Making Jewelry from Found Objects

If you love making jewelry, you’ll no doubt appreciate the amount of new materials and supplies you can buy these days in order to keep on coming up with unique and beautiful designs.

To help feed your creativity, there are many sources to draw inspiration from, when you take into account the amount of information available on the internet and the natural beauty of the world around us.

One source of inspiration for jewelry design that may not involve spending any money at all can come from found objects – a natural or manmade item that is already in existence for another purpose.

The fascination surrounding found objects

There are some jewelry-makers that specialize in making jewelry from found objects and recycled materials. Found object jewelry designers bring new life from forgotten about or old objects which range from antique coins, bits of hardware, sea shells, broken pottery, game pieces, silver spoons – basically anything that can be refashioned into something else!


For some people, the fascination around making jewelry from found objects could stem from a desire to reuse and repurpose things that are already around us. In creating with found objects, jewelry-makers are upcycling and doing their bit for the environment, but in addition, the use of found objects paves the way for an interesting form of wearable art.

By featuring found objects in jewelry, seemingly ordinary items can be showcased in a whole new light. Take a look at the following examples of found object jewelry below. This first one, called the “Handyman Special” necklace has been made by Joan at Lil Ruby on Etsy.

This has been made with a mixture of interesting found objects including the head of a tiny old hammer and part of a folding ruler! It has been wrapped with wire and beads for extra decoration.

The following two pieces of jewelry have been made by found object jewelry artist, Alice Sprintzen. Alice has been teaching jewelry-making for over 20 years and is the author of several books on the subject of jewelry design.

The “Green Necklace” on the left has been made with an antique glass belt buckle, a glass chandelier piece, sterling silver, peridot, a button and glass beads. The “Charmed Orange Necklace” on the right has been made with pieces from a car light, antique buttons and glass beads as well as other found objects.

Below is a Ruler Cuff Bracelet made by Tanith on Etsy. She found an aluminium ruler from Kraft Food Ingredients and refashioned it to give it a brand new purpose!



This pretty “Beach Glass Bracelet” has been made from found pottery washed up on the shores of Lake Erie by Crystal at Sea Glass Crystal Moon on Etsy. It’s interesting to think about who might have once owned this pottery before it was found.

Take a look at these “Zipper Earring Studs” made by Huiyi Tan below. What is usually seen as a functional part of clothing has instead been used to create unusual and eye-catching earrings in a range of colors.


Handmade jewelry is always unique and special because of the time, effort and sentiment that goes into creating each piece. And by incorporating found objects into jewelry designs, artists can give a deeper meaning to their work.

We’d like to thank the above jewelry designers who have given us permission to use their images for this article. You can use the links above to browse even more of their amazing designs.

For more articles like this, you might want to check out our inspiration section. If you enjoyed this post, please take a minute to share it online!




Image sources:

  • All jewelry images are the copyright of the designers mentioned in this article.
  • Top and bottom sea shell pics are courtesy of Pixabay with text overlay added.

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  2. I love to create found object jewelry – it’s fun, and stretches my creativity by forcing me to look at everyday objects in a new way. Thanks so much for including my “Handyman Special” necklace along with all these other very talented artists!


  3. I agree, I think Found Object Jewelry is not only beautiful, but also a great way to incorporate the world around us into our art. Thanks for sharing these ideas – I especially like that green necklace – can’t believe those are the “ingredients” within it!



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