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Making Jewelry Out of Broken Plates

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Making Jewelry Out of Broken Plates
The Recycled China Pendant, made by The Broken Plate Pendant Co. of Baltimore, priced at $40.

Editor's Note: We're rolling out 12 Days of Indie Merchant Gifts. Readers can vote for their favorite gifts, starting Dec. 12.

Talk about a niche business. Juliet Ames, an independent merchant in Baltimore, specializes in making custom jewelry from broken sentimental family china. The name of her website says it all: IBreakPlates.com.

We received scores of submissions for our gift guide from jewelry makers, but Ames's recycled china pendant stood out to us because it's truly one-of-a-kind -- not to mention quite pretty. And the sentimental inspiration behind her business appealed to our softer side.

"Most mothers, grandmothers and friends show love by preparing a great meal," she wrote. "When a plate breaks, people save the shards to hold on to what or who the plate represents. I have had the honor of working with broken wedding plates, plates salvaged from hurricane Katrina and plates that survived fires, just to name a few."

Ames's jewelry isn't cheap -- this pendant sells for $40 -- but one can argue that some things are priceless.

Check back tomorrow to see which indie merchant's gift we've selected for Day No. 5. And don't forget to vote for your favorite, starting Dec. 12.

Day 1: "The Shopping List Bag" - L.E. Green Bags

Day 2: Children's multicultural books - Hartlyn Kids  

Day 3: Chalkboard beer mug - The Man Registry

Day 4: Recycled china pendant - The Broken Plate Pendant Co.

Day 5: Vegan lip balm - Sprout Skincare

Day 6: Fair-trade-certified soccer ball - Senda Athletics

Day 6: Fair-trade-certified soccer ball - Senda Athletics

Day 7: Digital luggage scale - EatSmart Products

Day 8: Dog treat pouch - Sara Bella Upcycled

Day 9: "Not sent from my iPhone" Stationery set - Red Letter Paper Co.

Day 10: Key lime BBQ Sauce - Reva Foods

Day 11: Periodic Table of Elements necklace - My London Sun

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