So as you know, my mission for the next year is to explore the terrain of eco-possibilities in crafting! I am slowly realizing all of the different things that can go into this (supplies, packaging, shipping, gifting, etc, etc). For this post I’m going to focus on beads and sparkly bits that make for oh-so-pretty craftiness.

Where do our beads ‘n things come from and how can we make sure we are sourcing them fairly and sustainably? I know that I use a lot of beads and crystals and other accents when I craft, so this can be a major aspect of crafting to think about in terms of eco-options and human/animal friendliness. I imagine that a lot of beads can be sourced back to factories that don’t have fair or quality working conditions for laborers and companies that don’t necessarily have eco-friendly policies. So what is a crafter to do? Here are a few tips for making your craft-habit a bit more green and friendly:

1. Hunt through the thriftstore for great vintage finds or use items that have been salvaged from vintage treasures, like these great finds from Etsy supply sellers:

Beautiful golden freshwater pearls salvaged from vintage jewelry.

Amazing pistachio vintage beads salvaged from a broken necklace. These make me hungry!

An awesome butterfly pendant reclaimed for a second life. There are some really great possibilities through salvaging!!

2. Find a crafting supplier that makes or upcycles their own beads or other pretties, like this delicious beach seaglass (these make me think of spring jellybeans…), or these funky rolled paper beads. I’m pretty sure the paper beads I made in Girl sScouts forever ago did NOT look this cool!

3. Try your own hand at making beads.

See here for a great tutorial on making beads from plastic bottles. Ok, that’s pretty ingenious…

This blogpost by Blisstree has all sorts of neat-o links for DIY bead-making.

Finally, if you’re brave or more experienced (and a grown-up!!!), there are also tutorials on making your own glass beads. P would NOT like this – he gets very nervous when my crafting involves fire…or blowtorches…

Happy eco-crafting! I’m waiting for all my salvaged treasures to come in the mail :).