How can I reuse or recycle a bundle of wires?

A bundle of wiresA few weeks ago now, we had a weekend away (to Lindisfarne – was great) and when we returned, we were greeted by a big bundle of wires in the middle of our garden path. A neighbour had found – and disassembled – a broken sunbed while we were away and the wires were leftover. He knows we like using odd things so left them out for us.

So I took them in and sorted them by colour – but don’t know what to do with them. They seem to be quite thick – but malleable – copper, coated in pretty tough plastic. They mostly range in length from around 50cm (20″) to about 1m (40″), but there are some shorter ones at about 20cm (8″) too.

The wires look pretty flexible and strong but I don’t know if they’re bendy enough to use for something like macrame – at least fine knotting – but I like the idea of using them from something crafty. So any suggestions?

Or any more practical ideas?

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a bundle of wires?”

  1. hazel_tree says:

    One of my uses for reclaimed wire is for hanging pictures and similar, such as the pin boards I make from reclaimed corks and bookshelf backs.

    (Follow the link behind my name if you want to see.)

    I also have a little peg board that you can use to form wire into pretty shapes and words for decorating greetings cards and scrapbooks etc. There is a plan to use reclaimed wire for this too, if I can ever get the hang of this.

  2. Andy says:

    I use the coloured wire to make woggles, by knotting the wire into a special knot called a ‘Turks Head’ which look’s like a french plait.
    I Sell them to raise funds to my Scout’s to hold there kneckerchief’s in place as they are always loosing them.
    The variey of colours means that no two are ever the same!

    Another use is to cut the wire into 2″ legnths and bend them into ‘S’ shapes and use them for hanging Christmas decorations and fairy lights on the tree. If the wire is green or back, it’s less noticeable and much tidier than bits of string or cotton.

    My last suggestion is to use it in the garden to hold plants to supporting poles. Being covered in plastic, it prevents excessive rubbing to the plant stem

  3. Judith says:

    Use them for macrame plant pot holders they are easier to knot and they will be strong.
    Use a board to pin the wires to to begin with.
    My Father taught me to do this when I was a child.

  4. Penny says:

    In Africa I think they are woven to make baskets. The ones sold by the roadside look fabulous – really colourful.

  5. Use them as washing lines so you can peg your washing out on them. By looking at the picture, that looks like the same kind of wire my grandmother uses as her washing line, and it’s been there for years.

  6. claire says:

    crafters love this stuff. Somebody you know will want it or will know someone else who wants. Heck, I want it.

  7. Check out the wire magic website as I think there are fantastic pictures of the very tightly woven baskets that they make in SOUTH AFRICA. I have used this wire in my work but find it has a bit of spring in it that isn’t good for my way of work. I have used it with kids as it is softer for them to work with than the copper wire I get from televisions that I usually work with.

  8. Gavin says:

    wire is like duct tape, it has a legitimate role in the building and/or fixing of just about anything.

    Dynamo coils might be something in demand more too in the near future.

  9. sksews says:

    You sound crafty (and your post was ages ago), but for non-crafty people, copper can be sold at recycling centers here in the States. People (idiots, I would say) have been killed trying to steal copper wire that is still in use in the electrical system because the stuff is so valuable. It’s valuable because of a shortage, so I would guess that is worldwide, and that copper is valuable no matter where you live.

    • I remember hearing a polish jeweller talking about shortage of copper in POLAND and he said all the angle poise lamps in the jewellery workshop had the shortest cables to the plugs because they were constantly being shortened by the poor jewellers looking for materials. We can sell copper here too and I’ve seen people scavanging copper pipes from the other people’s yards here to sell.

  10. Giselle says:

    wire can be recycle at

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