Grandma’s Old Jewelry Made New Again!

Many of you “girls” have some lovely old pieces of jewelry that your Grandma or your Great Aunt has passed on to you. These pieces might be sterling silver or gold and some are just garden variety costume jewelry.  However, any piece handed down will have a lot of memories, and therefore good karma, attached to it. The wearer will feel wonderful when sporting that particular piece of jewelry. Unfortunately, fashions come and go, and some items will end up looking a bit, dare we say, dated?  Short of leaving the pieces gathering dust bunnies in a drawer somewhere what’s a girl to do?

The long layered look in chains and necklaces is still very au courant, and as such many of those inherited items can be upcycled to embrace this look.  For example, a medium link modern sterling silver long chain can have one or two antique sterling silver, gemstone, or beaded bracelets attached on either side thus suspending the piece down the middle. Voila! Suddenly a snazzy, new, layered look is achieved.  

If you have an old pair of inherited earrings which has a large dangle focal point, you can detach the dangle from the earring wire and attach a bail of some type to the top of it. This can then be suspended on the long chain to make it really glamorous!  You will have to invest in a pair of jewelry pliers and some bails, but these are easily available online from jewelry supply sites or otherwise your local craft store. The pliers will prove a good investment in your upcycling efforts.

Another fantastic idea is to simply wrap a long necklace of cultured pearls a few times around your wrist – the Chanel look is suddenly yours! You could use some black velvet or grosgrain ribbon to tie a bow around the wrap to ensure it does not become unwrapped. This will give it even more of a Chanel look. This idea works with any other long necklace whether chain or beads – just wrap as many times a possible around your wrist.

Grandma’s old brooch can be reinvented by using the jewelry pliers and the bail mentioned above. A bit of ingenuity should turn this sparkly brooch into a trendy new pendant to which a bail can then be attached.  Or use the brooch as is and affix it to the wrapped bracelets mentioned above.

A good idea for two bracelets of similar color and style is to simply attach to make one long necklace which ends up with a lot of vibe and style. Alternatively, you can contrast the bracelets used – for example pairing a pearl bracelet with a turquoise ball bracelet would be extremely attractive.  

If you have a choker necklace from Grand Aunt Sally this can also be used with either a bracelet or a longer necklace to create, once again, a new long look. A few of these could be worn together.

Perhaps you have earrings that have long dangles which you really do not like – simply remove those dangles to create the “stud” look.  You can save the dangles to take apart and use the smaller portions for other pieces of jewelry.

If you have a long, large round links, sterling silver or gold chain you can end up with a really unique piece by simply attaching French hook earrings at intervals from the large round links. Every other link would work best and for the best effect it is suggested you concentrate on the front portion of the necklace. If you want to be symmetrical you could use both pairs of earrings on each side. Otherwise be adventuresome and mix it all up for a really funky and “hippy” look.

If you really want to have a colorful result simply take any of the beaded necklace apart and restring onto string or wire. This will require another visit to the craft or online shop but will be well worth the effort when you receive lots of compliments on your “new” designer look jewelry!

We really hope the above ideas will motivate you to either beg your Granny for her old jewelry or to pay a visit to the local thrift or antique shop to see what is on offer. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do with old sterling silver, gold or costume jewelry!

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