Recycling skateboards is nothing new, as skateboarder and designer Lindsay Jo Holmes will tell you. Holmes is the founder and mastermind behind MapleXO, a Portland-based company that specializes in hip, handcrafted jewelry and standout accessories -- like the terrific iPhone 4 case shown above -- made entirely from salvaged skateboards.
MapleXO's latest offering of 50 limited edition iPhone cases are made in in collaboration with Grove, another company that handcrafts artisan iPhone gear. Other than that, MapleXO's bread-and-butter collection includes handmade earrings, bracelets and silver rings, all with recycled skateboard accents.
And fret not, guys, MapleXO also has rings and belt buckles for you too.
With a down-to-earth sense of humour, Holmes describes the serendipity of finding her calling back in 2005, thanks to her skateboarding passion:
[..] My first personal attempt wasn't to make jewelry, it was to make a clock for my wall at home. Next I made a chalkboard, some magnets and eventually I just put the scraps from all these skateboard crafts on some earring hooks and wore them around. Didn't think much of it until all my friends and people from work started asking me to make them some skateboard earrings.
Looking back on it now is funny, because the earrings were literally raw pieces of broken skateboards dangling on ear wires.
Don't forget the wheels
Though they're typically overlooked in favour of recycling skateboard decks, for MapleXO the discarded skateboard wheels are also a source of inspiration and material too. Determined to find a use for them, after several crazy (dangerous) experiments, Holmes ended up cutting and dyeing them with natural pigments to make earrings.
It's not just jewelry too -- MapleXO also makes these recycled skateboard bicycle fenders too (take a look at a sandpaper-wielding, epoxy-brandishing Holmes making them in the woodshop here).
So far, MapleXO products can be found in various stores across the United States, Australia and Canada (though I'm surprised MapleXO isn't represented in Montreal despite a strong "Skirtboarder" or girl skateboarder community here. Hurray pour les poulettes à roulettes...! But I digress).
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More Recycled Skateboard Design
Art of Board: Broken Skateboards Become Sustainable Designs
TreeHuggerTV - Sustainable Skateboards
Skateboards Make a Come Back: How to Find and Use Yours the Green Way