Thursday, January 3, 2013

DIY Vintage Necklace

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season; I know we sure did! We celebrated Christmas with family and kissed goodbye to 2012 at a wedding and dinner party surrounded by great friends. Over the break I discovered a fantastic dress shop here in Houston called BHLDN (pronounced "beholding"…I had to ask). The store is part of the Anthropologie family and has gorgeous dresses, shoes, accessories and all things bridal. Their prices are a bit steep, but lucky for me, their sale items were marked an addition 60% off. My immediate reaction…"Yes please!" Here is the dress I found for New Years - a simple LBD with a lace overlay, which was slashed to $67. I was super pumped‼!

I love the dress because it can be dressed up or down, depending on your accessories. I decided that I wanted some serious bling since it was New Years Eve.  I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for big sparkly jewelry and had visions of a large vintage necklace dancing in my head. However, after checking out a few stores, I couldn't find anything that suited the bill. So I decided to take matter into my own hands and make my vision come to life myself with a little DIY elbow grease. I decided that my best option would be to use rhinestone broaches and earrings to make the necklace. After a successful trip to all the "fashion jewelry" stores on Harwin (a street in Houston with discount and wholesale jewelry and other goodies) with Matt (he is so helpful on these projects), I came home with two broaches, two hair clips and four pair of earrings in a variety of shapes and sizes.

In addition to the all the bling, I grabbed some heavy duty wire cutters, needle-nose pliers, jump rings (to attach the pieces) and some black silk ribbon. Two items that are not shown that you will also need are sandpaper and clear nail polish.

Once home, I first laid out all of the pieces and figured out my pattern for the necklace.

The next step was to remove all the hair clips, pins and earring backings so that I would just be left with the jewelry fronts.

I accomplished this step with the wire cutters and Matt's help. A tip is cut the clips where they are soldered to the piece of jewelry. This is a weakest point and the clips should pop right off (work smarter, not harder!). Another tip is to wear safety glasses or cover everything with a blanket when you are cutting to prevent the shrapnel from flying in your face.  Oh, and please excuse the nail polish in the pictures below...that was leftover from the manicure that my 5 year old nephew gave me during Christmas....the nails were beautiful at one point I promise!

Once I removed the backings, I sanded down the stubs left over on the jewelry and applied clear nail polish to prevent the necklace from snagging on my cloths (unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this step...but believe me, it is necessary). Next, I added two jump rings to each piece of jewelry with the needle-nose pliers.

And then used a third jump ring to connect one piece of jewelry to the next piece of jewelry in the predetermined pattern.

Which ended up looking like this:

And then this:

I continued this process of connecting the various pieces together until I had all eight pieces connected.

The final step was to cut two pieces of the black satin ribbon and tie one to each end of the necklaces (which I would then tie behind my neck). I made a double-knot for extra security and flamed the ends to seal the ribbon (not shown in this picture).

And voila! I had my very own blingged out vintage necklace ready for New Years Eve! I ended up saving one pair of earrings to wear since the necklace was plenty large with eight pieces.

The entire project took about an hour.  The necklace was the perfect sparkly accessory to help me ring in the New Year!

After seeing how the necklace hangs, however, I think I am going to add a ninth broach to the bottom of the necklace as a single center point (instead of having the two large broaches side-by-side). Easy fix...I just need to pick-up another broach and add six more jump rings. But hey, that is the beauty of these DIY necklaces, you can always update them by adding pieces or taking them away.

What about you, have you made any fun jewelry lately? Please feel free to share in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!  I hope that you have a wonderful day!!!

I linked this post with Liz MarieLittle Becky Homecky, Petals to Picots, Just Us Four, the Inspiration Gallery at Design, Dining and Diapers, My Repurposed Life, The Blackberry Vine, Him and Her, The Funky Polkadot GiraffeCrafty Confessions, Home Stories A to Z, Todays Creative Blog, A Diamond in the Stuff, Elizabeth & Co.Coastal Charm, Hope Studios, Happy Hour Projects, Young House Love and Bower Power!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment Anna, I really appreciate it! This was fun project to whip together and a great way to get the creative juices flowing for the new year. So glad that you stopped by!

  2. I'm in love! I wish I had jewelry-making talent! That is one crafty area that just escapes me. Gorgeous.

    1. Thank you darling! I love your Valentine Conversation Art!; it's adorable! I have been wanting to try my hand at subway art for a while and I think that is the perfect project for some Valentine's love around our abode. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. what a cool project :) I am all for using things for purposes other than they are meant for!
    stopping by from petals to picots & following

    1. Jodi, you're my first follower! That rocks :-) Dig'n the dish washer magnet - going to try that this weekend. Thank you girly, I appreciate you!

  4. Beautiful project! Makes me want to give jewelry DIY another try. You should post when you get that center brooch worked in...would love to see it. Lynaea @

  5. I'm starting to get into jewelry making. This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Love it!
    Have a great week!

    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by all the way from Portugal Ana! I hope you have a fantastic week too. :-)

  7. Spectacular! thanks for sharing Jennifer.

    I spotted you via Be inspired :-)

  8. This is a beautiful piece and a wonderful way to repurpose vintage bling. Thanks for the tutorial!



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