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October 30, 2017

Making Holiday Ornaments from Old Jewelry

This month, my project on The Spruce is an example of how to make holiday ornaments from old jewelry.  I'm not sure what I thought I would make when I suggested the topic, but it was one of those things that took on a life of its own.

How to Make Holiday Ornaments from Old Jewelry

I did have a large stash of broken fashion jewelry to start with, but even I was amazed at how many ornaments I racked up. And how easy they were to make. And mostly, how cool some of them turned out.

The project on The Spruce starts with this sparkly necklace that is missing a rhinestone (although it is not something I would wear very much anyway).

Broken Necklace to Re-Use

From this necklace, I was able to make four ornaments, two icicles from the sections of plain chain and two wreaths from the more decorative sections of the necklace.  

Ornaments made from Broken Jewelry - super easy!

Inspired by how well I thought these turned out, I decided to see what else I could make. Next, I started with this necklace. It's a garage sale find that I would never wear, but I bought several of them figuring I could use that pretty gun metal chain on something.

Are you surprised someone had multiple of these necklaces?  I was - but they were a wholesaler of some sort and these were all damaged and missing stones.

Broken Jewelry to be Used for Ornaments

The first thing I did, was to separate the great chain to save it for another project.

Disassembling old Jewelry

Then, using my inexpensive harbor freight flush cutters ($3.99), I took to cutting the three main pieces apart. I love that the back was filligree. It makes it a little prettier on the back side.

Disassembling old Jewelry

Here are the main pieces.  Very sparkly, not super Christmas-y in color, but they do have a vintage elegance about them once they were cut apart.  I especially like the center piece with the rhinestone heart in the middle.

As you can see, I had to replace some rhinestones by taking apart one component to repair others (the bottom middle on the right).

Jewelry Pieces to Use to Make Holiday Ornaments

Another find in my jewelry stash were these leave earrings.  I've always loved the leaves, and I thought they could help dress up some of my ornaments.

Old jewelry to use to make holiday ornaments

I used a hot glue gun to attach the leaves as angel wings and also as decorative leaves on the center components.  Sometimes, a piece would break off, and I usually just decided to work with the new shape rather than try and force it back together.  Below you can see three different version of the necklace center with the rhinestone heart.

The one one the left, I tried to make into an angel, the middle one I left alone and I still think it has an angelic quality and the one on the right lost the round 'angle head' and ended up looking like a flower.  I tried to highlight that more by adding more leaves.

Holiday ornaments made from old broken jewelry

And then there is this necklace component that I've already stripped of its' gunmetal chain.  I'm not sure what made me save this, but thinking in the Holiday mindset, I immediately zoomed in on what looks like an upside down candle in the center and started cutting this apart.

Broken jewelry to use in making holiday ornaments

Oddly enough, once I had removed the center, the side pieces looked a lot like snowmen with beer mugs to me.  I decided to go with that and make them into ornaments too.

I'm not crazy - right?  They do look like pink snowmen with beer mugs??  I think my friends who drink beer will get a kick out of them.

holiday ornaments made from broken jewelry - are those snowmen with mugs of beer?

You may be asking yourself how much broken, sparkly jewelry can I have...  Well, there's more!!  Just a little bit.  These are some bracelet components that were connected with jump rings.  There were some with stones missing, so it was also a great salvage item.

broken jewelry used to make holiday ornaments - free tutorial

I decided I could re-arrange these pieces into a Christmas Tree.   Again, it's pretty non-traditional because of the colors, but I think once I add a star to the top, it will make a great ornament.

Christmas tree ornament made from broken jewelry

I had already made about 30 ornaments before I came up with the tree design, so I ran out of steam and haven't finished making these yet.  Also, the hot glue isn't strong enough to hold these together, so I will have to wire them, which will take a little longer. From the two or three bracelets I have, I think I can make another 20 or so tree ornaments.

Here is my total sparkly ornament goodness.  I spent most of an afternoon cutting and glue-gunning ribbons to the back. I was so happy to use some of the ribbon I had lying around from my daughter's softball bow making days!

Christmas ornaments made from broken jewelry - what a great idea!

I'm fairly confident you won't have these same components and be able to make the same ornaments as I did, but what fun would that be anyway?  I'll bet you might have something that will work as ornaments or can find something at a garage sale or thrift store.  I hope I at least inspired you to try!

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  1. This is brilliant! I hoard other people's broken jewelry for makeover purposes but this idea is what I need to use up all the pieces I have! Yes! Would you mind if I shared this post on Facebook?

    1. Glad I could help. Yes, you can always share my posts on facebook. Thanks!

  2. These made fantastic ornaments. You are so creative! I especially love the "Christmas Tree" ornament. I would make a beautiful pendant.

    1. Thank you! I agree about the Christmas tree - it is one of my favorites. I'll have to finish making them soon.

  3. Wonderful idea making holiday decorations from old jewelry.