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Recycled Paper Jewelry - OriginalBliss

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An Etsian, Shannan of Original Bliss has gotten a lot of comments on her recycled money jewelry. No wonder given the current global financial meltdown! She made them as a kind of political statement or joke. She said, "There was a stray dollar bill sitting on my kitchen counter where I was making earrings one night while watching the Presidential debates. It struck me that that dollar bill may be more valuable to me as earrings than as an actual dollar! Brilliant idea as those dollar earrings cost $15 in her Etsy store!! The dollar cuttings are protected with archival grade laminate.

But it's not just her dollar jewelry that first drew me but her range of wonderful and colourful recycled paper jewelry. She first started cutting up magazines to use as collages and to reference her drawings. She soon progressed to weaving strips of magazine paper and mixing them with other found objects and fiber. As with many truly creative artisans, she again moved on to the next artistic development - layering those small scraps of paper and making earrings out of them!

On her blog, she showcases her many passions including jewelry, photography, nudes and weavings. Shannan works as 911 Emergency/Police/Fire Dispatcher AND a mixed media/journal artist in Modesto, California , USA. Given her job, you can understand why her art is so important to her. She said in her Etsy profile, "I use art as a way of transcending all the negativity and stress of my vocation in order to uncover and commune with my soul for a while." That's really well said, Shannan. Many of us have a deep abiding need to create as it soothes the soul.

The Beading Gem's Journal


  1. Very original indeed and what a great idea to use the dollar note that way.

  2. Shannan, your art is truly amazing. Those earrings are ADORABLE. How original!!! I love your weavings too!!

    Brilliant!!! Original Bliss is one of my favorite Etsy shops!!!

  3. Not to put a damper on things, but it's illegal in the US to deface, mutilate or impair currency or coinage...

  4. I wonder what the interpretation and allowances for that would be, Diana, given that there are many, many examples of the paper money in fashion and jewelry. Here is a fabulous post - check out the dress made out of bills -

  5. I think money as jewelry could be a very cool statement, I've seen some cool things done with coins and origami with dollars has always been popular especially if you can't afford to leave a good tip-- might as well make it memorable!
    But the main thing I am worried about concerning these earrings and other jewelry which fuses things to coins to make them wearable is that in contrast to origami manipulation there is actual destruction of the currency to create art. I don't think it is enforced as a priority-- there aren't necessarily currency cops policing the jewelry world to make sure people aren't cutting up bills, but I think that if it becomes a bigger trend more things might be done to stop the practice.

    I just don't want a person with a creative streak to have to pay some really high fines or worse because they decided to turn a dollar into something more useful. I know for a fact that melting down pennies and nickels can lead to serving time and ridiculous fines... so beware!

  6. Love some of those earrings! Gonna have to check out her shop!

  7. What is the archival grade laminate, please?

    1. It is some sort of protective layer which is the kind used by museums and galleries for durability.


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