Monday, March 10, 2014

Old is New Again

Having 2 little girls, means we have lots of jewelry around the house. It also means we often have bracelets break and beads scatter everywhere. When they were young and they grabbed hold of one of my necklaces and it broke, I would just toss it, slowly the jewelry they broke was newer and/or nicer, and I set them aside to someday see what I could do.

Eventually, the girls got old enough to break there own, and they cried when I wanted to toss it. They would look at me with those pleading eyes, and tell me I could "just fix it". Not ready to shatter their childlike idea that I was Wonder Woman, I channeled my inner Super Grover. Some simple supplies that I picked up at the craft store, chased those tears away.

Sometimes too many beads can't be found so
I have to purchase some.
I am not, and will not ever be a jewelry maker, but I can satisfactorily repair it. Here is a quick rundown on the supplies I've needed.

I always start with a plastic bag. I find all the pieces I can and place them in a sandwich bag. This way the parts for each piece are neatly stored and separated until I am able to get to them.

When I am ready to repair, I lay out the pieces on a piece of solid fabric so that they don't roll away. Since I don't always find every piece, or even remember the original pattern I can arrange them into a pleasing pattern before stringing.


My go to string is .8 mm Clear Stretch Cord. Since my repaired jewelry will need to withstand children again. I think something that stretches is important. Clear because it will hopefully camouflage any mistakes.

Set of jewelry pliers. Needle-nosed, Flat, and rounded. I have found those 3 to be sufficient.

Crimp Tubes. Stretch Cord doesn't simply tie in a knot. Crimp Tubes come in packages of 100 and quickly and easily knot 2 ends of the stretch cord together. 2 years later I am still using my original package.

Metal rings in a variety of sizes. These small, easy to bend pieces are often lost when an item breaks, I also like new ones that are hopefully stronger and will last longer.

So far I haven't encountered anything too complicated, granted I've only tackled costume Jewelry.

***Disclaimer *** I am not recommending these techniques for more expensive jewelry. That should be left to professional.

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