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Altering Used/New Jewelry……and making it your very own.

Sometimes I look for jewelry that I want, and I rarely seem to find exactly what I’m looking for.  At least not at the price I’d like it to be.
The other day, while browsing the jewelry section at the store, I realized if I take apart “this” and add it to “that”……then it will better suit my little fancy.
When I got home, I realized that I had other little jewelry pieces that would work great to make changes to.
So if you’re at the store, in your grandma’s jewelry box, or the thrift store………give that odd piece of jewelry a second thought.  You may be able to use it to create a whole new piece of jewelry.
(Pieces shown are all from different places……..but include Burlington Coat Factory, Michael’s, my jewelry box, and a hand-me-down…)
I like this necklace on the left but was bored with it and the one on the right is heavy metal and pretty clunky.  So I took the one on the right apart……..
………..added a piece to the one on the left……….
And made it into one necklace
(And still have other metal flowers to use on other projects.)
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That clunky metal flower adds great charm.
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Then I bought some of those fresh water pearls(Man-made of course, from Michael’s, for only a couple of dollars.  Are they really pearls then?)…and had a stretchy ring in my jewelry box that I just cut apart.
Then I threaded some of those pearls on some stretchy string (in the jewelry making section at Michael’s) and threaded the metal ring piece right on.
And created a new bracelet.
Nice and simple and lovely.
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Then I found some of these plain boring cheap-o bracelets for $1 and added a broach to it.
(I used metal jewelry wire to secure it to the 2 bracelets.)
And now I have another bracelet for my collection.
Nice and clunky and shiny.  Ready for some love.
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Completely easy, completely unique, and completely addictive.
It sure cuts the time in half to use partially assembled items when making jewelry…….and sure cuts the price down if you’re fancy-ing up something you already have.
Perfect in my book.
Now go raid your collection.
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  1. Ann Thomas says:

    Love your creations. They are very inspirational and make me begin to look beyond the current use of items.


  2. Lizl Naude says:

    I love it! I do the same. I used to have a jewellery business and it started with me taking my mom’s old jewellery and breathing new life into it!

    Great stuff!

  3. shirsan says:

    can anyone tell me where to find the stretchy ring material…I would love to make some, but I can only find the stretchy elastic by itself . thanks

  4. Artfulmama says:

    I love the necklace! It's gorgeous!

  5. Kelli says:

    I always think I can just make my own jewelry and then I never do. But after seeing your post, maybe I will. Maybe I just needed a little inspiration! Love your pieces!

  6. Neena Jay says:

    This is awesome! I also make jewelry and try to use scrap leather, vintage chains etc. Check out my blog at Hope you like it!

  7. TaLaisa says:

    Freshwater pearls are definitely real pearls. Just had a little help starting out.

    Swarovski pearls (I noticed someone mention above) are not cheap fakey plastic pearls. They're heart is Austrian crystal and then it's coated with several layers of a luminescent powder that hardens. They're made to mimic south sea pearls and are an excellent product if you're looking for pearl look with a cheaper price.

    LOVE the jewelry creations, I'm a jewelry designer by profession and love looking at what other people come up with. Love the repurposing!

  8. CherishedBliss says:

    Love this idea, really enjoying your blog! Lots of inspiration.


  9. Julianne Blanch says:

    I keep revisiting your site, but have never left a comment. It's about time I do . . . I just love everything you make and your photographs are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  10. Jennwith4 says:

    Tried this out today with my long strand of pearls and a pin to make a new necklace! Loved how it looked! Got so many compliments on it.

  11. Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims says:

    ohhh such great ideas!! i love love love making jewelry and I like how you mixed all the components up for some great results!

  12. Mollie says:

    That is fantastic! I got ALL my grandmother's jewlery when she passed, and while I love the old fashioned stuff, there are a few I just don't know what to do with. Thanks for the idea!

  13. Empty Nest Full Life says:

    Very nice. Now I need some jewelry to re-do. Thanks for the inspiration. Jackie

  14. Amy Lynne says:

    Great ideas! I will be on the lookout for things to repurpose now!

  15. Svetlana says:

    Great idea! Love all of them!

  16. Metanoia says:

    Are they really pearls?

    From the photos, they look like they are real pearls.

    Natural pearls are real pearls and generally very expensive. The oyster naturally created them and then someone found them.

    Cultured pearls, which is what I think these are, are also real pearls, however the oyster had a helping hand as a human manually added the little bit of sand or grime which the oyster formed the pearl around. The cheaper ones generally have the lovely oval shape and little form lines on them.

    Swarovski pearls – fake, plasticy, yuck.

    A real (natural or cultured) pearl will feel soft and gritty, warm up on your skin and feel delicious. Take a real pearl and a plastic bead and rub them on your teeth to easily tell the difference.

  17. GaMtnScrap says:

    Wow-those bracelets, especially the last one, are AMAZING and beautiful! I love them! Now, I want to go to the thrift store to look for jewelry too! You are so smart and crafty!

  18. Phyl says:

    I make jewelry, and love taking apart the old stuff to use, or the leftover earring when one gets lost that can become a lovely pendant.
    I'm always jealous when people talk about Michael's. We don't have them, or Hobby Lobby in my region. All we've got is Joanne's or A.C. Moore.

  19. zamnzara says:

    I love the last creation the most!! It is SOOO Pretty! In fact, think you can sell them back from much higher price…

  20. just chic says:

    The bracelets are so lovely and thanks for sharing how easy it is to make them.

  21. Cerise says:

    I might have to search through my jewelry this weekend to see what treasures I can recreate. These are great!

  22. Rachel says:

    how on earth do you come up with this? i'm so jealous of your incredible talent. sigh.

  23. Smith Family says:

    What a darling idea! LOVE it as usual!

  24. Sheryl says:

    What a great idea! Love your creativity!!

  25. brooke says:

    Beautiful work – I especially love that necklace. I amazed that you can take two totally different pieces and just throw them together to make something so cute. Whenever I try to make jewelry it takes me two or three (or six or seven) tries before I get anything that even looks halfway decent!

  26. Kimberly says:

    Great idea! I'm going to check out the thrift store for jewelry next time to see what I can add to my own collection.

  27. TYRaines says:

    I'm always making new pieces from scraps of old. It is so much fun to create something beautiful to wear.

  28. bethanndodd says:


  29. Renee says:

    You're so awesome. SUPA cute!

  30. Janae -- Thoughts in Vinyl says:

    Love it all! You always seem to have such fun and inexpensive ideas.

  31. Lisa says:

    Love that!!! You've given me the inspiration I need to did into my stash and "re-create".

  32. Laurelann says:

    These are great ideas to bust boredom from your wardrobe and accessories. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Some things just seem like they should be common sense but you never think about it until you see someone else do it… and then you know that they're the genius. LOL!

  33. Suzie Bee says:

    Wow, this is fabulous! I've been considering making my own jewellery but it's always seemed like too much hassle. This looks like a great way to get started.

  34. Jeanna says:

    Love it and now I'm going to have to make it…. You are so creative.


  35. Ritters says:

    Great job great ideas.

  36. Kelly says:

    Brilliant idea!

  37. Jenni S says:

    Great idea! My mom gives me those big rings and they are so cute, but I just can't function with them on. But if I put the cuteness on a bracelet, BAM – PERFECT!!! Thanks for the ideas. :)

  38. Patrick, Ashley, and Audrey says:

    WHy didn't I think of this!? I have so many beautiful broches that were my grandmas, but I just don't wear them very much! Some are too much as a broch, but this is brilliant!!!! Genius I tell you!:) thanks!

  39. Danielle says:

    What a great idea!

  40. Jacie Saltzman says:

    beautiful!! they all look great! you are so creative, and such a perfectly handmade unique to only you look. i love it!

  41. Colette says:

    wow! you never cease to amaze me! your creativity never stops! LOVE the new jewelry!

  42. Sarah Tolman says:

    You are amazing. I would have never thought of reworking my jewelry like I do my clothes.

  43. Lil Mama Stuart says:

    wonderfully refreshing transformations!

  44. the hatch batch says:

    Sheer Genius! I am too cheap to buy jewelry so this is perfect for me! Thanks!! =O)

  45. My House of L says:

    Great idea!

  46. Admitted Fabricaholic says:

    Love that last bracelet! SO cute, something I would totally wear! Great job :)

  47. Amanda says:

    I featured this today on Today's Top 20!


  48. Malori says:

    What a great idea! I make jewelry as a hobby and am always looking for new ways to put things together. I love how you took apart pieces to make new and amazing pieces!!! Brilliant!!

  49. Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife says:

    Wow- these are gorgeous!! You are so inspiring.

  50. Brenda says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. Can't wait to make some of my own.

  51. Aimee says:

    I was browsing the Anthropology catalog last month and they had these beautiful silk, frayed ribbons with broaches that looked old and antique-ish. I thought it looked super easy. It was easy and beautiful. I love your pieces, I need to work on updating my jewelry too.
    Gracious, Aimee from

  52. Jill says:

    aww yes. This is Fantastic! I love to make jewelry my way. It bothers me when I see someone else wearing the same jewelry as me…I like to be unique.

  53. Natalie says:

    These pieces are GORGEOUS! I actually had a whole plastic baggie full of older jewelry that I was going to donate to Goodwill…but I think I need to give them a second look now! :)

  54. Kera says:

    SO happy you posted about this! I am always looking for jewelry and coming up disappointed. I have been thinking about making my own, but was lacking in inspiration. This is exactly what I needed. Thanks!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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