Over time gifted pieces, vintage hand-me-downs and special keepsakes can pile up, and it seems such a shame that these treasures never see the light of day.
But what to do with the jewellery you no longer wear?
I have some simple solutions to your dilemma - read on for some creative ways to use old vintage and costume jewellery. De-stash, re-purpose and recycle those un-used baubles.
This is a challenge I cherish as it calls on my most creative ideas. Folk are often blown away by the results. I love to hear "Well, I NEVER would have thought of THAT".
Recently a young woman called, requesting a custom-made necklace or bracelet for her sister, about to give birth.
Unfortunately, all the sisters in the family could not be present for the auspicious occasion.
However, they'd pooled together some old, un-worn and broken jewellery for upcycling into a new piece to mark the event in their absence.
The beads before the transformation...
The necklace, post remodellling.
The beads were full of character and colour so this is what I came up with.
(That was such a beautiful and thoughtful idea to be part of thanks Gypsy!).
Old, unwanted charm bracelets can be made into more wearable, choker length necklaces. In essence, a charm can become a single pendant or can incorporate the lot.
Bring new life to a string of pearls with the addition of a few inexpensive, gold plated charms on jump rings. Alternatively, wrap a necklace around the wrist for a layered bracelet.
If vintage is your thing, check out the work of Diana Frey for inspiration - she is an absolute MASTER of original, upcycled vintage-inspired jewellery.
Image credit forbes.com on Pinterest
Unwanted old gold and silver jewellery can be melted down by a goldsmith. In New Zealand, I suggest jewelbeetle.co.nz. Precious stones are removed first and can be reset into a modern setting, sized to suit.
Some jewellery is just beyond salvage. What can you do with nannary vintage brooches missing crucial stones or broken metal alloy components (that can't be soldered or reconstituted)? Or just random stuff?
Here are some of my favourite up-cycling ideas...
Declutter your stash using the tips above and more you can find over on my Pinterest board Creative Uses for Vintage Jewellery.
I love Marie Kondo's philosophy - If it no longer brings you joy, thank it and pass it on. Follow her on Instagram if you're a fan.
Follow my handy visual guide below to help make those tough decisions and down-size your current collection.
Follow these steps through logically and your collection will be pared back to the essentials and pieces of jewellery that you love. Hopefully you'll have some fun creatively re-homing and up-cycling the left overs.
Aim for a cohesive collection of thoughtfully wearable accessories. And remember - your trash is someone else's treasure!
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