How to De-Stash Your Unwanted Jewelry Components
by Rena Klingenberg.
When you want to get rid of some of your jewelry components – what do you do with the unwanted stash?
(I’m assuming those components are good enough quality for making jewelry.)
Ideas for De-Stashing Your
Unwanted Jewelry Components:
- Keep the unwanted components to use when creating “rough drafts” or prototypes of your new jewelry design ideas.
- Use them when you teach jewelry workshops.
- Create and sell jewelry kits with the older components.
- Check out some of the Facebook destash groups (you can find them with an online search for “Facebook destash group”) to connect with other jewelry artists who may want these components.
- For selling your stash of the old components, you may want to investigate Etsy.com (a lot of destash jewelry supplies are bought and sold there).
- Donate your unwanted jewelry components locally – and they’ll find their way to a jewelry artist who will happily use them …. without your having to create online listings, pack, and ship them.
- Donate them to local art guilds.
- Donate them to retirement homes or senior centers, where jewelry making is a popular craft.
- Donate them to a local school.
- Donate them to your local college art department.
- Donate them to a local thrift store. Lots of jewelry artists scour these stores for treasures like yours at affordable prices, and they’d be delighted to find your stash of components.
What Are Your Solutions?
I’d love to hear your ideas for de-stashing older components!
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂
After contacting you and finding that you weren’t planning to hold another bead drive 🙂 I posted my bag of goodies on freecycle.org, noting that they were suitable for budget-conscious or beginning jewelry-makers. Within hours, I got quite a few enthusiastic replies. The person I chose came right to my doorstep to pick up my de-stash. It was nice to help another jewelry-maker, and so easy!
Rena Klingenberg says:
Fantastic resource – thank you, Judith, for this great idea! 🙂
Cat Slavin says:
A couple times a year, the members of the beading class I belong to at the local Senior Center will sort, bag up and offer their unwanted stash to other members for a quarter, fifty cents, $1, etc. a bag.
One beaders junk is another beaders treasure!
I have a 14 year old neighbor that I started teaching how to make jewelry and bead weave when she was 9 years old. I de-stash by giving her all my components and beads that I no longer use. She loves getting them and enjoys teaching her friends how to make jewelry with my stash that I no longer use.
Linda Tenney says:
Yes, Rena, I have found Etsy to be a good resource to sell my de-stash. I opened a second shop (which doesn’t cost anything to open), One Heart Beading, in addition to my main Etsy shop, Heart of One Creations. I also began selling my more “whimsical” finished jewelry designs there, as I didn’t want them mixing with my other styles in my main shop.
Supply shops do quite well on Etsy in that they do high volume. My shop does relatively well, but the price points are low. I keep shipping costs to the bare minimum and also have an “all sales as is/final” policy, which doesn’t seem to deter buyers. I explain in my shop policies that due to the rock bottom prices, going back and forth with shipping returns or replacements would negate the low prices.
Even though 99% of my items are new, they sometimes have defects (think gemstone beads with inclusions or chipped) or tarnish (think “economical” base metal components), so I am very careful to describe them exactly as is and make suggestions for their use, for example, in mixed media projects, distressed or boho designs, kids’ projects, painting or patina-ing or gilder’s pasting over the tarnished metal.
Rena Klingenberg says:
Thanks for these excellent tips, Cat, Naomi, and Linda! I appreciate your insights! 🙂
Phyllis C says:
Thanks so MUCH for the great ideas! I will try some and let you know; nice to NOT have to discard anything, even though I no longer use it.
I certainly can continue to use in my jewelry classes, and even the inexpensive kits, 🙂 I hadn’t thought about ETSY or anything; so your thoughts are VERY much appreciated!!
Country Lady Jewelry says:
Hi everyone. This is a different subject, and I hope it follows protocol. I buy my silver plated findings from a reputable company we probably all know, but how long is the finish suppose to last? I worry about my findings losing their shine. Also, wire, does everyone use sterling silver? I also never know what wire to use because Again I always worry about aging discoloration. Any info you share will definitely be stored in my mind forever and a day, I promise!!!!!! Ty. CLJ.????
Pamela Dudrow says:
Hi Country Lady!
I realize your post is from back in February, but I have a couple of thoughts that may be helpful (or not, and that’s ok too!). I remember making lanyards for my nursing co-workers (I sold them). Two of my friends experienced the crimp beads failing with subsequent scattering of all those beads all over a patient’s floor or happening during a bedside procedure! Needless to say, I was utterly chagrined! My integrity as a jewelry designer was challenged as was their desire to ever purchase from me again! The point I’m trying to make is don’t create your jewelry with components that may be suspect! (Specific to your question- have you looked at silver fill while your waiting for you budget to allow you to buy .925 sterling?) Your reputation is on the line! Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to see how you would feel if an item you thought was sterling had the finish rub off? I encourage you to use the best materials available. Yes, you may go in debt for awhile, but you’ll be able to charge higher prices (never sell yourself short, charging higher prices adds value to your pieces as your customer’s perceived value is higher when your prices are higher). The upside to this strategy is you never have to worry your customers will experience “equipment failure” because of cheaper components, and your business will be seen as reputable and professional because of the pricier materials you are using. You’ll be able to command higher prices giving you more capital to purchase high end materials, and your reputation as a serious designer will grow! Good luck in your endeavors while you reach for the sky!
Dolly Stewart says:
Country Lady asked a question I’ve always wondered about. I mostly use plated metals and mostly from the well known online company, but sometimes, these same components will oxidize even though I store them in airtight, zip-lock bags. If this also happens to my clients, my company will lose much credibility. I can’t afford sterling or gold…what can I do?
I have tried spray sealers, which leave an unappealing film behind and the brush on sealers are not time effective with all these itty bitty components…again, seriously, what can I do?
Larry Dallas says:
That sounds like a great idea! I wil have to try destash my older jewelry, I may take it to the Community Center. Thanks, Larry Dallas
Christine Gerstein says:
Goodwill and other organizations sponsor the Give Back Box program (givebackbox.com). Simply fill up a used box of any size, print out a label and bring to the Post Office or a UPS drop off location (your choice). You may even request US Postal Service pick-up at your home or office, and print a receipt for tax purposes.
I live in an apartment building in Brooklyn, NY and send books, household goods, and clothing left by residents in our basement area on a weekly basis. I wash all items first so they are clean and fresh – it’s better than sending them to the landfill!
Judy Pagnusat says:
We have a Christmas party every year with all our artsy friends during which we have a white elephant gift exchange. These gifts should be things you no longer use from your studio worth at least $10.00. Gifts have included jewelry components and beads, but also books and tools. On our turn, we get to steal a gift or take a new one and have a lot of fun. This could be done at any time of the year.
Nancy Landers says:
Incorporate the odd pieces into suncatchers
I recently went through EVERYTHING.. Wow! Being self taught some of my earlier purchases I wouldn’t use now BUT I was able to sort through and donate beading string, wire, beads to a large assisted living facility, then sorted beads and wire for beginners wire wrapping class , sold some on Facebooks destash groups and last made up some kits with tutorials. It’s amazing what can accumulate in a relatively short time span.