Have you noticed all the broken, ugly, or not-quite-right jewelry at thrift stores and garage sales? All you need are a couple tools, jewelry findings or wire (relatively inexpensive), and your own creativity to make unique jewelry.
I try to buy used/thrifted whenever possible. It's cheaper and it's better for the environment. Plus, I love the treasure hunt!
I have been making my own jewelry out of thrifted pieces. I turn old necklaces into bracelets, earrings into pendants, cut beaded necklaces apart to use the beads in rings, rip apart belts to use as bracelets. I've been having a great time - and I'm selling some of my creations in my etsy shop. Here are a few of the things I've just listed:
This pendant necklace is one of the many pieces of jewelry I've made with vintage buttons and wire. I've made rings, bracelets, and necklaces. I got this button from my sweet grandmother. Update: I decided to keep this one for myself! I had this white shirt I never really liked wearing. Adding this pendant to the outfit made the shirt work for me!
These three necklaces are all made with the beads from the same ugly necklace I bought at a garage sale. The beads look like that chalky/chewy candy grandmas always have in their houses. The original necklace was on a string that was totally stretched out. It was unwearable. I removed all the beads and turned them into a number of creations.