My Stepdad plays in a band.
He plays Bass Guitar.
He changes his strings. Frequently.
When musicians decide their strings need to be replaced, usually the old ones just go into the trash. But what the musician discards as "useless" and "worn out" is still of great value to the folk artist.
Good quality strings are made from durable, corrosion and rust resistant metal. They can be snipped, bent, soldered, and hammered into shape, making them perfect for jewelry projects or almost any project where you would normally use wire.
An added bonus are the little brass parts at the end of the strings--free beads!
If you don't know a musician, (firstly, I will guess you are not from the east coast, because everyone around these parts knows a musician or IS a musician!) you can ask your local music store for their discards.
Practice caution when working with guitar strings as they can "sproing" at you and also poke their sharp ends into you--wear eye protection!