Upcycling Your Old Jewelry

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As a frequent jewelry wearer, you no doubt have the four staples: earrings, necklaces, bangles and rings. And of all the jewelry you have, there are probably a select few pieces that you wear regularly, leaving every other statement or discolored green piece you have collecting dust in your jewelry box.

Why do we hold onto jewelry we don’t wear? Why do we buy more when we already don’t wear most of the jewelry we have already? It doesn’t make any sense! We’re literally spending time and money on sparkly accessories we don’t plan to wear more than once, so what’s with the obsession?

Upcycling is so in Vogue

What if I told you that you could still get your new jewelry fix without spending an arm or a leg? Though I personally cannot see your face, something tells me you might be a little skeptical. I mean, who could blame you, right? I’m a total stranger to you. What do I know about jewelry?

What I know about jewelry is that you can make your own knock-off J.Crew necklaces and baubles for less than a fraction of the retail price. Upcycling jewelry isn’t a new trend, but it is a hot trend. You can take materials from around the house and take apart the jewelry you don’t wear anymore to make something new, fresh and completely original: nobody else will have that necklace, pair of earrings or ring but you. And believe me, you won’t be left wanting for new jewelry making ideas.

Deconstructing a Necklace for Parts

Statement necklaces, pendants and chokers have hit the mainstream hard. Every girl has at least three of each in her repertoire but really only sticks with one style. When you have about a gazillion necklaces and only wear one or two of them, you know it’s time to do some recycling, or upcycling. Deconstructing a necklace isn’t too hard to do, and by the end of it you have parts to make a new necklace for yourself or a friend. Let’s go through the steps of taking apart an old necklace.

Step 1: Using a pair of pliers, gently twist apart and remove the split rings on either end of the necklace.

Step 2: After removing the split ring, slide the crimp bead and clasp off of the split rings.

Step 3: Remove all beads, pendants and crystal from the chain.

Step 4: Put the beads, pendants or crystal away for future craft projects.

Making a “New’ Necklace from Upcycled Parts

If you did not like the original beading of the necklace but liked the chain and clasp, all you have to do is visit your local craft store to buy new charms for your new necklace. Now, let’s make the upcycled necklace.

Step 1: Carefully thread your new pendant/beads onto the chain.

Step 2: Taking the two original split rings, slide them back through either end of the chain. Do not twist them back together yet.

Step 3: Thread the crimp bead and clasp through their corresponding split rings. Using your pliers, gently fasten the split rings back together using the same twisting motion you used to pull them apart.

Step 4: Clasp the necklace around your neck and look at the amazing new custom necklace you have made!

Now that you’ve learned how easy it is to upcycle your necklaces, try upcycling a pair of old earrings next or use enamel paint to paint over that discolored ring. And guess what? You don’t have to make more jewelry with the old, you can use your “new” jewelry parts for a collage, bookmark or any other number of things—the choice is yours!

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