That old jewelry that's sitting in your jewelry box or waiting for you at the thrift shop will brighten up just about anything you put it on. Take old necklaces, earrings and bracelets apart or use whole pieces in new ways to make something pretty to keep or give as a gift.
Depending on the shapes and colors of your old jewelry, you can make crafts for just about any holiday. For example, you could take a necklace apart and glue the individual beads to plastic or ceramic eggs to place in Easter baskets, or make place mats for the Fourth of July using beads or even whole earrings, charms or other small pieces to fill in a flag shape you've drawn with fabric paint or marker. Make a bejeweled menorah by gluing beads and pearls to an inexpensive purchased one, or glue beads and ribbons to Styrofoam balls to create Christmas ornaments with ribbon loops for hanging. Decorate a Halloween sweatshirt with a smiling jack-o-lantern whose teeth are made of earrings, or make a Thanksgiving table runner featuring a turkey with a glorious jewelry tail.
Make pretty dresser containers from baby food jars and old jewelry. The larger sizes of baby food jars will be more practical than the small jars, since they'll hold more. Spray-paint the jars and lids first, in a shade that complements the jewelry you'll be using. Separate individual beads, pearls and charms, then glue them to the jars and lids with a low-temperature glue gun.
Transform a plain crocheted purse or clutch into a beaded beauty with old jewelry. Use only one type of bead, or alternate three or four different types in a pattern. Sew the beads to the crocheted stitches only, not the lining, using thread in a shade that matches the purse.
Make or buy a throw pillow in a floral pattern. Look for a design that features a large central flower. Use small beads or pearls from old necklaces, bracelets and earrings to outline the flower. Sew the beads to the fabric, or attach them with fabric glue or a glue gun.
Frames and Shades
Jazz up a mirror with a glittering frame. Glue a mixture of beads, pearls and charms to the frame, covering it completely. Glue a piece of wide ribbon to the back of the frame and hang the mirror so that the ribbon shows.
Outline a picture frame with beads or pearls of one type. Glue the jewels to the inner edges, next to the glass, and the outermost edges of the frame.
Create a glamorous lampshade with dangling earrings. Either separate the beads, if they're long and slender, or use the earrings as is, if they're composed of small beads. Glue a strip of pretty ribbon or fabric trim around the bottom edge of the lampshade, then glue the beads or earrings to it at regular intervals.
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