Upcycling your Jewelry

2015.07.16 - Beading BasicsI hate to see people throw away their jewelry.  Even the costume kind.  Mardi gras beads are about the only type of jewelry that I will throw away or recycle.  Those are less beads and more plastic on a string.  Everything else can be remade into something fun and more fashionable.  Beads can be restrung, chain can be used in various different ways.  It can all be shifted about and made into something you find beautiful again. Here are some tips for upcycling your old jewelry:

  1. Chains can be cut and the pieces can be made into pendants, earrings or used between beads on bracelets and necklaces.
  2. Beads can be cut from their original cording and restrung with different beads and findings to create a totally different look.
  3. Look for quality components even if you don’t like the original design, you can always take apart something of quality, you can’t make something of quality out of shoddy materials.
  4. Be creative!  Even if you have something you don’t think would ever look good, think outside the box to make it something fun and funky!  Taking a few beads to make earrings is a great way to break up a stash.
  5. Try switching from one strand necklaces to multi-strand necklaces or vice versa!  Adding or subtracting beads can change the whole look of a piece.
  6. Don’t be afraid to combine gold and silver.  Done well it’s totally a thing.  Be brave!
  7. Browse the internet!  Get ideas!  Pintrest is super fun for feeding your imagination.  Just be sure not to copy a design, folks work hard on designing their pieces, be original and create one of your own!
  8. Beadweaving can be upcycled too, though it can be a bit more difficult with the smaller beads.  Making a bracelet a necklace is always a fun way to spice up a piece! Or if the piece is too plain you can always add more stuff!
  9. Check out rummage sales, garage sales, and flea markets for old jewelry.  You can find some great deals!
  10. Have fun!  Designing is all about tapping into what makes you feel pretty, what you decide is beautiful.  If you are not enjoying it, you are doing it wrong!

Here are some ideas to get you going!

Upcycling Old Jewelry with Enamel

Upcycled, Recycled and Repurposed Jewelry Tutorials

DIY Upcycle Improve Old Cheap Jewelry Accessories Tutorial

Here is an example of a piece I re-purposed from two different necklaces.  It was fun and I can’t wait to wear it!

Sun Necklace

Scrabble Tile Pendants

Ok, so not exactly steampunk, I find these to be horribly amusing:

I’ve got a thing for eyes…and skulls…and…well pretty things really.  So here is another pretty thing:

Wow, I love these pinups.  So cute and sassy, and really tame compared to what you see now-a-days.  So sweet!

These are all by Unscrabbled from etsy.  I love them because they are all unique and different, and…well….EYES!  They make their pendants from old scrabble blocks.  Which is a great way to upcycle.  I’m a huge fan of upcyling.

Wow, That’s Talent.

Alright, I admit it, I’m impressed.  This necklace comes from Rivkasmom over on Makers Market.  It’s fantastic.  I love the colors and the drops.  I love the gears and the way it lays on the model.  Beautiful work.

Of course, most of Rivkasmom’s work is beautiful.  This one has me tickled as well:

Can we say….WANT!

They are so pretty, so feminine, and yet…gears.  I love it.