Tag Archives: reuse

Using Every Part of the Animal

I have nothing against leather, but I don’t know if I would buy new leather for myself or as supplies for 9000things.

However, if it isn’t clear by now, I like incorporating salvaged materials into new designs. I saw a lot of potential in the beautifully dyed leather scraps leftover from other handmade artists.

I call this project: Every Part of the Animal, based on the Native American principles of reducing one’s impact on the earth and minimizing waste by reusing parts that might normally be discarded.

I get the leather scrap from other crafters in Boston. The larger pieces are cut into 8″ strips (1/4″ – 2″ wide), then punched and set with snaps to make colorful leather cuffs.

Salvaged Scrap Leather Cuffs - 9000 things

Now there are medium sized pieces left which are sliced into 3/4″ strips and cut repeatedly to make leather fringe. The fringe is layered and clamped and strung on coated steel for awesome necklaces.

Salvaged Scrap Leather Fringe Necklaces - 9000 things

The small skinny scraps that are left over are the perfect size for long fringe earrings.

 

Salvaged Scrap Leather Fringe Earrings - 9000 things

There’s almost nothing left as waste!

Shout out to sacAmain and Edie & Fin for making beautiful things and for saving their leather scraps for me!

Currently, these are one of a kind and only available in person at handmade shows. However, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to purchase a cuff, necklace or earrings.

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Jewelry Destash from Southern CA

Woo wooo! New shipment of old and broken jewelry from Los Angeles. Can’t wait to start pulling these apart and remaking them into fresh, fun pieces. There’s some good stuff in here for an Art Deco inspired line that I’m planning…

Send me your old and broken jewelry and get a new necklace back! | 9000things

Those teal beads are gorgeous! I’m thinking something like this for summer.

Yay Jenn! Thanks for thinking of me while you were Spring Cleaning! I’ll contact you to determine the terms of our trade agreement ;)

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DIY Salvaged Jewelry Display Tutorial

Update: Hey everyone from Pinterest! These DIY jewelry displays have been getting a lot of attention lately, so I decided to give the tutorial a little revamp. Enjoy ;)
Oh! And let me know if I can improve my design, or share your jewelry display with me on the 9000things facebook page.

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A few weeks ago I realized all these new products I’ve been making require a new craft show display. So… off to the local flea market to find supplies! I totally love how these came out.

DIY Jewelry Display Tutorial - Vintage Wooden Boxes - by 9000things

I had this rough idea of what I was looking for at the flea market:
Cheap wooden crates (mine were rickety and needed some love and extra nails) $5 each
Small hinges $1 per pair
Scrap wood panels (had these in my stash)
Lots of random mismatched drawer knobs plus hardware $3 for a handful

And I had all this stuff on hand:
Various bolts, screws and nails
Drill and drill bits
Hammer
Flathead screwdriver
Ruler
Pencil
Sandpaper

Step 1: score a bunch of awesome crates from the flea market, recycle center and the local wine shop:

Raw wooden crates from a flea market - 9000 things

These ones have already been fixed up a little bit (hammer time!)

In case you can’t find enough wooden crates, the scrap wood panels will act as a cheat. Here I took two 1x10s that are about 28″ long and connected them with 2 small hinges in the back.

Upcycled jewelry display - 9000 things

Wider is better as far as stability. When set at a 90° angle, these panels stand on their own. So simple.

Next, measure a few inches from the top of each crate and draw a level line to make sure that your knobs will line up. Then mark out where you want to drill your holes – where the knobs will be positioned.

Salvaged materials jewelry display for craft shows - 9000 things

I found that between 3 and 4 inches is best for hanging necklaces, and I tried to keep it consistent across all the crates, making sure to center everything. You only need to leave about 1.5 inches on the sides.

Next, match your drill bit with the width of the bolts attached to your knobs. There’s some amount of standardization in knob bolt, with an exception here and there. Drill the holes!

Craft show jewelry display tutorial from found materials - 9000 things

(Those are not MY hairy arms)

Sandpaper those holes real quick to get rid of any splinters. And then, here’s the fun part… Check out this medley of mismatched salvaged drawer knobs:

Salvaged vintage drawer knobs for a jewelry display - 9000 things

I collected these all in one day at the flea market and I spent a grand total of $13! Here’s a tip: check out the guys who have a huge amount of old tools and hardware in various crazy boxes. The vendors I talked to were happy to offload this stuff and I just had to do a little digging. Basically anything less than $1 per knob is a great deal!

Last step is to find the right size bolts for the drawers and put them all together. It’s helpful if you have a rando bolt stash to go through. You’ll probably need to use a flathead screwdriver to make sure the knobs are secure.

DIY Craft show jewelry display tutorial - 9000 things

Don’t they look awesome?! I’m so in love with this project and it only took ONE day from start to finish!

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Ringgg: How It’s Made

Make Something Awesome!

[Update: Ringgs will be available on Sundays starting May 5th at the SoWa Open Market in Boston as well as regularly on my etsy site.]

My favorite part of making Ringggs is explaining to people how they’re made and watching as they register the familiar material that they’re holding in their hand. Then we have a conversation about how cool it is to transform something old and discarded into something new and beautiful.

Ringgg - Upcycled Jewelry from Discarded Telephone Wire - by 9000things

It starts with a plentiful and mostly obsolete material: coiled telephone cord. And a lot of it.

Telephone cord is recyclable. However, the amount of copper inside coiled phone cord is so small, it’s barely worth the energy to separate it. And I think this is a better solution anyway!

Ringgg - Upcycled Discarded Telephone Cords - 9000things

I get these cords everywhere! I have friends at recycling centers who will save them for me. I’ve gotten cords from many universities in Boston. Also: thrift shops, yard sales, FreeCycle and, straight up, the trash.

First, I cut the cords into smaller, Ringgg-sized coils. This part is fun because I find endless combinations of bright colors on the inside.

Ringgg - Upcycled Telephone Cords Stripped - 9000things

Most follow the standard: black, red, green and yellow seen above. But some are clear, some striated, some matte. Then there are crazy tropical colors, neutral pastels, 80s neons, sparkly copper… pretty much everything you see on my blog. (check out here and here and my shop here)

The rubber is stripped off of both sides, leaving one coil of sheathing intact in the middle to serve as an adjustable ring band. Wrap the band under one finger…

Ringgg - Upcycled Telephone Cords as Jewelry - 9000things

…Pull and twist the wires and VOILA! You’re ready to wear your Ringgg!

The curliness from the telephone cord is permanently fixed in the Ringgg, making it fun to play with, but durable. It’s like having a tiny interactive sculpture on your finger.

Ringgg - Upcycled Jewelry from Industrial Materials - by 9000things

And that’s how it’s made! Awesome, right?

*Just a note: I’m posting this ‘how it’s made’ as a kind of Open Source technology. Feel free to learn from my ideas, to make a Ringgg for yourself or your friend, and to draw inspiration for your own DIY upcycle projects.

It would be awesome if you don’t steal my original idea and try to sell it. This is my baby, and I’m really proud of it. If you’d like to sell Ringggs, contact me for wholesale or a license agreement. Don’t be that guy.

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Earth Day is Every Day!

Okay, Serious Post for a second here.

9000things, the small independent business is just over a year old now, but the idea behind it has followed me around since forever and ever. I’m not exactly sure when I first realized that far too many useful things make their way to die a lonely death in a landfill far before their time.

Maybe it was influenced by my father’s questionable habit of taking hand-me-ups from my sister and I as we were growing up. He can still be found chopping fire wood from the forest behind our house sporting my mother’s stretched out floral turtlenecks, wide leg jeans from when I went through my grunge phase, and a red and pink hat with knitted hearts that belonged to my sister in the 90s.

Perhaps I grew up a little too close to my mother’s light hoarding of broken things, just on the edge of being functional, that became open ended repurpose projects.

My grandmother, who grew up in the depression, felt perfectly comfortable passing off plastic milk caps, empty glass jars, calendars from years gone by, quality control rejected tshirts missing a (fairly essential) neck hole, and dead june bugs from her Florida winter home as totally normal kid’s birthday presents.

There’s my aunt, the first person to introduce me to the idea of early morning trash picking for furniture from the neighbors.

Another aunt got all of her clothing from thrift shops and did not mind telling us all about it.

As kids, my best friend’s dad woke us up at 5am on Sundays and threw us in the minivan in time to be the first at the flea market to scour for valuable antiques that were priced far below the market.

In short, I’ve been indoctrinated my whole life.

Most of the projects at 9000things involve some amount of upcycling or reuse or repurposing. But I’ve been at this for a long time and I strive to make the most beautiful new things out of the old and ugly.

I saw this post on the blog at Twice and in celebration of Earth Day, wanted to share:

Twice Blog - Used clothing saves the earth

Read about what they do here!

This stuff is so fun! Yay Earth Day!

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Suede Fringe Necklaces

Another sneak peek of new necklaces coming to the SoWa Open Market – which opens in just 2 short weeks!!

These tribal-inspired fringe necklaces are made with brightly dyed suede cord and strung on reused mashup chains from vintage, old and broken jewelry.

Suede Fringe Necklace Sneak Peek - 9000 things

Perfect upcycled necklaces for summer!

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Sneak Peek: New Remix Necklaces

Vintage Beads + Repurposed Chains

Check out these colorful new Remix Necklaces from our Spring 2013 Collection which we’ll be showing at the SoWa Open Market in Boston starting May 5th.

Big Bead Remix Necklaces 1 - 9000 things

Big Bead Remix Necklaces 2 - 9000 things

Big Bead Remix Necklaces 3 - 9000 things

Each necklace is about 26″ and combines large spherical vintage beads in bright, cheery colors and a recombinant chain made from old and broken jewelry. We’re ready for spring!

 

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Ringgg: The Beginning

Used Telephone Wire: Design Project

In February 2012, I first launched Ringgg on Etsy. This design project has roots in my art school days when I made sculptures from parallel cable wires and other discarded materials from the IT department.

So I had a big bag full of used coiled telephone cords left over that were collecting dust in my closet. Telephone cords can be recycled, but the minute amount of copper that is captured is barely worth the process.

Weeks of cutting rubber and stripping wire and it came to me that the materials were perfectly suited for making repurposed rings. Several iterations later, I had an elegant and simple solution and thus Ringgg was born.

Reused telephone cords become colorful rings - Ringgg by 9000 things

The most surprising thing about these old wires is the large breadth of colors used throughout the history of telephone cordage. Contemporary wires are grey and white. Boring.

But back in the 80s, a creative engineer somewhere decided to go heavy on the neons and by the 90s we have some pretty awesome color combinations including lime green and magenta. The 2000s introduced clear coated copper (so futuristic) and variations on that theme.

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