Saturday, January 23, 2016

Repurposed Vintage Earrings

In my last post, I showed some of my mother's vintage costume jewelry that I have been sorting through and photographing. In this post, I will show a few more pieces and walk through the repurposing process of one of the pairs of earrings.

The picture above shows a summarization of the repurposing process I used for my earrings.  I'll go through details of the process in a bit, but first let me show some collage photos of a few of the treasures I came across and photographed from my Mom's collection.

Many of these pieces are in really great shape! The first one is a collection of faux pearl and white beaded necklaces:

This second collage is a collection of pink beaded designs - also mostly in really nice shape. My mother's favorite color was pink and she had a good quantity of pink jewelry - not all of it is pictured here but here are a few:

I'm not sure yet which of the above pieces I might decide to repurpose. Some of them are so pretty, I might just leave "as is."

But I came across these ear-bobs below and knew they needed repurposing ... they were in pretty bad shape:
 The large center beads were already disconnected from the ear-bobs, and the clip-on backs were missing. As can be seen, there is also a good bit of corrosion and debris on the metal backings.

First thing was to disassemble the beads and components - the beads were held together on the brass backings with some very old and disintegrating wire.  I just cut the wire with a pair of wire cutters and wound up with this collection of pieces:
Next I cleaned the beads, the metal backings, and the gold colored bead caps. I first used warm soapy water and a toothbrush which helped some.  Then I tried a technique I had read about using worcestershire sauce to soak and scrub. In the end, I couldn't get the metal backings totally clean but was able to restore the bead caps to a fairly good shine - although some of the gold plating was worn off:

I decided for my design I would make a pair of dangle earrings out of some of the beads and bead caps. I used some gold plated wire to make a knotted headpin and added some wire-wrapping around the top bead. The earring wires are made of gold colored craft wire which I formed into a pair of french hook ear wires:

And voila! Something new from something old!

No comments:

Post a Comment