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Wooden Jewelry

By Paige McKirahan 

As one of the most versatile materials in nature, wood can do everything from create beautiful jewelry to make paper. With the ability to be delicately carved and elegantly painted, it has been trending in the accessory industry for decades. Considering society’s movement towards a more sustainable future, this lightweight, natural material is highly sought after; its economical and eco-friendly designs have established itself as a frontrunner in sustainable product creation. Why, though, should we lean towards wooden creations rather than plastic and other synthetic products?


Of course, like many of wood’s natural counterparts, this material has been used for jewelry for centuries. In more modern times, the use of wood in fashion saw a burst in popularity in the 1930s and this went on until the 1950s. Mixed with plastic, glass and other materials, wood was used to create brooches, hat pins, and pendants. Some pieces were carved and painted and could be made by creatives at home or by jewelry companies. Many depression era manufacturers created wooden pieces that were comical and illustrated the artist’s great creativity. When plastics and other synthetics became popular in the late ‘50s and into the ‘60s, wooden pieces were forgotten as people were enthralled with the new, high tech products created by plastic molds. Despite this drop in circulation, wooden pieces are now attracting green fashion aficionados on account of their natural, sustainable style.

When creating wooden jewelry, the technique is based upon the grain of the wood; you work in the direction of the grain or across it, but never against it as it will crack the piece. To cut wood down to ones desired size, a gouge blade is uses to chip away the wood safely. Wood can enhance the beauty of a variety of other jewelry materials, included gemstones, bone, ivory, beads, and glass. Combining it with other organic materials can create unique designs that are typically carved by hand. Looking for a unique, environmentally conscious piece? Check out our selection of wooden accessories to get that natural feel without stepping a foot into the forest!


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