Not too long ago, I was at a flea market in Park Slope (Brooklyn), and a vendor had a big cardboard box filled with jewelry. I rooted through it, bought a few pieces and came back the next day to root around some more for potential jewelry buys. The vendor then offered to sell me the ENTIRE box for one price, and I couldn’t resist purchasing it. It was a treasure trove of old and broken costume jewelry that itched my crafting scratch, and this ratty purple necklace was one of them.
A good friend of the family gave me some jewelry that she didn’t want anymore and this lovely metal pendant with an Art Nouveau inspired floral design was among them. I couldn’t find out who made it or when it came form, but I thought this was a real find that needed a little elbow grease to make it a brand new piece of jewelry once again.
OK, so since I had a great time gilding my costume jewelry, I decided to do another project out of necessity. I needed some containers for my make-up brushes and any long-container make-up (liners, mascara, etc.) to pull out when I need it. On top of that, I had an abundance of glass jars due to my new-found love for Claussen Sweet Bread ‘N Butter Sandwich Sliced pickles. Everything came together for a new gilding challenge. 🙂
This expedition began with one of my beloved cuff bracelets and my Lion Pendant necklace tarnishing to an ugly state. Sure, they are just inexpensive costume jewelry, but I have genuine love for these pieces and I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. On that note, I decided to look into restoration options and gilding seemed to be a cost-effective solution.
I know that it’s been a while since I wrote my last blog post. I have been blessed with a few freelancing jobs these last 2 years, so I’ve been designing and building logos and web sites for many clients. If you’re curious, go here and check out my professional work. 🙂
Anyway, on to the post!
So I have been digging through my collection of broken costume jewelry, and I found this pair of clip-on earrings:
They look like they’re from the mid-20th century (1950s-1970s maybe), but I couldn’t find a signature or logo on the pieces. Nevertheless, I thought they were cute and I wished that one of the flowers wasn’t missing, or else I could just glue it back together and wear them on my ears. But then I thought that was a little typical for this design, plus the earring backs were rusted and broken.
I searched through my many fashion magazines and saw some Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses with various decals decorating them. They seemed like a ingenious way to re-cycle these earrings; turn them into decals for a pair of sunglasses:
Now that I have my idea, I collected the supplies I figured I’ll need to make this happen:
- 1 pair of plain white sunglasses (2 for $5 from Claire’s)
- the Creative Versa-Tool (a hot tool used for cutting/removing various things – $30 from craft stores)
- tube of E6000 (the GREATEST super glue of ALL TIME)
- 2 clay flower decals (found them at Bead World – Broadway and 36th Street, NYC)
- jar of Modge Podge Outdoors (thought I would need to coat the beads to protect them, but the film is pretty sticky so I dropped it)
As you can see from the gallery, the process was very simple:
- First, I used the hot tool to remove the old clip-on earring backs and the remaining flower from the decals
- Then I glued the clay flower beads to the plastic decals
- After that, I glued the decals to the corners of the sunglasses
Now for the results:
I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the final turnout. I don’t usually gravitate towards sunglasses this large and decorated, but they do add an interesting element to my everyday look and protect my eyes from the sun. Plus, it’s great that an old pair of earrings that might have been tossed in the garbage found a new life on a pair of shades. This is what I’m going for with my “Ms. FixIt” projects, and I hope to post more projects like this in the future. Stay tuned and give me a shoutout in the comments!
When I was in college, I found this cross object on the street. It was such a random thing to find laying on the sidewalk with nothing attached to it to indicate what is was for, so obviously I had to pick it up and take it home with me. It wasn’t until recently when I figured out what I could with it.
This is an introduction to a new series that I’m calling Ms. FixIt. For a long time I have come across lost trinklets like single earrings or broken jewelry pieces on the street that I pick up and take home with me. I always get ideas for fixing them and reinventing them into something new and fabulous. This is a test on my DIY arts & crafts skills as well as a more fun and cheap way to add to my jewelry box. 🙂
Here is project #1. A single chandelier with one jewel I found in the 14th Street Union Square subway stop in NYC. I grabbed it up and took it home to make it into a necklace.