Transform Jewelry into Home Accents

Turn cast-off costume jewelry into one-of-a-kind accents for your home.


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butterfly brooches
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Butterfly Jewelry Collection

    Butterfly brooches like these are too beautiful to keep tucked away in a jewelry box. Let them take flight as wall art by creating a pseudo-scientific display. Paint a gesso-finish artist's canvas with water-thinned dark umber paint and then rub it off. Use a graphite pencil to draw lines depicting the wingspans.

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Curtain Tieback

    A vintage pin adorns a ribbon for a pretty curtain tieback. Wrap sheer ribbon around the curtain panel and tie, leaving tails about a foot long. Pin the flower brooch at the knot. Brooches like this one are easy to find.

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Flower Earring Lampshade

    Decorate a paper lampshade by punching holes evenly around the bottom edge. Insert earring posts through the holes and secure with earring backs, or use clip-on earrings.

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Framed Pendants

    Jewelry can be displayed as art today and worn as an accessory tomorrow. Cover the frame's cardboard insert with decorative paper and then simply suspend a beribboned necklace over it.

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Artwork Jewelry Accent

    A colorful brooch brings a dramatic touch to this piece of artwork. Add a ribbon hanger to your frame, and glue or pin the jewel at the top.

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Papered Jewelry Holder

    Turn a wooden cutlery tray into a beautiful piece of art. Glue scrapbooking papers to the bottom of each compartment using an adhesive that works on paper and wood; secure screw eyes to the cubbies to hold jewelry. Select favorite pieces to fill the tray.

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Frame Photos in Jewelry

    Decorative pins and belt buckles make fun frames for family photos. Remove the buckle's center catch if needed, and tape a photo to the back. To prop your pieces, fold 1/2-inch-wide strips of cardboard into triangles, and then tape them to the backs.

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Earring Table-Runner Fringe

    Fringe the ends of a table runner with pretty jeweled earrings. Insert the wires of pierced earrings along the edges. Look for a runner that is made of fabric so the earrings can pierce through it easily.

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Bracelet Wrapped Votive Holders

    Add sparkle to glass votive holders by stacking bracelets on footed candleholders. Vary the colors and styles of the bracelets for an eclectic look. For safety, use only votive candles in glass holders.

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Framed Gems

    These flea market frames, outfitted with fabric or paper, ribbon, and glass knobs, show off a beautiful collection of brooches, bracelets, and necklaces. Even the earrings get a chance to be in the spotlight when hooked over a length of ribbon held in place with upholstery tacks.

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Detail of Framed Jewelry

    For each frame insert, cover plywood with fabric or decorative paper, and install the knobs and other jewelry holders before hanging.

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Beautiful Beaded Napkin Rings

    Ordinary metal napkin rings morph into gem-encrusted beauties when you thread beads and crystals onto craft wire and wrap it securely around the rings. Thread more beads onto wire to make a coordinating set of wineglass charms.

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Dress Up a Vase

    Restring faux pearls on light-gauge wire and wind around the neck of a glass beaker. Thread glass beads onto fishing line to make a sparkly "necklace" for another vase.

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Creative Cake Stand

    Glass beads from a necklace, rethreaded onto light-gauge wire, dangle like earrings from the scalloped edge of a glass cake stand.

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Embellish a Pillow

    The embroidered designs on these silk pillows were enhanced with stitching on jade disks and small glass beads gleaned from a mixed bag of jewelry bought at a yard sale. Remove the pillow forms before stitching.

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Create Vintage Charm

    Family photos gain new prominence displayed in filigree metal frames embellished with vintage brooches. Thread thin satin ribbon through the open areas of the frame.

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Easy Artwork

    Enameled flower pins discovered at a flea market make a simple and graphic design statement when grouped into a triptych of shadow-box frames. Similar treatments of other like items, such as cloisonne or cameo pendants, could be equally interesting.

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Add Detail to a Lampshade

    Tiny pearls strung onto monofilament, knotted in place, and then tied vertically around the shade give this modern lamp a soft touch. Land the knots on the inside of the shade and out of sight. Wire a few chunky beads to the pull chains.

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Show Off Old Jewels

    Earrings and pins comprise striking displays on a grid of picture frames whose backs are wrapped with linen. Remove the posts and clips from the jewelry with needle-nose pliers, and secure your composition to the fabric with small drops of hot glue. Insert it in a picture frame.

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Beautified Bags

    Sachet bags sewn from linen, filled with lavender or balsam, and secured with vintage brooches make great party favors or hostess gifts. Or make some for yourself using a loved one's jewelry to create a sweet-smelling reminder of that person.

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Jeweled Wreath

    A raid on your jewelry box (or perhaps your mother's or grandmother's) might yield a wealth of vintage costume jewelry. If your baubles are in short supply, search flea markets or vintage stores for jeweled treasures.

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Detail of Jewelry Wreath

    Wrap a wreath form in pretty ribbon or fabric, then hot-glue or pin jewelry pieces in a pleasing arrangement. Finish with a luxurious satin bow topped with an additional jewel or two.

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Simple Candle Embellishment

    Give colored glass candleholders added sparkle with clipon earrings and brooches. Use hot-glue to hold jewels without clips in place.

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Dramatic Jewel Display

    Create drama with a bold color and a framed display of wallpaper and jewelry. Wrap metallic wallpaper scraps around the cardboard inserts of frames and tape in place. Add pendants to some; leave others blank.

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Jeweled Napkin Rings

    Use free-form wire rings, glistening beads, buttons, and old earrings to make these napkin rings.

    Crafts Supplies:
    Spool of 16-gauge brass wire (available at hardware stores)
    Spool of 18-gauge copper wire
    Cardboard tube
    Wire cutters
    Needle-nose pliers
    A variety of beads, buttons, and earrings
    Fine spool wire

    1. Bend a small hook at one end of the brass wire. Wrap wire around the cardboard tube seven to nine times. Cut the wire off the spool, allowing enough wire to bend around to meet the first end. Bend a hook at the end and connect the two ends. Use pliers to pinch the ends together. Remove the wire from the tube.

    2. Cut a 30-inch length of copper wire and secure the end to the outside edge of the brass wire. String beads onto the copper wire. To keep the beads from falling off the wire while wrapping, bend a hook in the wire. Wrap the copper wire around the brass circle, sliding the beads into position as you work. Secure the end to the outside edge of brass wire, snipping off any extra wire. Attach buttons and earrings to the ring by tying them on with very thin wire.

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