Monday, December 24, 2018

the upcycled christmas necklace

You must feel betrayed, my friends!
You probably came to this blog thinking I did nice and cute refashions, and all of a sudden I've gone  full hulk-mode and only do projects that involve power tools, muscle and a lot of rubble, and I'm sure you're sometimes wondering.. "Can't she just do a nice skirt instead of a bathroom?" (No, cuz you can't take a bath inside a skirt, baby)

But today, as my lil' christmas present to you, I'll make it up!
And will do so by making the cutest, frilliest upcycled christmas necklace ever, entirely maken out of thrifted, broken and unwanted old pieces of jewelry.

I'm not sure if I had the most exciting teen years ever, but I did have one thing going for me: I had the most amazing collection of side-jobs ever. Amongst many other jobs I worked as a:

  • animation team-girl on a camping side,
  • Designer of a refashioned clothing line (which actually sold, I'm as amazed as you are)
  • co-owner of a company that hosted creative workshops, 
  • merchandise girl at K3, concert, which is a really popular little kids band in the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Salsa dance-partner at some company event (again, I'm as amazed as you are, I'm not that good a dancer)

And, during my high school days, I sold hand-made jewelry to a store near my school. Quite cool, huh? Again, I have no idea how I managed to get people to pay me for all that stuff, and I also have no idea how I managed to end up in such a respectable, grown-up job these days, but... life finds a way, I guess!

I haven't made jewelry in years ( or thought about all those cool jobs, for that matter) but when I stumbled upon my old pile of beads and broken jewelry, I was feeling a little nostalgic, and thought.. "oh, why not give it a go?"
And the timing couldn't have been more perfect, since it's christmas tomorrow, and my simple gress dress could use a little Oompf.

I began be searching the house for the right materials. That turned out to be really easy, since I can't throw away old jewelry, and lonely earrings for the life of me (I mean: what if, in ten years I find it's mate again? What if I ever need a broken necklace for something? I can't throw it away if that might happen!)

I quickly stumbled on these little beauties:

They were actually part of a hideous necklace ( there was pink sparkly ribbon involved) I bought in a thrift shop years ago.

And I quickly found some lonely earrings and Danish coins to complete the set.

I almost cried when I broke that beautiful big earring on the left. They were so pretty!

 I you're not as hoardery as I am with regard to jewelry: every thrift shop usually has piles of this stuff, so it should be too hard to find some nice pieces.

I made a composition that I liked... (I ended up chucking out the green earring)

It's definetely the most garish piece of jewelry I've ever owned.. 

and flipped them all over so I could have a look on how to assemble them.

Now, I got really, really lucky here: all my pieces had holes in them so I could assemble them with a simple metal wire. If you are not that lucky, I'd suggest using hot glue and some felt or a thick rope to as a backing material.

I attached a thin metal wire to an old chain, and simply began stringing everything together,

you can't really see it, but left threaded the piece of the chain in front of the coin. 

And added a second wire to stabilize the heavy pieces. 

threading on! Sometimes I would loop back again through the holes to make it al extra secure, or add a little bead for a better spacing.

adding a little clasp...
and the Necklace was done!  Although I'm usually a 'less is more' kind of girl when it comes to jewelry, I'm quite fond of this one.
In a way, it's so over the top, that it becomes a statement, rather than just a pile of glitter. There's no way I would wear one of those flowers alone on a necklace, because they're way too glittery for me, but combines I'm completely cool with them.  Does that make sense? I have no idea!

I even added some little earrings, made from the leftovers from the big blue earring. 

And voila! 
ps: check that amazing world map behind me!! Isn't it great? There's a whole story behind that:

Me spotting it in my favourite thrift shop, but thinking it was a bit expensive (somewhere around 40 euro's), and leaving it.. getting massive buyers-remorse and wanting to go back the next week to buy it, and find it gone, and being slightly heartbroken about that..  Only to found out on sinterklaas (you know, the Dutch Santa Claus) that Joost had bought it for me! I've never been so stoked with a present!

Inky is dubious about the cuddling.. 

ah, there we go!

And for now.. wherever you are on this planet, and whether you're celebrating christmas or not, I'm wishing you the very best for the festive season and the new year!

she's plotting my slow demise. 


  1. Marije,

    Your necklace turned out so pretty! Better than some I've seen in the store.
    I hoard broken/old jewelry and belts, too. They work great as items on a junk/art journal.

    I was so happy to see you blog post in my email. I always look forward to whatever marvelousness you've created.

    Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays.

    Tambra Nicole Kendall

    1. Thank you so much!
      Belts and jewelry are just such a great thing to hoard, and now I want an art journal too! :)

      The best of times to you!