Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Re-purposing Costume Jewelry for a Good Cause

Things to Do with Old Clip-on Earrings (Chapter 2)


Here's another idea for turning old, unlovable clip-on earrings into wearable (and saleable) costume jewelry.

The middle earring (above, left) had no mate, but it did have a interesting shape and design that I thought would translate well into a pendant.

First, I removed the clip finding from the back with a pair of pliers. Generally, you can just pull them off without too much muscle. Sometimes you may need to file off some rough edges on the back.

Next, I removed the crystal-bead dangles from the other pair of clip-ons. I could have opened the eye pins to remove them, but it was easier to cut up the thin metal backing with metal snips and remove the closed eye pins that way.

The next step was to attach each dangle to the earring-now-pendant with an inexpensive jump ring. The dangles slide freely on the rings of the pendant, casting light from their facets for extra bling.

Finally, another jump ring attaches the sparkly pendant to a thrift-store chain. (I hadn't yet attached a clasp when the photo was taken.) Again, this may not be a great example of the jeweler's art, but it is an attractive costume piece made from throw-away items.

The clip-on at left was another "single." Again, I thought it would make a nice pendant and could be combined with the plain wooden beads and another pair of clip-ons shown at right. (I decided not to use the zebra in this design, but don't worry--it will be used eventually.)

I removed the beads from their string and dyed them with alcohol inks. This is easy! Just put them in a glass container, spritz them with isopropyl alcohol, add several ink drops directly from the bottle, and shake the container lightly to swirl. Let the beads dry in the container overnight, and you have brilliant, lasting color!

I removed the findings and the blue crystals from the donut-shaped amber resin earrings (shown inside the original necklace), and they instantly became focal beads. I drilled a hole through the copper earring/pendant and strung it on the bead strand with a jump ring.

I'm actually quite proud of the resulting necklace, shown below. I'm sure it'll sell quickly and bring a decent price to help homeless pets in Nassau County, Florida.

I still have more ideas for using clip-on earrings, which I'll share in the next few days.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Re-purposing Costume Jewelry for a Good Cause

Things to Do with Old Clip-on Earrings (Chapter 1)

My Facebook friends may have already seen this photo of a mixed lot of "junk" jewelry I got from Second Chance, a resale shop that benefits the Nassau Humane Society, where I'm a volunteer.

My first task was to sort this and clean and repair what could be made resale-ready without too much effort. I reclaimed seven pairs of pierced earrings with just a little metal polish and some inexpensive earring backs.

That's when the fun really began! I looked at the whole lot, deciding which pieces might be combined to create new/old pieces. There were several pairs of clip-on earrings (and a few single earrings) that included some good beads and elements that could be detached and used in new designs

This necklace (at right)  combines beaded elements from clip-on earrings and a partial macrame shell necklace (above, left). The beads were on eye-pins that could be easily detached from the earrings' thin metal base and strung directly between the shells and black beads. I only added stringing wire, a clasp, and some inexpensive aluminum beads from my stash.

The result might not win any design awards, but it's a pretty and wearable necklace that someone will buy at Second Chance to benefit the cats and dogs.

The clip-on coin earrings (below, left) needed a good cleaning. I removed the clip from the back with a pair of pliers, added a jump ring and a chain (also from a resale shop), and voila--a new/old pendant.

Stay tuned for more adventures in reclaiming usable (and even cool!) elements from old clip-on earrings.