Vintage jewelry is great. I love finding older pieces that probably have stories to tell. Older jewelry was well made, used high quality materials and was made to last a long time. If you take care of those vintage brooches, rings, earrings and necklaces, you’ll find that they will probably outlast you.
And unlike some pieces of jewelry that might need maintenance, most vintage items won’t need a lot of care. You just keep them clean and store them well and you’ll be fine.
Sometimes, however, you’ll find that you have some pieces of older jewelry that are no longer of any use to you. Perhaps you have a brooch that has a broken fastener. Perhaps you have earrings that are in the same condition, or worse, you have an earring whose mate has been lost. I try to keep track of all of my jewelry, but sometimes, things do get misplaced, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I have an entire box of misfit pieces that has been sitting around for longer than I would care to admit.
What do you do with broken or orphan jewelry? You can toss it out, and if you did, the landfill might be a bit prettier, but honestly, adding more garbage to our landfills does nothing to make the world a better place.
It would be better if you could find a way to repurpose those odd earrings or brooches so that you can give them some new life and perhaps add a bit of color here and there.
Here are a few suggestions regarding how to put old misfit jewelry to new life:
- Door knobs and drawer pulls – The odd earring might make for an attractive knob for either a drawer or perhaps the door for a cabinet. You can remove the back and then use epoxy or a glue gun to attach the piece to a plain old vanilla knob or drawer pull and you’ll have something prettier. Once you have an entire kitchen full of non-matching, colorful knobs, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to get by with the standard fare from Home Depot.
- Refrigerator magnets – This is a variation on the above. This time, just remove the fastener from the back of an earring or brooch and attach it, again using glue, to one of those tiny little “super strong” magnets. You’ll have something lovely to attach to your refrigerator to help hang the photos of your grandkids or the artwork that your children made at school.
- Belt buckles. An oversized earring or an old brooch can turn a thrift store belt into something that looks a bit more fashionable.
- Lampshades. An old, plain white lampshade can be turned into something interesting with the addition of a few oversized earrings here and there.
There really are dozens of things that you can do with old jewelry, a bit of glue, and some imagination. There are plenty of other ideas on the Web, so a bit of searching and you’ll likely find more ideas than you know what to do with. If you’re lucky, you’ll also find more ideas than you have broken jewelry to make.