A lot of us have probably had an experience where we’ve found ourselves admiring someone’s earrings or necklace so much that we couldn’t help but ask where they got them from. To our surprise, the jewelry wasn’t purchased at a store. It was made by hand.
And for those of us who like to figure out how to do things for ourselves, we may have thought, “I bet if I really tried, I could make my own jewelry too.” Especially once we start to factor in how much we have paid for jewelry in the past and how “green” we have become, as it relates to the environment, over the years.
If this is your story, and you want to try a hand at making some eco-friendly jewelry (jewelry that did not further damage the earth/environment in order to be made), but you’re not sure where to begin, these five steps will point you into the right direction.
Take some lessons. Although there are a lot of people who have learned how to make jewelry through trial-and-error, it can never hurt to take some lessons. You may want to call around to local craft stores to see if they have any leads. You can also check out some websites online that offer classes including JewelryLessons.com, How-to-Make-Jewelry.com and How-to-Make-Beaded-Jewelry.com. And, there are DIY (Do It Yourself) videos for making all kinds of jewelry on YouTube.com.
Read up on eco-friendly gems and metals. You might be surprised to know that the kinds of eco-friendly gemstones that you can buy are pretty vast. They range from everything to conflict-free diamonds and (aqua) farm-raised cultured pearls to synthetic gemstones, recycled glass beads and recycled aluminum. It takes a bit of time to do the research on the kinds of gems and metals you can use that will truly make your bracelet or ring an eco-friendly one_, but it’s worth the effort to look the information up.
Find some used materials. Remember that one of the best things that you can do for the “go green movement” is to use recycled items. Whether it’s vintage jewelry from an estate sale or costume jewelry that you found at a thrift store or yard sale, one way to “make” eco-friendly jewelry is to simply “upgrade” a piece that already exists. You can turn a pocket watch into a wristwatch (just make sure to get a watch battery replacement) or take the gems from a pair of earrings and transfer them into a ring.
Don’t forget the jewelry-making tools. If you plan on making jewelry from scratch, you will definitely need the following tools: a pair of roundnose pliers, longnose pliers and flatnose pliers. You can find eco-friendly ones at Pendaflex.com. Rapid is also a company that carries “green” pliers too.
Ask for more information. When it comes to picking up your jewelry supplies and materials at a local craft store like Joanne’s or Hobby Lobby, another way that you can support the environment is to ask them about the manufacturers that have a reputation for being eco-friendly. They should be able to assist you with purchasing faux gems, metals and tools that will be easy for you to use while being good for the environment too.