Whenever I pop into a thrift store or a flea market, I always take a few minutes to browse through the jewelry. You never know what you'll find there! I once picked up a garnet necklace for $5.00. I brought it home, restrung it and added a chunky garnet, pearl and silver pendant, and it looked totally different (and way more expensive!).
My sister Gina sent me some necklaces that she found that needed some lovin'. I forgot to take the 'before' photos, but I did get some great 'after' pics, which I'll share with you!
both had wonky seed beads in between each of the designer beads, and they looked a bit dated.
With the red necklace, I replaced the wonky beads with smaller, darker red seed beads (size 11). From a short distance, it looks like the necklace is knotted between each bead. At first glance, I thought these beads were Chinese cinnabar, but they are actually German or Czech glass. They have a great carved texture to them.
The second necklace also is made of glass beads. They are white with an red-orange swirl design in them. The original was separated by white wonky seed beads, but I replaced them with Swarvoski crystal 4 mm bicones in Fire Opal. There are shades of red, orange and dark gold in each bead, which brings out the color of the original beads.
The third necklace is a 'found item' necklace, for lack of a better term. Gina had found an old MGM Grand Hotel key from Las Vegas. It's pretty cool -- it has the MGM lion embossed on the front. She asked me to make that the center pendant on a necklace with other charms and beads.
I added some bling to the key first, though. I took a short piece of rhinestone chain and used E-6000 glue to adhere it to the length of the key. Hunting for the other charms and beads in my stash was a challenge. I ended up mixing the metals...you'll see brass (the color of the key) as well as silver, copper and a touch of gold. I kept the beads in shades of bronze and green as much as possible. A pair of dice beads next to the key was a nod to the Vegas story.
The final piece I worked on for Gina was this 1940's style clear glass necklace (below). This one took a little more time. Each bead is on an eye pin, attached to the next bead, to create a chain of beads, and I replaced every eye pin. The original necklace had two metal bicone beads that were showing a great deal of wear, and Gina wanted them removed. I substituted 8 mm Swarovski crystal bicones in Sapphire blue. I hope she doesn't mind that I added color to the necklace, but I think the Swarovski really pops.
I'm still looking for one more finding for this piece...the large crystal-cut pendant at the center has an old bail that is a bit worn. I may have to special order a gold-filled bail to replace it, if I can find one.
I could see a bride wearing this necklace, as something "old, borrowed and blue."
So, three 'old' necklaces re-made, and a new one created. Not too back for 'found' jewelry. I think all together I may have spent about $20 for the materials and Swarovski crystals. I enjoy re-creating something out of old beads and found objects...I'll have another post soon about a fun way to use old religious medals. Keep tuned! Till next time... Renee