Costume jewelry is a great option if you love jewelry but can’t afford to splurge on the fine pieces. This type of jewelry allows you to keep up with the trends without burning a hole in your pocket. Some are well made to look like replicas of finer jewelry, that sometimes it can be hard to tell, if not for the price.
The problem with costume jewelry is that it is not as durable. After some time and a couple of wears, most of them start to tarnish and look old. In some cases, they may break and some pieces may be lost. So, what can you do with the jewelry? In this post, we share some creative ideas you can use to repurpose or recycle your old or broken jewelry. We hope you find some inspiration from it!
What to Do with Old Costume Jewelry.
The idea of costume jewelry came from the world of theatre. To cut down on costs, costume designers would create replicas of fine jewelry using cheaper materials. Today, people buy costume jewelry for the same reason, to save money. While such jewelry is cheap, it is also not durable given the kind of materials used. You’ll notice the pieces breaking apart or discoloring. Eventually, you are no longer able to wear the jewelry.
This doesn’t mean that you should throw away your old costume jewelry. There are many creative DIYs to recycle jewelry. Some of these creative DIY ideas are as follows:
- Create a new piece of jewelry.
You may have broken necklaces or bracelets that may be irreparable, probably because of some missing pieces. Similarly, you may have a vintage ring you can’t wear. All of these can be recycled into new pieces of jewelry.
For example, you can take the pieces from your broken necklaces and create a chunky bracelet. In the same way, you could turn the pieces of your bracelets into great pairs of earrings. Crowns from vintage rings also make great jeweled brooches.
Alternatively, you could turn the ring into an adjustable necklace. Simply tie two leather straps to either side of the ring and tie it around your neck. You can also repurpose huge costume earrings into beautiful unique cocktail rings.
- Bedazzled accessories.
If you have a boring accessory, you can revamp it using your old or broken costume jewelry, instead of throwing away both. The accessories could be belts, bags, shoes, and hats. You can even use the jewels to revamp and bedazzle an old jacket or dress.
You can either create a beautiful jeweled belt buckle or purse by simply gluing different pieces from your broken costume jewelry to the buckle or purse. Similarly, you could glue pieces of the broken jewelry to sections of or your entire pair of shoes. Try to ensure the pieces are similar for a more cohesive look.
You can collect the jewels from your broken brooches, the pendants from broken necklaces, or the crown of old or broken rings. Some earrings with broken clasps or hooks can make great jewels too. Ensure you use extremely strong glue so the pieces don’t fall off later.
- Jeweled bookmarks.
If you are a bookworm and jewel lover with pieces of broken costume jewelry, then this is the idea for you. Create a beautiful jeweled bookmark using jewels from a broken brooch, pendant, or a pair of earrings.
Simply clamp the jewel to a strip of satin, silk, or velour ribbon. Just like that, you’ll have a new and unique bookmark for your next exciting read. It would also make a great gift if you’re not much of a reader.
- Key Jewelry.
If you love key-shaped pendants or bracelets, there’s no reason for you to spend a lot of money buying from a jewelry store. You can easily create a unique peace from the comfort of your home. All you need is a collection of jewel stones from old broken costume jewelry and an old key.
Glue the stones to the key and attach them to a chain or bracelet. An alternative would be to use the stones to revamp your key or keychain.
- Bottled decorations.
Making decorations out of old bottles is a fun and common DIY project. Using old jewelry gives it an elegant and sometimes vintage look. The jewels can be paired with other materials like lace or thread. You have the creative freedom to create any design you can think of. Just use suitable glue that’s strong enough to hold the jewel on the bottle.
You can use these bottles as tables or mantel decorations or as vases for your beautiful flowers.
- Jewelry Bouquet.
When it comes to flower bouquets, they don’t always have to be made of real flowers. If you have a large collection of old costume jewelry, you can repurpose them into a bouquet. The best part about a jewelry bouquet is that you don’t have to worry about them drying up. They would be perfect for a unique out-of-the-box wedding. It would also make a great gift for a special someone. You could even include lockets with pictures of your moments together.
- Jewelry Artwork.
If you’re an artist looking for creative mediums to use for your next big piece, how about jewelry? You can use the broken pieces from the old costume pieces to create different collages. The jewel artwork could be anything your creative mind comes up with.
- Bedazzled Plant Pots/Planters.
Another great way of repurposing your old costume jewelry is by using it to create a more vibrant garden or backyard. You can do this by revamping your plain and poring planters and plant pots. Simply glue the jewelry pieces on the pots and planters in whatever design you’d like. You can decide to have a theme to it or be as random as possible with the jewelry you choose to include.
- Jeweled Knobs.
A very creative way of recycling old jewelry especially brooches is by using them to reinvent the knobs around your house. This could be circular doorknobs or cabinet handles. It’s the perfect remodeling idea. Plus, you can’t find doorknobs as unique as these in any hardware store.
- Unique Jeweled Chandelier.
As a light fixture, chandeliers are a great way of making a statement. Given their multiple lamps, they also offer ambient lighting. You’ll find them in many different designs but can be very costly. So why not make your own? You can simply use a chandelier frame and drape the different pieces of old costume necklaces onto it. You can decide to use one type of material like golden chains. You could also mix them up in terms of color, designs, size, and texture, that way you’ll end up with a unique and edgy chandelier for your home.
- Jeweled Frames.
Revamp plain photo frames with repurposed old jewelry. It will give the frames a new and more attractive appearance. Simply glue the jewels all around the frame in your desired design. Alternatively, you could convert old brooches into tiny unique frames. Remove the centerpiece of the brooch and insert a sizeable photo.
- Bedazzled Mirrors.
Jeweled mirrors aren’t just good for looking at yourself, they also make great home décor. It’s also a fun DIY project where you have the creative freedom to create a unique masterpiece. You can use jewel stones from your collection of repurposed costume pieces. They could be in one color or you could mix it up if you’re looking for a more colorful result.
- Jeweled Fridge Magnets.
Another way you can use your old costume jewelry as decoration is by repurposing them into fridge magnets. Old brooches, especially, would make great magnets for your fridge. Old rings and pendants could work too. Just add a magnetic strip and you can use then to hold up schedules and notes on the fridge and office bulletins as well.
- Wall decorations.
There is a wide range of wall decorations you can make using old or broken jewelry. It all depends on your imagination. A good example is a large jeweled letter décor. It could be the first letter of your name made out of different jewelry pieces glued together.
You could also, create something like a bejeweled cross if you’re a Christian. Alternatively, a heart-shaped art canvas made of different types of jewel pieces also makes a great deco for your wall.
- Jewelry Decorated Lampshades.
There’s no better way to improve your lamp shade’s appearance, than by adding jewel stones and other broken jewelry pieces. It makes your lamp unique and edgy. You can also decide to create the lampshade entirely out of repurposed costume jewelry pieces.
- Jeweled Christmas decorations.
There are many ideas of Christmas-themed decoration ideas you can use your jewelry for. To begin with, you could make canvas art of a Christmas tree, or snowman as well as of Santa clause. If you have a larger collection of old costume jewelry, you could make a beautiful bejeweled Christmas ornament for the tree. You could even make an entire door wreathe from the jewels if you’re up to the challenge.
- Unique jeweled Camera straps.
Do you have a broken pearl or metal necklace still in a good condition? Or any kind of necklace? You could use it to create a unique strap for your camera. Alternatively, you could add jewel stones to the camera strap to give it a new look.
- Gift cards.
If you want to gift a unique card, consider adding jewelry pieces like jewelry stones to the design of the card. Centerpieces from broken brooches are also a great alternative. You could also use the jewelry to make unique and beautiful gift tags.
For most of these DIY ideas, all you need is a really strong glue, a collection of old costume jewelry, and a creative mind. From that, you can create many unique designs, even beyond this list.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.