Recycled Jewelry

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Contributor: Sandi Imperio

Description: Make new pieces out of old or broken jewelry


  • Super Lightweight Air-Dry Putty (Discount School Supply #WPUTTY, ~$19 for 2lbs)
  • Old Jewelry (I asked staff for old earrings, necklaces and pins)
  • Misc beads of all sizes (I took apart old beaded necklaces and earrings)
  • Liquid watercolor
  • Gloss Mod Podge (~$7 for 8oz bottle)
  • Cording (for necklaces or hanging pieces, ~7)
  • Small paper plates (to take creations home)

Number of People: 1 box of putty will make about 100 pieces depending on size

Target Audience: 8 Years+, Tween & Teens

Cost: $34

Prep Time: Asked staff for jewelry about 3 months before program. Actual prep time 2 hours.

Program Time: 1 piece took 10 to 20 minutes depending on design


  1. (Before Program) Prep old jewelry. Take apart anything beaded. Remove earring and pin backs. Bend posts parallel to jewelry front (do not cut off, bent post will help stick jewelry in putty).
  2. (At Program) Spread out jewelry and beads for selection.
  3. Distribute putty (open inside bag, but leave in sealed outside ziplock bag). ~1 bag to 3 participants (2 or 3 pieces each)
  4. Remind participants to keep size reasonable if making a necklace. For those making hanging or necklace piece leave a spot open for the hole.
  5. Take a desired amount for piece. Knead putty until smooth (no air bubbles).
  6. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Shape, smooth edges.
  7. Decorate with jewelry pieces (1 per piece works best) and beads.
  8. Paint (use water sparingly).
  9. Let dry slightly.
  10. Coat with thin layer of Mod Podge. Coat the sides too. If dry before they leave, put on a second coat (but not necessary).
  11. Carefully, transfer to paper plate. Be sure it is laying float.
  12. Cut cord to desired length and give to participant to take home. Let them take them home with this info: If piece is small, it could be dry and hard enough to pick up in 24 hours. If it bends, even slightly, let dry longer.

Source: Got the idea from a friend

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