Saturday, May 5, 2012

DIY: Reinvented Jewelry

I have come to realize I have a very distinct and unusual taste in jewelry. I often almost like something from a store but... it just needs one or two little changes. I have also come to realize that most jewelry sold today easily has the ability to be tweaked and changed into something just right! Today I will show you how I create my own favorites! It is easier than you think:
    1. You can re-purpose jewelry easily if it is held together by jump rings. (almost everything is these days). Jump rings are the non ornamental rings that keep pendants on a chain and segments of jewelry pieced together. The key is to find jump rings that have not been soldered closed. How do you tell? If you can find a tiny space in the ring your project is a go. If the ring looks solid?- it is, no magic here.

2. Make sure you have at least two needle nose pliers the finer the better. If your pliers include a wire cutting blade just make sure no jewelry dangles there while you are opening you jump rings.

3. When you have chosen what new pattern to fashion your jewelry into, gently clasp the jump ring holding the piece together at that spot with both pliers- one on each side of the split. Don't give up if the ring is hard to hold onto. Don't feel dumb if you squish the ring instead- this is common even for me when I am not being gentle enough. It is a good idea to buy extra rings from jewelry supply or beading shops in the color and size you need- they are only a few cents a piece.

4. Twist the jump ring toward you and away from you at the same time! huh? That's right. Never open a ring by pulling the two ends away from each other. This breaks the ring shape which will never be regained. However, if you twist one end toward you while twisting the other away the ring will easily be shaped back into a closed ring like magic. Don't over do your twist! Only a tiny space is usually needed to wiggle the chains apart or pendant off of the existing jewelry piece.

5. Once you take apart the jewelry you can put it back together pretty much however you wish. I take my cues from posh places like Anthropologie which I feel helps keep me inspired to try new things. What new things might you try this week? - see post Favorite Vintage Finds: Jewelry Edition for other fun"jewelry hacks"
Earrings originally Cost Plus

Bracelet for a day

Re-done as earrings... again

current favorite necklace

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