What's in the back of your jewelry box? A vintage watch that doesn't tick anymore? A ring your fingers outgrew or a family brooch that just doesn't fit with anything you have to wear? Whether it's Grandma's family heirloom set, some outdated pieces or even an engagement ring from a previous marriage, everyone has a few pieces of jewelry they don't want to part with, but aren't sure how to use.
According to a TNS Global Market Research survey, American citizens hang onto about $140 million total in unworn gold and jewelry, or about $604 per adult. That's a lot of jewelry going unused! The survey revealed 44.3 percent of American adults keep jewelry they no longer wear, averaging out to about four and a half pieces per adult.
Maybe you're too sentimental to sell those family heirloom jewelry pieces, too attached to get rid of your old engagement ring or too conservative to imagine anyone else using your old jewelry for their purposes. Maybe you even hold onto a few fancy pairs of earrings and vintage necklaces for a rainy day, thinking they'll make the perfect choice in the future for some particular special occasion. For whatever reason, you keep old jewelry you never get around to wearing, and it takes up space in your drawers or jewelry box without seeing the sunlight, adorning your outfits or making you any profit.
Your vintage or unused jewelry items don't deserve to sit in the back of your closet — but how can you put them to use in a way that works for your wardrobe and your sense of style? Not all old jewelry pieces have to fall into disuse or disrepair. In fact, you can use the best parts of your old or outdated jewelry to make creative, unique new jewelry pieces or other items. Interested in creating new jewelry from old jewelry or using your old pieces to craft trinkets or adorn decorations? Try it yourself, or contact an expert jewelry professional about repurposing your pieces!
Here are some inspired repurposed jewelry ideas to fuel your creative side and give those old pieces new life.
Vintage Earrings to Repurposed Rings
Do you still harbor some pairs of vintage-style chandelier earrings or cluster pieces passed down from your mother or grandmother? Perhaps you keep an old pair of pearls or gold-encrusted, embellished pieces too intricate and upscale for your daily wardrobe — or maybe you have earrings with gems too bright and bold to make you feel comfortable using them as anything more than costume jewelry.
Whether you have a secret store of pearls, colorful jewels or silver and gold vintage items in your unused earring supply, transform them into unique and iconic statement pieces for your fingers. By removing the gems, pieces or dangling parts of your old earring and attaching them securely with glue to ring bands, you can create bold rings with chunky, delicate or elegant aesthetics — whatever suits your style!
If you're worried about removing parts yourself or are not sure how to put your jewelry together, an expert like Mountz Jewelers can help you redesign your earrings into rings with professional quality.
Cameo Cuff Bracelets
Love the vintage look, but not quite sure how to incorporate your grandmother's treasured cameo into your everyday wear or even your dressy attire? Cameos are intricate, classic, intimate pieces of jewelry that can be very important as family heirlooms, but keeping them close doesn't mean you know exactly how to pull them off. They tend to be too formal to pull off with casual wear, but they're not quite dazzling enough to pair with your night-out outfits, either.
Instead of leaving your cameos in the closet or the bottom of your necklace drawer and wasting their unique beauty, incorporate them into repurposed vintage jewelry pieces that are a little more modern and versatile enough to wear with anything. Pair your vintage pendant or brooch cameo with a silver or gold filigree cuff bracelet, fusing or gluing the cameo to the cuff as its centerpiece. You can add other design elements or jewels as desired to make your cameo cuff bracelet suit your tastes as much as possible.
Need some additional inspiration? Mountz Jewelers' custom design services can help you create a professional-grade cameo cuff bracelet with your own unique design.
Old Earring Bookmark Charms
Can't figure out what to do with those old earrings you never wear — or lost one earring from a pair you once loved? It can be difficult to dispose of jewelry that meant something to ourselves or our family members, but that doesn't mean it's doing any good sitting in a drawer collecting dust. Instead, use your leftover earrings for a practical purpose — transform them into charms to use as bookmarks or keychains.
Remove your earrings from their hooks and reattach the charm pieces to the ends of simple chains, then enclose the chains with a rectangle of fabric in your favorite shade and attach with sturdy glue. Your old earring trinkets will look charming draped over the spine of your favorite book, hanging from your car mirror or attached to your keychain.
Bejeweled Crystal Wedding Cuffs
Looking for something old to round out your wedding items and complement your bridal attire before the big day? You can use parts and pieces of vintage jewelry to create a breathtaking, delicate wedding cuff to make you look even more stunning on your trip down the aisle — or make one as a gift for a friend or family member who's tying the knot.
Carefully remove crystal baubles, diamond pieces and pearls from your old or outdated necklaces, bracelets and earrings and sew them or glue them in a pattern of your choice onto a strip of quality, durable lace you can tie around your wrist for a delicate bridal touch. Jewel-encrusted floral jewelry pieces also make great picks for this repurposed vintage jewelry idea. For the best designs, highest quality and safest transformation of your vintage jewelry, take your ideas to Mountz Jewelers for assistance.
Brooches and Beaded Belts
Not sure what to do with those outdated brooches, but can't bear to part with them? Do you have some beaded bracelets and necklaces that don't fit into your style anymore? Use them to spice up your everyday accessories by adding them as statement pieces to your belts and buckles. Old brooches and beads are perfect for bedazzling belts for a classy or tastefully flashy look no one else will have. Using strong glue, attach your brooch, beads or other small pieces of old jewelry to your belt buckles to give them new life and create a signature expression of your style.
Vintage Necklace Cluster Statement Pieces
Do you have a collection of vintage necklaces that look outdated, have missing pieces or don't agree with your modern sense of style? Add new colors, create new interest and transform their look completely by clustering them together to make a necklace that's entirely new and improved. You can choose necklaces of the same material and colors, or combine pieces of completely different styles for an eclectic look.
Bunch your necklaces together and experiment with weaving pieces through one another for different appearances and textures. Fuse your combination into one piece by tying the ends together, using glue to attach pieces in different places or knotting them for a modern twist.
Simple Charm Necklaces
Everyone has that drawer in their jewelry box reserved for single earrings, old charms with no specific purpose, broken pieces of jewelry or pins and brooches they know they won't wear. Instead of letting their vintage beauty go unnoticed and unused, take them out and string them onto simple chains to transform them into elegant, unique necklaces.
Remove any broken pieces or pins — leaving only the signature charm piece — and pair your old earring pieces, charms and brooches with complementary necklace chains to give them a whole new life and look you'll love. Your delicate charm necklaces will become your new favorite upcycled jewelry piece!
Radiant Brooch Rings
Looking for another repurposed jewelry idea for those vintage brooches you don't know how to wear? Style them on your fingers instead as outdated pins! Coming in multiple kinds of jewels, pearls, design configurations and colors, brooches happen to be the perfect style starter for oversized ring pieces.
Carefully remove the pin mechanism from the back of your brooch with wire cutters, then use strong glue to secure them to ring bands in the style, thickness and material of your choice. From classic styles like thin gold bands to contemporary aesthetics like thick silver and metal, there are so many ring combinations you can try to make your brooch stand out as a totally new piece of jewelry with a vintage twist.
For a one-of-a-kind ring that matches your personality perfectly, bring your brooches and ideas to Mountz Jewelers for custom design services.
Holding on to a vintage wristwatch that no longer ticks or tells time? Old watch faces are too beautiful and artfully crafted not to keep, but if your strap is worn or broken, your watch mechanism is beyond repair or you never really use watches to check the time anyway, it might be time to think about repurposing that piece. If you detach your watch face from its strap, it can make a beautiful, unique pendant. Attach it to a new pendant loop and pair it with a delicate silver or gold necklace chain for an authentic vintage look that will come off as sophisticated and stylish.
If you don't want to wear your gemstones in the formal setting of your vintage jewelry, but don't mind the dazzling shine in a more modern piece, try taking apart your old jewelry pieces and attaching your jewels, gems, crystals and pearls to simple metal, gold or silver cuffs. Arrange your jewels in a specific pattern, line the edges of the cuff or bunch them in a signature cluster in the center — the design is up to you, and your repurposed gemstone cuff will dazzle with any outfit.
Icon Piece Bracelets
Have an assortment of old pendants, pins, mismatched or outdated earrings, brooches, beads or broken pieces from vintage jewelry? Instead of letting them remain a lost cause, repurpose them by combining them as one whimsical, flashy or classy piece of jewelry.
Choose pieces and charms of similar sizes and colors or combine them in an eclectic assortment and attach them with glue to a bracelet blank — the finished result is a completely original piece of jewelry you designed on your own. You can attach the charms directly on top of the bracelet for a fixed design — or, if you like the dangling look, fix them to bracelet loops and create your own charm bracelet of repurposed vintage pieces.
If you have vintage jewelry with old beads and gems you'll never use to adorn your ears, wrists or neckline, carefully take them apart and use the pieces to accessorize other items in your wardrobe. Using glue or thread, you can attach beads, crystals, gems and charms to your plainer pairs of shoes for a little extra dazzle. Decorate your sandals along the straps, accessorize the rims of your flats or use your signature jewelry pieces to add a statement cluster to the toe of your favorite pair of heels for playful, elegant, sparkling or colorful touches to every outfit.
Antique Button Earrings
Do you have any vintage clothing or accessories with old brass, silver or etched buttons? You might think you have no use for the buttons and throw them in with the old brooches and charms in the accessories drawer of your jewelry box, but antique buttons happen to make stunning statement pieces when you repurpose them as jewelry. Let your vintage buttons speak for themselves by attaching them to hooks or studs for your ears, or combine them with other pieces of old jewelry — like pearls and gems — for new earring combinations with a tasteful touch and a unique design.
Jewel-Encrusted Photo Frames
Not sure what to do with the beads and jewels from the vintage jewelry pieces you no longer wear? Put them to new use by putting them on display somewhere you'll always notice and appreciate them. Accessorize your plain photo frames by gluing on vintage jewelry pieces like gems, pearls, charms or even whole strings of necklaces. The result is a collection of unique, jewelry-encrusted photo frames to display your fondest memories and family snapshots around the house.
Re-Beaded Necklaces and Bracelets
If you're hanging onto beaded bracelets and necklaces that don't match the kind of clothing you keep in your wardrobe or aren't modern enough for your tastes, you don't have to keep them stowed away in your jewelry box, never to be worn again. Instead, take them apart and rework your beads in new combinations and assortments by stringing them into your own creations of necklaces and bracelets.
Re-beading will give your vintage pieces new life and offer you the opportunity to explore your creative side as you choose new ways to interpret and present your beads. You can even incorporate other elements like charms and newer beads to offer some fresh variety.
Trust Your Special Moments to Mountz
Excited about the idea of creating new jewelry from old jewelry? If you're looking for help repurposing your vintage jewelry or want an appraisal on selling a unique repurposed jewelry piece you created yourself, Mountz Jewelers is here to work with you. Specializing in custom jewelry design, sizing, in-house jewelry repair and buying vintage jewelry, we're dedicated to personalized customer service and an extraordinary jewelry experience. Trust your special moments and your repurposed jewelry to Mountz — explore our services today!