Recently I moved to the South after living in the Northeast for 10 years. While settling in and discovering my new Southern surroundings, I was informed that I had to visit Scott’s Antique Market, which is the largest antique market in the United States. I must say that I was impressed by my first visit to the market and left with a basket full of old, but new to me, findings. Most of the items have found a place in my home, but the vintage jewelry that I bought for less than $10 a piece has been collecting dust for the last couple years.
I’ve been wanting to restyle the pieces into something new! Since costume jewelry is such a trend right now, many vintage jewelry pieces are inspiration for current jewelry styles. Rhinestones, gold thick chain, ornate brooches, sparkly gemstones and cabochons are elements found in flea markets/vintage jewelry and today’s store-bought jewelry. So don’t let your grandma’s jewelry that you inherited never see the light. Restyle it into a new statement piece that will get your girlfriends asking where you bought it.
There are many different types of mediums you can use to restyle your findings. I’m sure you’ve seen how you can take a fancy brooch and attach it to a simple chain necklace. There’s also ribbon, leather, fabric, cord. And what’s been a fun, new medium for jewelry is parachute cord ties! But for this repurposing tutorial, I’m going to use rope, since rope necklaces are a big trend for the Fall.
Here are your supplies. All of these you can pick up at your local craft store:
lobster hook/eye clasp end caps
flea market/vintage rhinestone bracelet
28 gauge silver wire (craft store)
flexible needle (craft store)
To Make the Rope Necklace:
Cut rope to the length you would like. I cut mine to 16″, which is basic necklace length. Squeeze glue in the end cap openings and then wiggle the end caps on the rope. You may need to use a pencil to help push the rope into the end caps. Hold the end caps in place. Let it dry for a couple of hours.
How to Make the Rhinestone Necklace:
Line up your vintage rhinestone bracelet so it is centered in the middle of the rope. Disassemble any latches from the bracelet. You may have to use metal cutters to get rid of clasps or latches from the bracelet. After, using scissors cut the metal gauge wire (it is thin enough to be cut with scissors) long enough to wrap the bracelet around the rope. So I measured a little more than a half an arm length.
You are basically going to treat the wire and flexible needle just like a sewing needle and thread. Actually if it’s more convenient, you can hand sew the rhinestone bracelet on the rope. But I prefer the metal wire because it keeps it more secure. If you are working with the wire, wrap it tightly around the rope then thread it through the space between each rhinestone continuing around the rope. Make sure both sides are tightly wrapped multiple times around the rope. Cut the remaining wire.
Your restyled vintage necklace is now complete!
I made a similar rope necklace with my flea market chunky gold rolo bracelet. Using many of the same supplies and techniques, I used jump rings instead of wire because I wanted the chain to hang. If you don’t like that look then you can use the wire to secure the bracelet to the rope. I also recycled flea market chain from necklaces that I purposely bought for the chain style, and cut the chain from the necklace the same length as my rolo bracelet. You will need wire cutters to cut chain. Then take the jump rings and pry the ring open to attach and hang one end of the chain. Keeping the jump ring open, pull it over the rope and then tighten. Repeat on the other side. Then repeat for each chain. Lastly added the bracelet.
Have fun RePurposing and ReStyling your flea market jewelry into a new stylish gem! Whatever you do, don’t let your vintage jewelry sit in a box. Pull it out and make something fabulous with it!