Jewelry is beautiful when it’s new but if it becomes broken, or a piece of the ensemble gets lost, what do you do with the rest? Some people have large pieces melted down to make a different piece, others simply toss the broken pieces in a jewelry
box and forget about them. Well, open up that dusty jewelry box and prepare to make some one-of-a-kind wardrobe or decor piece with the broken bits.
Since jewelry comes in so many colors, shapes, sizes, and styles you have to choose, by looking at your own selection, which pieces to use for which projects. Pendants are unique and can be used for many different projects. If the chain has broken and the pendant is alone it can make a beautiful accent to a picture frame or even clothing. Use a long chain to decorate a metallic picture frame by brushing one side of the chain with contact cement and just letting it fall where it may, all the way around the frame. You can also do a specific pattern, like pyramids, around the frame or even a vase.
Larger pendants, particularly ones that are very flat on one side, are perfect for decorating a shirt. Use fabric glue to affix it to the top center of a shirt, below the collar, then add glitter paint dots to form a “necklace” on the shirt. Or, center the pendant on an area of the shirt then use fabric paints to form the pendant into a flower. Round pendants are ideal. Paint petals around the jewelry piece, then add a green stem and leaves.
Pieces that are flat on one side are also great for decorating belts and hat bands. Post earrings, with no mate, look great when attached to a hat. If the post is too long for comfort snip the end off after gluing the backing to the post.
Although most people wouldn’t consider putting 14 karat gold on surfaces of their home, even costume jewelry can be used to decorate many things. Broken chains pieces can give a rustic look to kitchen drawer pulls. You can also brush a doorknob with contact cement then wind the chain around and around until it is covered.
Entire bracelets and necklaces, with the fasteners broken, can be used to decorate everything from boots to hair to purses. Dangle a necklace or bracelet across the front ankle area of a boot. Affix the necklace by making a couple of stitches through the chain, on cloth boots. For other boots use fabric glue but make sure it’s the type that’s permanent. Contact cement will help you attach chains to hair clips. The chains will dangle in the hair, when you attach them to clips and barrettes, for a very unique and glitzy look. With needle and thread you can attach chains, pendants and other jewelry pieces to blue jean or other cloth purses.
A single post earring can be used to hold a silk scarf around the neck. The earring will give elegance to the scarf and keep it secured in place. Instead of a post earring you can also use a ring that has broken in one place on the band. Or, add a single earring to an existing chain. Find the center of the chain and simply attach the earring through one of the links.
Many single earrings can be attached to a denim purse to give it a little bling. Gather several of the mismatched posts and attach them to random areas of the purse. Attach a golden hoop to use as a zipper pull. The zipper pulls can be made for not only purses but jackets and boots as well.
There are many other ways to use jewelry as decorative touches. Consider making a little trinket box and attaching one large earring piece to the front or top. Or, use wire cutters to clip the post from old earrings and gluing them to a metallic hair barrette. You’ll find lots of other ways to use old or broken jewelry once you’ve given it some thought. The next time you lose an earring, don’t get mad, just get crafting.