! Going to check out some of my moms old jewelry. I would love to wear pieces of hers.

    1. Go for it it is so much fun!!!!! Do show and tell please!!!!

  2. LOVE it! Beautiful and inspiring! LOVE your stuff :)
    I'm on Etsy too! you can check me out here: - would love to hear what you think!?!

    1. I will go check you out Lisa, thanks for stopping by!

  3. Sweet! I think it is time to hit the resale shops. I love what you made. Can't wait to see what you do with the wood pieces!

  4. You have me wishing Mum's costume jewellery hadn't disappeared when she passed away many years ago. I was always intrigued by the concept of recycled baubles; now I'll have to hit the Sally Ann (not a ton of thrift stores here in the middle of nowhere). These are very organic and boho!