Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jewelry Conversion

Have you ever bought a necklace that you liked (from any type of store) then decided it was a little too 'busy'? Or have you seen an accessory that you like particular elements of the design, but not the whole piece? Do you toss previously bought jewelry into your drawer (or jewelry box) thinking some day you would figure out what to do with it-or who you can give it to that might use it?

I've got an easy solution! This idea may save you time and money---when I convert a piece of jewelry, I know I've changed it into something I will definitely wear which saves me time in the morning when getting ready for the day, and it also means I'm not throwing out or donating something I spent money on and never used...saving me money if I don't feel the need to replace the unloved jewelry with new items.

There is a small upfront investment for someone who does not normally have a few jewelry findings/supplies on hand, or maybe you can use two items of unloved jewelry to make one spectacular piece (or pair of wonderful earrings)...awesome use of upcycling!

Now, I wasn't home when I was thinking about this, so I had no way to pull any of my neglected necklaces to recycle. So, I did the next best thing...found a couple of cheap necklaces that I liked parts of, but wouldn't necessarily wear as is.

I know...I know, this technique is supposed to keep me from spending...but instead of an overwhelming necklace, I can have a really cute and functional pair of earrings and a beautiful simple(r) necklace. Cheap and creative!

You will need:
  • necklace (or other piece of jewelry to take apart)
  • pliers (jewelry pliers preferred, but needle-nose/thin nose pliers will work as well)
  • earring hooks (new findings, or recycle hooks from an old pair of earrings that you no longer use)
  • will be having fun :)
I started with this-->
 a necklace from Forever 21 that cost me about $7
I thought the flowers had potential, 
but looked overwhelming to have all 5 on my chest/collar bones at once.

I grabbed my pliers and detached all 5 flowers from the chain and each other. The necklace had been assembled with simple jump rings (metal circles that have one brake). 

Simply twist the jump rings open. The best way to open a jump ring is by pushing one end forward and the other in the opposite direction. This is so it won't distort the original circle. 
See here for more instruction on opening jump rings, the link includes pictures.

This particular necklace came with 5 flowers, in 3 different sizes. The outside flowers are the smallest, the next flowers in are a medium size, and the center flower is the largest of them all. Each flower has loops on the back where the jump rings connected them together. The smallest flowers had one loop on the back and one straight out to the side to attach to the chain (can be seen in the above photo---side loop jutting out towards the large flower near center of pic). Sorry it's hard to see in the pictures-I didn't get a great shot of them up close.

I grabbed the smallest of the flowers (the set) and also grabbed a couple of earring hooks. Any earring finding can be used, but make sure you can attach your upcycled 'parts' to the findings. If you would like to use posts (strait peg used with backs to keep them in your ears) you may need to glue the upcycled 'parts' onto a flat disc attached to the post(s). One type is not better than the other really, just remember to be aware of the findings you choose.
A variety of earring hooks are shown in the top right hand corner of this photo.

Most earring hooks work the same way. The side of the hook that does not go through your ear will have a loop on the end-which looks much like a jump ring, but is attached to the earring on one side. You will use your pliers to twist it open (really really carefully-these can be fragile) just like you did the jump rings-opening one side toward you and the other side to the opposite direction. Slip the flower (or your equivalent upcycled 'part') onto the loop...(I slipped the flower loop that sticks out the side the flower onto the open circle). Then, slowly twist the loop back to it's original position.

Now you have some really cute earrings!
 Super shiny flower-y goodness! All in one cute pair :)

Next week, I'll show you what I did with the other 3 flowers of this necklace. Happy jewelry making...and have a wonderful weekend!

Let Birds Fly

1 comment:

  1. Great job! Now you could have a pair for you and a pair for a friend!

    Thanks for linking up @ Creatively Living!


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