Use food packaging to make colorful jewelry.
Many consumers reduce their household waste by recycling; some items, such as ceramics and scratched DVDs, are not recyclable into new material. Instead of throwing out your non-recyclable items, turn them into creative handmade pieces of jewelry. Whether you are looking to add to your stash of accessories or start a green business, recycled jewelry can help reduce your impact on the environment.
Ceramics cannot be recycled (see References 1). When you break a ceramic dish, use the shards to create jewelry. Choose pieces that have a piece of the original print and use a file to smooth the edges. Glue on a metal loop to the back and turn each piece into a necklace or a pair of earrings; you can also string small pieces together to make bracelets or glue them onto plain hair clips. For plain pieces of ceramic, use craft paint to add handmade details to turn a simple shape into a delicate work of art.
Books bound with glue cannot be recycled like other paper products (see References 3). If you have books that have been torn or ruined, use them to make paper beads. Cut strips of paper, coat them with glue and wrap them around a coffee straw. When they are dry, paint the beads and use them to make custom jewelry projects.
CDs and DVDs
It can be difficult to recycle old compact discs and DVDs. Although you can donate some to charity, there are few uses for burned or scratched discs. Make use of the shiny surfaces of DVDs and CDs for jewelry. Depending on your aesthetic, you can cut out shapes and drill holes for dangling pendants. When using CD pieces, make sure to file them down first, because they are prone to rough edges.
Potato Chip Bags
Many recycling programs will not take food bags made from coated plastic or foil, such as potato chip bags. Instead of throwing them out, turn packages into flat pieces for jewelry. Cut thin strips and weave them into necklace pendants, or cut out similar shapes and glue them together to form thick pieces. When using food packaging, make sure the bold, colored patterns face out and use different pieces together for contrast.