Ucycling Vintage Costume Jewelry

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I love the unreserved sparkle of vintage costume jewelry. It's so beautiful and reminds me of playing princess when I was younger. It's easy to find some vintage costume jewelry of your own. I got my pieces from a yard sale ages ago and just recently had the time and inspiration to play around with them. Keep your eyes open for broken or incomplete pieces that you can modify.




What's The Plan, Stan?
Using a few different vintage costume jewelry pieces and some lovely Swarovski beads, we are going to create an entirely new necklace and set of earrings to show off some lovely sparkle.

Ingredients:
  • For this specific necklace, I used an old necklace with these really pretty metal flowers set with Austrian Crystals and tiny pearls in the middle, as well as an old clip on earring. I took the necklace apart, using just one of the flowers for the pendant, and the main earring piece is also going to be used. There were great crystal dangles on the earring as well, which I will use on the necklace to accent the pendant. Oh also, I used the lovely chain from the necklace, complete with the clasp. to complete my new necklace. If you can't find vintage pieces quite like this, you have a couple options:
    • Modify the design! You're a crafty individual and I have faith in you! (Please send some ideas, I'd love to hear them!)
    • Look around on the various beading sites to see if you can find something similar.
  • Peach colored fresh water pearls
  • 6mm Swarovski Crystal Silk faceted rounds
  • 4mm Lacy agate rounds
  • 3mm silver plated jump rings
  • 6mm silver plated jump rings
  • 4 silver plated crimp beads
  • 4 silver plated crimp bead covers
For the Earrings:
Tools Of The Trade:
  • Bent nose pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Round pliers
  • Wire Snips

Process:





  • First, I created the pendant for the necklace. This process will totally depend upon what sort of fun findings you have found. I created a nice dangley chain using jumprings from the upcycled vintage earring and attached the great crystal dangles. Then, I attached the earring to a headpin with a beautiful Swarovski faceted round, connected to my upcycled flower finding. I'm really pleased with the affect.



  • Once I was satisfied with the pendant, I attached two 4mm jumprings to the flower petals, allowing me to attach wire for the necklace on either side. String the wire through a lacy agate round before crimping, in order to protect the necklace from getting too worn and breaking. Crimp and cover with silver plated crimp bead covers.
  • Now just string the beads following the same pattern for both sides of the necklace:
    • 3 freshwater pearls
    • attach your crystal dangle using a 4mm silver plated jumprings
    • 3 freshwater pearls
    • 1 lacy agate bead
    • 1 Swarovski faceted round
    • 1 lacey agate bead
    • 2 freshwater pearls
    • Crystal dangle
    • 2 freshwater pearls
    • 1 lacy agate bead
    • 1 Swarovski faceted round
    • 1 lacey agate bead
    • 2 freshwater pearls
    • Crystal dangle
    • 2 freshwater pearls
    • 1 lacy agate bead
    • 1 Swarovski faceted round
    • 1 lacey agate bead
    • 2 fresh water pearls
    • 2 lacey agate beads
    • crimp bead
    • 1 lacy agate bead
  • String your wire through a 4mm silver plated jumpring, then back through the agate bead and crimp bead. Crimp and cover with the crimp bead cover.
  •  Attach jumpring to upcycled chain. If the clasp is still intact, use it! If not, attach another one using a 4mm silver plated jumpring.
  • For the earrings: Place first a Swarovski faceted round, then a roundel, then a lacy agate round. Finish with a wrapped loop. Attach to the silver plated french earwires.


A note about lacy agate : agate is a natural gemstone that comes in a million different shapes, colors etc... I happened to have to really lovely, but also very pale, blue lacy agate rounds in my bead supplies. For this set, I wanted something that was light in color, which would enhance the overall light feel of the necklace. If you can't find any light blue lacy agate, go with something light in color and you'll be good to go.

C'est Fin!






Bead Artist Showcase
You work could be right here! Submit your own upcycled vintage costume jewelry to Creativity In A Nutshell via email to cagarp@plymouth.edu. Feel free to include pictures, anything new you tried and suggestions you have for improvement.

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