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Kitchen Sink Jewelry Design Tips

Updated on January 28, 2015

Kitchen Sink Jewelry

Kitchen Sink Jewelry necklace design
Kitchen Sink Jewelry necklace design | Source

How to Make Kitchen Sink Jewelry

Kitchen sink jewelry is a great way to turn charms, single earrings, skeleton keys and all types of miscellaneous trinkets into treasured jewelry keepsakes. Do you love the look of charm bracelets? Do you have a stash of broken jewelry, mismatched earrings, assorted leftover beads and trinkets from other craft projects and bits of wire? I recently heard the term kitchen sink jewelry used on YouTube by B'Sue Boutiques to describe a method of jewelry assembly with leftover pieces like keys and charms. These wearable creations are made with 3 simple tools. To make your own Kitchen Sink Jewelry you will need round nose pliers, flat nose pliers and a sharp pair of flush cutters. You will also need jump rings, scraps of wire and chain to which you will attach your trinkets. If you can open a jump ring, you can make Kitchen Sink Jewelry.

Design Ideas For Kitchen Sink Jewelry Creations

  • Skeleton Keys
  • vintage buttons
  • charms
  • spoons
  • bottlecaps
  • tassels
  • crystals
  • polymer clay creations
  • Safety pins
  • vintage jewelry
  • flowers
  • watch parts
  • typewriter keys
  • single or stray earrings
  • Scrabble charms

How to Open a Jump Ring

Jump rings come in various sizes, widths, and thicknesses of wire.

To open or close a jump ring, twist the sides apart rather than "pulling" them apart. Open the ring with your round-nosed pliers and use a sideways motion. If you pull the ring apart, you will distort the jump ring’s shape. Try not to distort the circular shape. Here's a pic:

The size of your jump ring depends mostly on the size of the holes in your pieces or the size of the loops, eyepins, etc attached to them for the jump ring to fit through. Eyepins are similar to headpins but have a loop at the base. Eyepins are great for connecting two pieces together such as a dangling crystal to a beaded headpin. You can easily make your own eyepins by learning to make a basic wire loop (for the bottom) and a wire-wrapped loop at the top.
The wider the jump ring the larger the swing area so the charms will be able to dangle easily, and the wider the jump ring the farther away the charm will hang from whatever it's connected to. Weight and size of the charms and the bracelet they're attached to, and appearance-desired will make a difference too.

A great way to connect pieces is to use split jump rings. Since they do not open as easily as open jump rings, your pieces will be more secure. Split jump rings can wreak havoc on your fingernails when you are forcing the rings open, so check out the special pliers available for easily opening split jump rings.

Kitchen Sink Jewelry turns Trash to Treasure


Trash or Treasure

Have You Transformed Junk Jewelry into Treasure?

See results

Kitchen Sink Crazy

Everything but the....
Everything but the.... | Source

Use Chain With Large Links

  • Use a chain with links that are large enough to attach each "treasure" to a separate link
  • Space your charms and trinkets out so they look appealing
  • Hold your work up so you can visually check your design for color and size balance
  • Place items on a flat surface first or lay on top of a jewelry design board to help with spacing and placement

Wire Wrapped Loop vs. Plain Loop

Wire wrapped loops look more professional than plain loops and are much more secure.
Wire wrapped loops look more professional than plain loops and are much more secure. | Source

Make a Wire Wrapped Loop

Make sure the wire length you are using is long enough to wrap around itself at least twice. Tuck the tail of the wire to the back side of your design and neatly cut the excess with your flush cutters, making sure the wire does not stick out. You can use a hand file to smooth the end if necessary.

It takes only a few extra seconds to make a durable, professional-looking wrapped loop instead of a plain loop.

It’s worth the effort to learn this handy technique. Spend the small amount of extra time to make higher quality jewelry components.

Junk to Jewelry

Jane Eldershaw has a great book on transforming junk into jewelry
Jane Eldershaw has a great book on transforming junk into jewelry

Make Kitchen Sink Jewelry with Vintage Beads

Xuron Pliers for Jewelry Design

Trash to Treasure DIY Ideas

"What I once considered trash is now a treasure. I’ve found new life for these vintage pieces. I see depths of beauty and color that I never observed before. Now my mind goes to all the wonderful DIY projects that can be created, embellished and spruced up with just a few pieces of vintage jewelry."

Learn how to transform vintage jewelry into treasured pieces with this tutorial .

Kitchen Sink Jewelry Queen

Sell Kitchen Sink Jewelry at Craft Shows

Other Articles

Pair bright Swarovski crystal with slider beads and safety pins for a gorgeous bracelet.  Use a vintage button clasp.
Pair bright Swarovski crystal with slider beads and safety pins for a gorgeous bracelet. Use a vintage button clasp. | Source
Make extra cash selling the hottest brands of clothing on EBay.  Check out my tutorial.
Make extra cash selling the hottest brands of clothing on EBay. Check out my tutorial. | Source

Make a Simple Wire Loop

Making a simple wire loop.
Making a simple wire loop. | Source

Kitchen Sink Jewelry Design is Addictive

Disclaimer: Author is not responsible for kitchen sink jewelry design hoarding issues or extreme crafting behavior which may result from Kitchen Sink Jewelry Design.


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    • hazeltos profile image

      Susan Hazelton 24 months ago from Summerfield, Florida

      Very interesting ideas. Only a true creative mind would think of them. I will be saving odds and ends from now on. I love this hub.

    • heathersgreatcat profile image

      Heather Walton 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Save any earrings that you no longer wear, including singles, to use for your Kitchen Sink Jewelry projects. Ask your friends if they have any donations...most women have quite a large collection of unwearable pieces they'd love to see repurposed.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 3 years ago from USA

      I love necklaces that are hung with a variety of vintage and unusual objects. Thanks for sharing this great hub! I don't have enough bits and pieces to make my own necklace, but will keep collecting until I can put together my own kitchen sink piece. Voted up and pinned for later. Thanks!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Brilliant ideas and beautiful, fun jewelry. The simple ideas are always the best and this is so simple but creates visually intricate things.

      My daughter does a little of this but usually starts with bought beads.

      I've got lots of small keys, buttons etc so I think I'm going to have a go at this or I might pass the bits on to her to do for me. No - I'll have a go!

      Excellent suggestions and practical instructions. Thanks.

      Happy New Year to you!



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