Workshop Wednesday: Turn a vintage earring into a pendant necklace
Debbie Neuman of Rust & Pearls Jewelry gives us this simple tutorial to turn vintage earrings into modern pendant necklaces:
I love using vintage pieces because they are often made of better materials than modern costume jewelry. This is also a great opportunity to use that one earring that you just cant seem to find the mate for.
1. Jewelry Pliers: 2 Flatnose (we have both a straight and angled flatnose, but 2 regular straight flatnose will work just as well), 1 Roundnose, 1 Cutter
2. One vintage earring
3. One or two medium size jump rings (round pieces of metal with one cut in the middle)
4. Nail File
5. Necklace Chain
Sourcing your materials:
Jewelry pliers can be purchased from any craft shop or, if you are a Houston Makerspace member, just hop on over to the jewelry shop and use ours.
Jump rings can also be purchased from any craft shop or taken off of a broken piece of jewelry.
For the earring(s) and chain, here are endless ways to find beautiful vintage pieces.
The best places to hunt them down are:
- Your jewelry box!
- Your friend's jewelry box
- Resale Shop
- Local Vintage Shop
- Online (Ebay or Etsy)
1. If your earring is a post style earring like ours, take your cutters and put them as close to where the post meets the earring as possible. Cut off the post.
If you are using a clip earring gently pull off the metal flap and then cut the rest of the clip off with your cutters.
2. After you have cut the post or clip off you earring there may be some rough edges left. Take a regular nail or jewelry file and gently file down the rough metal.
3. Open your jump ring.
Take one pair of flatnose pliers in each hand. Pick up your jump ring and using the pliers push and pull in opposite directions near the cut or opening of the jump ring to gently open it.
You may want to use two jump rings if your earring is on the heavier side and you want more support.
4. Once your jump ring is open, weave one side through a hole in your earring and the other side through the center link of your chain.
The earring we chose had holes in its design, making this step easy. However, if you want to do this project with an earring that doesn't already have a hole punched in it, it's simple to punch one yourself! The Houston Makerspace jewelry shop has a drill press which can quickly drill holes through just about any type of metal jewelry piece you might be using. You could also use a Dremel tool to do this.
5. Close your jump ring using the same back and forth motion with your 2 flatnose pliers.
Voila! Necklace complete!
Awesome Houston places to source your vintage materials:
- My Flaming Heart, 3622 Main St Suite C
- The Guild Shop, 2009 Dunlavy St.
- The Charity Guild, 1203 Lovett Blvd
- The Cottage Thrift Shop (Jewelry Sale every Tuesday!), 811 Westheimer Rd.
- Texas Art Asylum, 1719 Live Oak St.
Debbie Neuman is the designer behind Rust & Pearls. She creates one of a kind pieces from repurposed vintage and antique materials. You can see her work on her Etsy shop, Facebook page, Instagram, or in person at Sparrow and The Nest, 1020 Studewood St.