Monday, January 21, 2013

Updating Vintage Costume Jewelry

I finally finished up a big project at my daughter's school, so I hope to have a bit more time to devote to some little projects at home. On Friday, after the big reveal at school, I hurried home with the intention of working on something, I just didn't know what. I decided I needed some near-instant gratification, so I decided to try to make a necklace.

Over the years, I have collected a lot of nicer costume jewelry, both intact pieces and broken and mismatched odds and ends. I have worn many of the pieces as is, including this bracelet and earrings:

I wore these dress clips, which belonged to my mother, to my senior prom back in high school.

As much as I embrace a vintage look, some of my old costume jewelry looks, well, OLD and cries out to be updated with some creative restyling. A couple of years ago, a friend gave me an old jewelry box filled with costume jewelry, much from the 1960s, that had belonged to a relative who had passed away. She thought my girls might like to play with it.

Unfortunately for my children, I intercepted the generous gift and kept it all for myself! Look at some of these lovely pieces:

One of the miscellaneous bits in the box was this thick link chain, pictured below, which didn't have a clasp and I wonder if it was an eyeglass chain at one point. Or who knows? But I like it, and thought it would make a good base for a statement necklace.

I know that ribbon tie necklaces kind of already had their moment, but I still like the look and thought that if I didn't make it the focus of a new piece, I could get away with using a ribbon tie in lieu of trying to find a clasp. I tried fastening on a pearl studded locket that I got a church barn sale last year, but it was too shiny and new looking against the chain, and a little too small. Then I remembered that I had a locket that I wore as a child, it is very 1970s and the perfect size and shade of gold to match the chain.

So I fastened the new locket onto the chain, double wrapped it, and tied it closed with black grosgrain ribbon from my ribbon box. I really like the way it looks, and I love that I am able to wear something that I loved wearing when I was a kid.

I can't wait to try something a little more complicated. I have these beautiful pink vintage glass tulip clip-on earrings and I would love to update them for my spring wardrobe. Any ideas on how to restyle them?

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