Fashionistas often end up feeling stuck between their desire to follow the latest trend and feeling the pinch on their wallet. Upcycled jewelry can fill that gap and let you be both green and on-trend.
Costume artist and designer Maria Cristina Bellucci ignited the color pencil jewelry trend with her deliberate reimagining of what can be done with wood and color. She plays with shapes and lines to create new art of old art supplies—and you can, too!
Project 1: Color Pencil Pendant
Step 1: Decide which colors you’d like to work with. You can create patterns out of various colors or try a monochrome ombré and channel Bellucci’s designs. You can use as few as seven pencils or as many as 70. It’s up to you to decide how big you want your design to be.
Step 2: Cut the pencils with a junior hacksaw. You’ll want to have about a third of an inch to work with for each section. Cut from the black, flat end. Hexagon shapes fit together better, but you can use circular pencils if that’s what you have on hand.
Step 3: Fit and glue. For a circular pendant, start on the inner ring and move outward. If your design is going to be complicated, go ahead and lay it out first. Glue the pencils to each other to start out.
Step 4: Let dry. Read your glue’s directions to see how long this will take. Super glue is always a good choice, but be careful when using it—you might end up wearing your new jewelry a little sooner than you expected!
Step 5: Use hand pads to sand down the piece. You can just make sure the edges are smooth and even with each other, or you can try to give the piece a circular shape all over.
Step 6: Mount on a brooch back and wear as a necklace or a brooch! You’re ready to step out in style!
Project 2: Color Pencil Trinity Necklace
Step 2: Sharpen them if they’re dull so you have a uniform look. You’ll be using the business end this time.
Step 3: Cut the pencils you want on the outside to the same length. Cut the third, middle piece a little longer.
Step 4: Drill a hole in each pencil, toward the top.
Step 5: String your necklace. You can go for a New Girl vibe by using yarn (braid three different colors to really channel your inner twee-ness), or make it classy by adding a thick gold chain.
There are infinite combinations of rings, earrings, and brooches you can make by combining color pencils. Everyday objects haven’t been so glam since Andy Warhol painted a banana!