Upcycled bling: thrilling and thrifty

It’s OK, I have too much jewelry already.
          -Said no woman EVER

Baubles and beads and bangles … Oh my, yes! It’s all about the accessories, baby, and in my not-so-humble opinion, it’s go big or go home. We’re talking statement pieces, upcycled jewelry, conversation starters, the first thing people notice when you enter a room. Give me the head-turning, I’ve-never-seen-anything-like-it pieces and I’m a happy fashionista.

Confession time: I’m not willing to pay big bucks for accessories; I’m all about the cheap thrills. (Not saying that I’d pass up an heirloom ruby ring if someone, someday were to offer it to me in an adorably wrapped box with a bow on it, while we’re picnicking in a meadow on a summer evening … but that’s not what we’re talking about today.) And, mass-produced, big-box store stuff? No thanks.

The absolute best way to stock your stash of pretties is to (drumroll, please) make them yourself. We’re not talkin’ macaroni necklaces, macramé or other such stuff from summer camp days. Nope, it’s upcycled jewelry that makes my heart go pitter patter.

Upcycling is the art of repurposing something old or discarded into something new and awesome. The process does require some vision — like seeing a bracelet in an old bicycle chain — and some creativity. But the resulting treasures are right up there with the joy you get from practicing sustainability and exercising your inner thriftiness.

Saturdays are for hunting
No weekends spent milling around the mall for this girl. After lingering over a leisurely brunch with my bestie, it’s time to hit the local flea market. We go game-show style, giving ourselves a budget of say, $10, and an hour to find our soon-to-be-wearable-art treasures. The clock’s running … Go!

An old silver fork ... how about a deliciously stylish brooch?
That box of random lego pieces … maybe snappy earrings?
Scrabble squares … what about a point-scoring bracelet?
Bottle caps … hmmm, perhaps a pop-culture ring?
Vintage keys … unlock the possibilities for trendy necklaces!

Time’s up! With a pit stop at the craft store, it’s back to the studio (a.k.a. my kitchen table) to get those creative juices flowing. Glue guns, sparkly things, an assortment of paint, needles and thread, and we’re set for an afternoon of fun.

What’s your favorite upcycled jewelry? Pictures welcomed and encouraged! Just post to Instagram with #uncottaged!

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