Creative Reuse for Jewelry

Happy Earth Day…..Week! I hope you all have celebrated this great planet we live on by using less, recycling a bit more, and questioning whether or not items can serve any other purpose once their initial use has expired. If the latter is an unfamiliar proposition, I hope you will take inspiration from the following post:

*side note: Though all the terms below (redesign, repurpose, & reinvent) have easily become interchangeable with one another, in this context, each defines a particular process of upcycling any material into jewelry.

1. Redesign

This would pertain to old jewelry, be it yours, a family member’s, your haul from a thrift shop, an artistic fail or a moment you lost sanity (as an artist or buyer). Usually involves converting one jewelry piece into another, or disaggregating the parts to re-form them into a new composition with a “refreshed” design.

Do it yourself: One of the most common redesigns is that of a lost or fallen earring, leaving its counterpart to exist alone. If it holds value to you, the surviving earring can be converted into your next favorite necklace with a jump ring and a bit of cord/chain.

2. Repurpose

This pertains to materials with non-jewelry intended for purposes, with short lifespans, that you may otherwise dispose of after their initial use.

These materials may include can tabs, bottle caps, plastic straws, sporks, paperclips etc..

Some people are just religious about their sparking water; La Croix can glued to brass bangle band.
manipulated paperclips, @alohrydesignstudio

Do it yourself: Paperclips are just thick stainless wire that was bent into a form. There is not much of a difference from working with 18-20 gauge wire. Complications may arise when dealing with clips that have a coating. In these instances, remove the plastic coating or attach a simple earwire to its coiled form to give you a new pair of earrings for the office.

On a more organic note, @pocket_envy refused to give all her wisdom to the dentist.

3. Reinvent

Similar to repurposing, but in contrast, this category involves items intended for uses other than jewelry, with longer life-spans, that you might consider giving away or donating to others.

Are you ever too old for Hot Wheels?
materials used: nylon cord, heishi shells, and the lego person.

Do it yourself: Lego people’s bodies detach at the torso and the upper part is hollow, which allows running a string, or small piece of wire, from one side to another to be quite easy. Its just a matter of your design and how you wish to execute it.

materials used: KO thread, 11/0 Delica seed beads, wire, chain, and the lego person.

Big thanks to the BDB staff and friends for gifting this blog with their creations, we love to see the innovation of our peers!


Here lies some information regarding classic styles of chain, with identifications and visual aids of our store’s current inventory.

Plated Chains: chains with a core metal (usually copper or brass) and then covered with a thin layer of the exterior metal finish, such as gold or silver. Some may have an additional antique or matte finish that contributes to the chain’s coloring. Overtime, where time is dependent upon the oils in your skin, the top coats will tarnish/fade to reveal the base metal.

Sterling Silver: sterling is a combination of silver (92.5%) and alloy (7.5%, copper or zinc). These chains will tarnish and fade with time, but with the right solution or polishing cloth, they can be restored to their former glory.

Gold-Filled: chains that have a brass core with a thick layer of 14-karat gold. Gold-filled does not tarnish and retains its color for a lifetime.

Cable Chain

Identified by its uniform oval or round rings linked together; the links can be open or closed (soldered). Probably the most popular of chain styles.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities, as well as sterling and gold-filled.

Rolo Chain

Identified by its uniform round rings linked together; similar to cable chains, but the rings are generally thicker with less spacing between alternating rings.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities, as well as sterling and gold-filled.

Curb Chain

Identified by its interlocking uniform links that lie flat when close together.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities, as well as sterling and gold-filled.

Ball Chain

Identification is in the name; consists of hollow beads evenly spaced, connected by small wire rods. Requires a special connector or finding to fasten to a clasp.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities, as well as sterling and gold-filled.

Snake Chain

“Snake chains get their name from the snakeskin-like texture that results from the chain rings tightly fit together to form a flexible tube.” -Jewelers of America

We currently only carry this style as an 18″ finished chain in sterling silver.

Circle Chain

Identified by it circular soldered links. This is a good chain to use for extension chains and/or charm bracelets.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities, as well as sterling and gold-filled.

Click on the images below to check out more of our blog posts about chain for design ideas & inspirations.

Stay tune for part 2 of chain styles!

Resources & further reading:

ROMA: Sterling Silver vs Silver: What’s the difference?

Lat & Lo: Plated vs Filled

Jewelers of America: Guide to Jewelry Chain Styles

Wire Jewelry: About Ball Chain

Color the Year Yellow

In 2000, the Pantone Color Institute began forecasting color hues that would best impact and define the coming seasons. Many considerations factor into these predictions, choosing colors that would resonate with a global audience and reinforce the needs left behind from the previous season. After a cyclone of occurrences 2020 offered, Pantone welcomes the new year with two colors that both stand strong together & alone.

PANTONE Illuminating (13-0647) & PANTONE Ultimate Gray (17-5104)

Pantone’s Color of the Year

Let’s focus on Illuminating #13-0647, less specifically “yellow”. As it is the most visible color on the spectrum, it grabs attention and brings awareness. It is an active choice to be noticed, confident and bold. As a member of the primary triad, it is at the basis of perception and lightens every color it collides with. Yellow symbolizes intellect (#2 pencils…), courage (lions of oz), and royalty (gold!).

If you have feel hesitant, don’t worry, you just need a little inspiration to figure out how this radiance can support you & your palette…


Make it your focal point.

Make it your focal point for those days you feel a little more of a “badass.” I’m here, I have opinions & statements, hear my color…”[insert empowering animal noise, meow].”

Make it your motif.

Make it the color you work into every situation. Simply incorporated into your jewelry collection as a pair of earrings or a bracelet that reminds you to see “the brighter-side.”

OR Perhaps your like me, with a favorite yellow sweater that you’re pretty much known for wearing. It makes me feel like a walking sunflower, & in my opinion, its hard not to smile at a sunflower. I like to compliment it with warm neutrals. If I’m in a more playful mood, a fun pair of earrings or necklace with a bit of texture to add, but not overwhelm. If I’m in a driven mindset, then the simplicity of hoops, studs and/or a charmed necklace, so that I might harness all the potassium (~confidence) my banana peel has to offer, without additives.

Photo: Texture running through a field of sunflowers.

Be influenced by nature.

Look to day break, just above the Atlantic ocean…
All photo rights & credit to: @Osbornecody, Cody Osborne.

Look to the rapeseed fields of Luoping, China…

all photo rights & credits to Anna Berlin

Look to the luminous Pacific sea nettles…

all photo rights & credits to @Ohazeem, Oday Hazeem.

Look to the bullock’s oriole & its sunshine plumage…

all photo rights & credits to @thewildernessgoddess, Day Scott.

Be influenced by others.

How are other humans using the color? Let’s check in with our wonderful staff at the shop…

Get crafty with Lynn. Our resident resin connoisseur/addict, suggests you try your crafty hands at resin. She created this cute pair of simple earrings with our new doming resin, color tint & ear-hooks.

Be playful like Ella. Our social media savant has been diggin’ the warmer perimeter of the color wheel, lately. Yellow, Orange & Red, Oh my!

Be a little knotty. Our manager, Amy, likes to tie everything together with brass & macrame; this pairing highlights the color of the cord with the undertones of the wooden beads.

Think above the curve. Sylvie defies materiality with her 3 interlinked rings of leather.


Follow us on Instagram. We want to see how you, and other artists, are utilizing the vibrancy of “Illuminating Yellow” & its counterpart “Ultimate Gray.” As a shop, we will be focusing on them for the month of March. Tag us at #BDBPANTONE2021 to share your creations with us, be featured on our IG story, and/or inspire others in our community.

Check out this read that personifies the color yellow, here.

Check out the five color palettes Pantone has created for this year’s colors, here.

**Disclaimer: We understand that color is multifaceted. It embodies sunshine and happiness just as much as it designates warnings and precaution. But, I believe where there is danger, there is knowledge.