Junk-Box Jewelry – 25 DIY Low Cost (or No Cost) Jewelry Projects Reviewed By Conny Crisalli of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on December 9, 2013

Author: Sarah Drew
Publisher: Zest Books
ISBN: 978-0-9827322-6-7

Author: Sarah Drew
Publisher: Zest Books
ISBN: 978-0-9827322-6-7

So whether you want to complement an amazing piece of fabric, highlight a beautiful store, or just experiment with your toolbox on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s our hope that you’ll always be able to find creative inspiration here,” Sarah Drew writes in the introduction of her book, Junk-Box Jewelry – 25 DIY Low Cost (or No Cost) Jewelry Projects.

At one hundred and twelve pages, this letter-size paperback book is targeted toward pre-teens and older who enjoy designing and making jewelry. After an introduction and a chapter on getting started, there are four sections dedicated to twenty-five jewelry creations followed by a list of useful websites, an index, author’s biography, and several pages of other books available by Zest Books. With over two hundred photographs, there are simplistic tutorials and partial end-product illustrations.

From five “Vintage Glamour” projects and six “Beach Finds” suggestions to eight “Use What You Have” crafts along with six “Diva Designs,” the range of jewelry covers chokers, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, cuffs, earrings, headbands, and tiaras. 

With the twelve year old or older crafter in mind, each project has a list of supplies needed to make the item with four to eleven step instructions in paragraph format, sometimes referencing past directions. Each design also has a creative tip.

From finding materials at the beach, yard sales, or thrift stores to getting hand-me-downs from relatives, antique buttons, pearls, and crystals along with washers, nuts, coins, and sea glass besides lace, silk flowers, and pebbles can be adapted into beautiful artwork. 

One example is the newsstand necklace made out of old magazine pages with chunky beads and leather cord. Only six steps are listed how to make the light-weight paper beads and string them onto the cord. The special tip is to make the necklace extra-long so it can be wrapped several times around the neck for a layered look.

Using limited illustrations and few details, beginners may be unsure which type of pliers to use (round or flat-nosed) when completing certain aspects of the project. With wire being the mainstay of most designs, easy-to-use pre-made eye or head pins are not mentioned or discussed. 

Although there are plenty of suggested jewelry ideas to glean from, the book seems to lack current concepts and directions that one can learn more readily on YouTube or Pinterest but this might be a book enjoyed by an intermediate jeweler.

This book was furnished by Zest Books in lieu of a review based on the reader’s opinion.

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