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How to Create Beautiful Jewelry from Your Vacation Memories

By Beverly McCullough on May 21, 2014

Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time to head into vacation planning mode. We will be traveling across the country on a grand road trip this summer — it’s going to be so fun!

If you are like me, with vacations usually come souvenirs. But this year instead of keeping kitschy items that end up collecting dust or getting tossed after a few months, why not create some stylish jewelry? It is so easy to pick up a few items from your trip and covert them into a pretty necklace or bracelet, or even turn a favorite photo into something adorable to wear!

How to Create Beautiful Jewelry from Your Vacation Memories

Pick up seashells from the beach

If you are heading to the beach this year, you will probably come home with bags of shells. Why not turn one or more of them into a pretty charm? You could leave them their natural color or add a little sparkle by painting the shell gold!


Use sea glass for pretty bracelets or pendants

Sea glass is easy to find on the beach — when we lived in the Pacific Northwest, we had jars of it. With a little wire wrapping or by simply drilling a small hole, you can have a unique and stylish piece to remember your trip by.


Create Ocean Inspired Earrings

Take some time on your trip to stop in at a local bead store — they are usually a great source for unique beads and local stones and styles. Pick out a few special beads that remind you of your trip, and when you return home, put together some gorgeous earrings inspired by your time at the coast.


Remember with Map Jewelry

Another great way to remember your vacation is to create jewelry that focuses on the location. Map jewelry has become very popular, so it’s easy to find something in this trend that suits your style. Create pendants or bracelets that highlight your destination. You can also get a little more creative with your materials and use metal or even embroidery to make your piece.

Sources: Il Gatto Selvatico, Nieman Marcus, Anne Holman

Take inspiration from your location and photos

Travel photos don't have to sit in a photo album or your phone — use them instead for inspiration for your jewelry, or even create several pieces based on your adventures! I love how this gorgeous fringed necklace brings to mind the beautiful colors of the buildings and pennants on this street in Mexico.

Crafting beautiful pieces inspired by your vacations can be such a fun way to create your own souvenirs. Every time you wear the piece, you will be reminded of the good memories of your trip. Souvenir jewelry makes a wonderful gift as well. You could design jewelry for friends that you traveled with or as mementos for graduation, honeymoons or other important events.

So think creatively when you are traveling this summer, and bring home some souvenirs to make unique vacation jewelry!

Bonus Offer: Want to learn how to design and fabricate your own jewelry collection? Request a Catalog, or Enroll in the New York Institute of Art and Design's Jewelry Design Course today!

About the Author

Bev grew up in a family of artists and seamstresses so it is no surprise that she loves to create. She began sewing as a teenager and made her own clothes and jewelry even then. That love for DIY and creating has grown to include jewelry making, sewing, embroidery, furniture refinishing and anything else she can learn. Her style could probably be described best as a mix between modern and vintage —she loves taking old styles and making them new and fun again. Several of Bev's projects have been published in magazines such as Jewelry Affaire, Somerset Home, FreshStyle, and Apronology, and she occasionally teaches jewelry classes. She's also the co-planner for the SoCal Social, an annual event for Southern California creative bloggers. Bev lives in gorgeous Carlsbad, California with her husband, two teenagers, and two cats, which are often more trouble than the two teenagers. Find her at

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