Saturday, July 6, 2013

Repurposing Vintage Jewelry Before and After

I buy lots of vintage jewelry.  It's something I just can't stop collecting!  I love it when I find a pair of old earrings, or a necklace in perfect wearable condition.  But I love it probably even more when I find a discarded piece of jewelry someone thought was no longer wearable.  That's when I actually end up having the most fun!

Here's an example:
vintage rubber plastic clip earring  (BEFORE)
I found the above funky little earring in a pile of vintage stuff I bought.  I got the earring for a great deal, because there was only one in the lot.  Wouldn't they have been cool earrings, if only there were two!?  They were made of this funky rubbery plastic material, and had leaves in a vibrant orange, white, accented with a little gold around a white plastic flower and an old rhinestone in the center.

But even with one earring missing, I knew I could breathe a little life into the one I bought and make something I would love!

The first thing I always do is clean the pendant and all vintage parts with a toothbrush, and then I start putting everything together.

I get out tons of stuff before I start narrowing down my choices.  Eventually, I decide what color and sizes of beads and chain to use.  For this necklace, I used little white beads, and orange beads because I just loved those contrasting colors in the earring- now known as the pendant of the necklace.  I also used 3 or 4 different vintage jewelry chains to keep it interesting all the way around.
various vintage chain and pendant combined with modern beads to make something brand new!
various links of vintage chain connected with orange beads
I don't know if while I was working with the pendant the center rhinestone dropped out, or maybe it wasn't there in the first place, but I noticed a missing stone.  But I save old pendants for "harvesting" things like rhinestones that have fallen loose.  I found one just the right size in this old pendant...

Sometimes, I rework something over and over until it's just the right balance, and it looks just like I had envisioned it.  Sometimes I get it right the first time, and other times, I spend hours and hours on a single piece.  Sometimes, it feels a little frustrating, sometimes it flows from beginning to end.
Almost always, it's rewarding by the time I finish it!
a single vintage earring is never trash to me! (AFTER)

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