I can honestly say one of my favourite past-times is creating or reconstructing jewellery. Enough so that I have my own business doing it! In regards to thrifting mind you, if you can wield a pair of small pliers you can save a ton of money on jewellery and accessories. Most stores wouldn’t be too keen on selling broken jewellery, or they sell it at a serious discount – which is great news for those of us on a tight budget!
I have been finding more and more earrings are being made too heavy for what they are. For example I picked up a few packages of $1 earring sets that were made as posts, I wore one pair for a few hours only to be driven mad by them falling forward and pulling my earlobe down. This is not a result of me wearing heavy earrings for years (because I haven’t been!) its simply a cheap design.
Granted it takes a moment and you do run the risk of the post snapping off completely if its really cheaply made, but a simple loop of the post wire can make a huge difference in whether or not a pair of earrings is wearable!
With my finger I bend the post as far upwards as I can make it without pressing too hard so that it doesn’t completely snap. Usually the tiny piece at the end of the post snaps off because of the dent manufactures put in it to hold the backs on. Using a pair of needle nose pliers I can slowly create a loop in the post wire. Combining the strength of my fingers and stability of the plier, I wiggle the looped post as close to the top centre as possible so I can ensure the earring will dangle straight.
Depending on the style of earring hooks you find, you can add it directly to the loop you just made OR you can add a jump ring in between. This is also great if you want to have a bit of dangle rather than a solid earring hanging down. I went on a tangent that morning and essentially changed every pair of large post based earrings I had into regular fish hook style earrings. The only post-style earrings I have left are tiny studs which I like the way they are.
As per my post about my vibrant Orange and Blue outfit on December 6th, I discuss how you can find great broken jewellery at thrift stores for $1! Here is another great example of a piece that I redesigned using what Value Village called a “broken” necklace. I thought the red and black rhinestone design was quite cool especially since I feel like there is no longer red in my wardrobe at all this would be a good way to start adding it back.
Unfortunately I was too efficient in taking this apart without thinking of snapping a quick photo first! What you don’t know is that this set was originally just one necklace with 8 interconnected sections. I only ended up throwing out one section, but was able to salvage some of the rhinestones that I needed to re-embellish the few I was needing to fix. I then needed to snap off extra unwanted loops with pliers.
The earrings were slightly more tricky to complete as each piece had a different arrangement of loops on the side depending on where it was in the original necklace. I salvaged two pieces that had the same loops – but needed to add a small chain in order to add a centered earring hook. Luckily being a designer I had all the required materials on hand and was able to complete the task without too much trouble.