redux jewelry

Making a Vintage Beaded Necklace

Making a vintage beaded necklace isn't as strange as it first may sound.  Vintage kind of means "old", and how can you make something old?

By making a necklace from vintage beads and findings, of course!  And you don't need to pay an arm and a leg for them either, if you know where to find them.

purple-pink-white-beaded-necklaceI made this particular vintage beaded necklace with beads taken from various necklaces from the 60's and 70's.  It's all done in shades of pink, purple, magenta and white.  Some of the beads are shiney, some are matte.   The clasp is also vintage, and it's adjustable.

Finding the Supplies

Ah, finding the vintage bead supplies is actually much easier than you think.  I haunt the vintage jewelry section on ebay and look for necklaces from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  I'm checking for necklaces made with pretty beads and unusual clasps.  Yes, I take it all apart and reuse!

I have found some gorgeous crystal necklaces with wonderful 2 and 3 strand clasps.  And while the crystals are probably not Swarovski, they do glimmer and shine.  And I have found them in some very unusual shapes as well.

I've had my share of disappointments as well.  A necklace that I thought was going to be a real beauty turned out to be pretty sad. 

vintage-beaded-necklaceBut on the other hand, I've always been able to salvage something.  And I have had some that I thought were just nice turn out to be knockouts!

And I rarely pay more than $3 for a double-strand necklace, from which I get beads and a clasp and sometimes earrings to boot!

Keep in mind that vintage also tends to mean plated, when it comes to clasps and spacers.  Still, some of the plating includes a rhodium finish which still glows bright.

In this particular necklace, I chose to use some gold plated findings, most of which were harvested from other necklaces.

Hunt Down Those Vintage Beads for Your Own Necklace!

Check out yard sales and for that matter - your own jewelry box (who knows what's lurking in its depths)!

I get 95% of my vintage beads and findings from ebay, so I'll leave you with some goodies to ponder. 

vintage jewelry lot Crystal Aurora Borealis glass bead set tassel brooch earri
vintage jewelry lot Crystal Aurora Borealis glass bead set tassel brooch earri
Time Remaining: 2d 1h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $5.00
Lot of 8 Pendant Bead Silver Tone and Gold Tone Vintage Necklaces
Lot of 8 Pendant Bead Silver Tone and Gold Tone Vintage Necklaces
Time Remaining: 28d 21h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $7.95
Vintage jewelry lot 30s 40s 50s Pins Necklace Pearl Red Bead Milk Glass Bracelet
Vintage jewelry lot 30s 40s 50s Pins Necklace Pearl Red Bead Milk Glass Bracelet
Time Remaining: 28d 4h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $39.00
Vintage Costume Jewelry Lot Bead Necklaces Bracelet Ear Rings Stone Estate Find
Vintage Costume Jewelry Lot Bead Necklaces Bracelet Ear Rings Stone Estate Find
Time Remaining: 24d 5h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $17.98
10 Vintage  Modern Bead Costume Jewelry Necklaces Lot 997
10 Vintage Modern Bead Costume Jewelry Necklaces Lot 997
Time Remaining: 27d 23h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $12.95

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Bling in the New Year!

Well, it's New Year's Eve day, and the end of 2008.  High time to plan how to bling in the New Year!

As you know, I've been doing some collecting of costume jewelry, as well as doing a redux on pieces.  My latest acquisitions have been some crystal necklaces, probably from the late 60's through the 70's.  Or, they could even be newer, but based on the materials used, I'd say probably late 70's.

I took apart these necklaces for three reasons.  One, they aren't Swarovski -- crystal, yes; Swarovski, no.  But the AB beads sure are pretty!

Second, they weren't strung as well as they could have been; way too tight, so they didn't hang right.

The last reason were the clasps, which were really nice.  The clasps would be lovely in a re-done piece!  All three included chatons, one of them with AB chatons.

So I've got plenty of materials to work with in 2009!  (I won't talk at the moment about all the other bead necklaces I've disassembled lately....)

Finding the Bling

I've been watching the ebay auctions for costume jewelry, as well as haunting some flea markets.  Some days I find all kinds of treasures; some days I am empty-handed.  But I've since gotten over buying just any "bling" -- I wait until something jumps up and screams in my face, "Bring me home!"

Sometimes the pieces just need to be taken apart for a redux, like the crystal necklaces I just disassembled.  Some pieces stay whole, like some brooches I recently bought.

And hey, I found a great way to use my Christmas Tree pins!  OK, I'm a little late this year in telling you, but it's something you can do year-round.

One of my pins is large and heavy, and kept flopping when I wore it.  The pinback itself is vertical, so I had the idea to pin it onto a necklace (in my case, a vintage faux pearl necklace).  The pin hung there wonderfully!  So now I know what to do with the large Christmas Tree pins next year.  And what I can do with large brooches all year long.

Bling in the New Year!

So let's make a deal here; resolve to bring some bling into 2009.  Whether your bling style is modest or in-your-face, there's a place for it in all our lives.  Something sparkly to liven up our dull days, and pretty, to look at when we are stressed.

At any rate, here are some [nmslink:vintage crystal beads, vintage crystal beads] to consider, for starting your own vintage "bling" redux collection (below are just a few examples). 

Oh, and Happy New Year!

[nms:vintage crystal beads,7,0,5]

Flea Markets, Beads and Jewelry

For the first time in awhile I went on a flea market search for beads, beaded jewelry and vintage signed costume jewelry.  What fun I had, looking through the piles!  But my eyes hurt from squinting to see the signatures on the jewelry (even with a loupe it was difficult at times).

My mission today was simple; I was on a hunt to find vintage costume jewelry with one of the three "R's" -- re-sellable, re-usable or restorable.  And yes, I found nice examples of all three.

I took my husband David with me, and he was a big help, in pawing through the jewelry looking for signatures.  In fact, he found two pieces that I immediately snatched up!  And he suggested that we go to a much bigger flea market tomorrow to see what we can find.  So we'll go early and probably stay all day (it's a very, very large flea market).

Were They All Treasures?

Well, I did make a few mistakes, about $2 worth.  Don't ask me why I picked up 3 Christmas pins that I didn't mean to buy...but I bought anyway, by accident.  They are pretty, for sure, but I realized that one tree had a branch broken off.  Another was a necklace that I thought had a particular designer's signature, but I didn't check with my loupe.  Oops, once I got home, the signature wasn't what I thought.  But at 50 cents each, my mistakes didn't cost too much.

Like Vintage "Redux"?

Jennie sent me an email this morning about a book by Kalmbach publishing (you know, the Bead & Button people) about taking vintage pieces and remaking them into new pieces.  Naturally, I checked on Amazon and they have it (for a much better price).  If you think this is a cool idea, check out Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry for some ideas and inspiration.  So, if this sounds interesting to you, why not pick up a copy (I have one in my Amazon shopping cart right now).

Well, I'm going to go for now and go play with today's finds.  So I'll leave you with some [nmslink:vintage bead lot, ideas for redux supplies] (if you don't have any good flea markets nearby).

[nms:vintage bead lot,7,1,9]