Transforming Jewelry with Unexpected Finds

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily


Every artist/designer I know finds beauty in nature. There's the most obvious beauty: a pristine Caribbean seashore, fall in New England, your local craft store. You expect to find beauty there. But what about the uncommon places? Sometimes you have to search deeply, but unexpected beauty can be the most joyful of all. As artists and jewelry designers, it's critical to train your eye to see unexpected beauty. And what is beauty anyway? It's completely subjective, so, what is beautiful to you may not be to your buddies (such as lava lamps and pink flamingos). The range of beauty in jewelry making is as wide as the western plains. And I'd like to share with you some of my latest unexpected beauty finds to spark your creativity so you'll open your eyes to possibilities you may have not thought of before.

Discount Stores

I found loads of goodies great for jewelry making buried within the aisles of these stores. You need to dig a bit-and put on your creativity cap while you peruse these treasure troves.

Bath hooks make great focal pieces for your jewelry. Simply break off the hook from the back with pliers, and use the focal piece as a pendant.

Bath mats have loads of different kinds of textures. These are great and inexpensive for clay texture plates or Paintstik rubbings.

Scrubbies also have many different textures. Very useful for adding texture to paint or coating paper with resins.

Fabric Stores

Go beyond your familiar jewelry-making component aisle. Even if you don't sew, pop into one of these from time to time. Look at everything with a jewelry designer's eye and you'll be surprised how many potential jewelry-making components you'll find.

Use vintage fabrics to make adorable earrings in the new DVD Remixed Media: Making Custom Beads and Pendants with Wood and Acrylic.

Make sure you mosey down the button aisle. The styles and colors are great jewelry components for stitching onto a peyote cuff or gluing to a metal ring base.

These tiny ribbon flower stickers would look great glued into a frame pendant or incorporated into wedding jewelry.

Don't forget to wander through the trims. Fabric trims come in many textures, shapes and colors. Perhaps use a band of this as a choker necklace, just attach some snaps to the back, embellish with a bit of bling, and you're ready to go!

Upholstery fabrics and trims can add a lot of interest and texture to your jewelry pieces.


Tassels can be used as jewelry components, depending on their size, on focals-or earrings. The ones with sequins or beads really add some zing to your finished piece.

Hardware Stores


Hammer and patina washers for the ultimate customization in your jewelry components. Learn how in the new DVD Remixed Media: Transforming Found Metal Objects for Your Jewelry.

These washers are already aged for you. Not bad for 10 cents each! Even the hardware store has gone bling! These keys would make great jewelry components.

It's great to think outside the box and look for beauty in unexpected places when creating original jewelry. I've given you a few ideas here. Candy Cooper has some other great ideas and she shows you how to create beauty with the most unexpected materials such as wood and acrylic in her new DVD Remixed Media: Making Custom Beads and Pendants with Acrylic and Wood. It's fascinating watching her ingenuity with such basic materials. Very fresh, inspiring, and innovative! Have fun.

The best is yet to bead!


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