Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 Easy Ways to Update Old Jewelry

Earth Day is kind of a big deal for Shades of Tangerine because, as you probably know by now, earth-friendly projects are what its all about here.  Recycling can be more than just collecting cans and bottles: it presents an opportunity to think out of the box - especially when it comes to clothing and fashion.  Anyone can buy a brand new purse or necklace, but it takes a bit of extra effort and craftiness to recycle your style.

Lets begin with something old or thrifted... because Mother Nature appreciates that.
For this project, I stopped by the ARC Thrift Store, one of my new favorite places (remember? from this Thrift Store Friday post?) to scavenge for bits and pieces.  I like shopping here because on Saturdays, almost everything is half off.  I can handle half off - especially on things I plan to cut apart and Frankenstein together, like, pretty much everything in my life.  The Austin Bluffs location also seems to have more jewelry than your typical thrift store: two racks and a glass case.

All of the pieces used for this project were purchased from the ARC except for the stone and feather charm - those were made by me (wire wrapped stone tutorial).
Feeling inspired? Read on!

+ Add Charms
Remove the chains from unworn necklaces and condense them into one awesome new cluster necklace.
Look for a long chain (at least 20") and string together your tiny collection.
When selecting your charms, I recommend searching out a variety of shapes, sizes and materials.  
This cluster includes one large white metal pendant (hello 1992), a feather, a stone pendant, and a cross. 
If your charms have any metal elements, try to keep the same color scheme.  
For example: If you plan to use a silver-toned locket, pair it with items that have silver clasps or hoops and then combine everything on a silver chain.

+Add a Chain
If you have a bracelet or short necklace, consider adding a chain.  
This fabulous necklace (again, throw back to the 1990's) was great...except that it was too small to fit around my neck.  That did not make me feel so good about myself.  I added a little segment of chain to lengthen it.  This piece is from a key chain, but a bracelet would also do the job.

+Add a Cord
With two pieces of leather cord, transform a boring bracelet into an earthy summer-y wrap bracelet (a necklace would also work).  For a natural look, find something made of beads, small stones or tiny shells.
Unclasp the bracelet (or necklace) and tie a cord to each end.  Wrap the cord to cover and hide clasps, then use Super Glue to hold it in place.  See? No visible clasps. 
Wrap the bracelet around your wrist and tie the ends together.

What are some of the ways you've found to update old thrift store jewelry?  
Do you prefer to alter and make the pieces trendy or restore them and wear as vintage?