Do you happen to own a piece or two (or three, or four, or more) of no-longer-loved jewelry? I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t. Don’t despair, as there are many ways to repurpose and reuse old jewelry.
One of my customers recently came to me with two requests: first, to create a necklace to go with a particular outfit, and second, to reuse an old chunky silver-tone bracelet she no longer wore. She asked if I could make the bracelet into a necklace to go with a black and white dress.
When I’m designing a piece of jewelry, I have a wide variety of components from which to choose, including a large collection of vintage costume jewelry—some broken and some not—oodles of beads, pearls and crystals, all sorts of chain, and countless new American-made brass components. I play around, picking and choosing until I can see the new creation in my mind and it feels just right. And then, I put the pieces together. But … when a customer wants to repurpose and reuse old jewelry, it becomes more of a challenge.
This particular bracelet had three large chunky silver flowers; I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them, but I had to order some special components to use as a base for the each of the flowers. When the base components arrived in the mail, I sat down with the flowers, the base pieces, and various beads—ready to put everything together. But … it didn’t work. The flowers were too big to be positioned the way I had envisioned them. I then took a piece of some very expensive chain, and carefully removed one link at a time, so I could use the links as spacers between the flowers. It still didn’t work.
Ultimately, I had to walk away from the project for a few days and come back to it. When I looked at it again, I knew exactly what I had to do. When my customer saw it, she gasped. In fact, just yesterday I received a beautiful handwritten thank-you note from her. She loves her new creation.
Repurpose and reuse old jewelry? Yes!
My next project is repurposing Nana’s old brooch.