Jewelry Trends

What to Do with Old Jewelry: 4 Creative DIY Ideas

Rachel Akmakjian


Rachel Akmakjian

What to Do with Old Jewelry: Make Room in Your Jewelry Collection with These 4 Ideas

Maybe you have some old costume jewelry that was in style a decade ago but that isn’t quite what you want to wear now. Perhaps you have broken jewelry that you have never felt inclined to fix. Maybe you love to sift through vintage jewelry at your favorite secondhand shops. Whatever the case, now you have plenty of jewelry pieces you don’t wear — but you’re not quite ready to sell or otherwise get rid of them.

So what can you do? Clean out those jewelry boxes and get ready to get a little crafty (or hire someone to get a little crafty for you). It’s time to give your old jewelry collection a new life.

There are Lots of Options…

Options Available

What You Will Learn

How to Turn Old Jewelry into New Jewelry

You have two options if you want to turn older or unwanted pieces into something new and exciting.

  • You can, firstly, take the pieces to your local jewelry store and ask them to repurpose your jewelry on your behalf, turning it into something new. The experts can melt down silver and gold jewelry and then reform the raw materials, turning that unwanted item into something a little more your style.
  • Otherwise, you can get crafty on your own at home. While you’re not exactly going to be smelting at the kitchen table, you can, with a bit of DIY skill, transform your jewelry for the better. This DIY route is usually best if you’re dealing with an item that’s not real gold or silver or otherwise not valuable enough for your local jewelry store to take on.

For example, you can make a vintage brooch cocktail ring by taking the brooch apart and fastening the main decorative piece atop an otherwise plain ring.

You could also turn old necklaces or earrings into charm bracelets by removing the pendants and affixing them to a chain.

Similarly, multiple pieces of vintage jewelry, including brooches and pendants, can combine to create a singular vintage jeweled button necklace.

You will need a few specialized tools for projects like these, which are easily available at your closest DIY or craft goods store.

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Turn Old Jewelry into Home Decor

But you don’t have to stick with the jewelry motif. If you’re wondering what to do with old costume jewelry precisely because you rarely wear jewelry and aren’t about to start now, you have many options.

Turn that pretty vintage costume jewelry into repurposed vintage jewelry magnets by taking the jewelry apart and affixing the pendants and stones to magnet backs.

Or, you can take the jewelry apart and create a bouquet by adding brooches and other favorite pieces into a faux flower arrangement. While this is often a popular pick for brides, there’s no stopping you from creating such an arrangement for your home, adding a little sparkle to your dining room or living space.

While you’re blending bouquets and brooches, go a step further and add those sparkly pieces to a DIY wreath.

Just as you would when repurposing vintage costume jewelry into magnets, you could break out your handy hot glue gun again and affix those pendants and stones to otherwise plain photo frames.

Suggested Read: What is Magnetic Jewelry? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance


Turn Old Jewelry into Holiday Decor

If it’s around the holiday season, consider making a DIY jeweled Christmas tree.

No, this is not a life-size Christmas tree covered in vintage costume jewelry. Instead, you can make jeweled Christmas tree pictures by removing the jewels and gemstones from costume or vintage jewelry pieces and then creating a Christmas tree pattern on a framed background.

Pinterest offers a lot of examples of how this can be done for a beautiful, blingy accent piece for the holidays.

Turn Old Jewelry into a “New” Family Heirloom

You might not want that piece of jewelry or anything made from it, but someone else may love it and its potential.

For example, you might know a bride who wants to incorporate vintage jewelry into their day-of look or a bride who wants to wear a piece with sentimental value. Still, they just don’t want to wear it in its current state (for example, if they already have their own engagement ring, but they want to also pay homage to Grandma by wearing her engagement ring, somehow).

This sentimental, older jewelry can be transformed into bridal cuff bracelets, new necklaces, or earrings. If the piece is a family heirloom, you might also gift it to your bride or another family member to repurpose, taking the stones or other variable materials to create a new piece with the help of a jeweler.

If that old jewelry is just taking up space in your jewelry box, consider how someone else could appreciate its sentimental value. Who knows! You might even inadvertently create a “new” family heirloom, with brides passing down that newly transformed piece with every wedding.

FAQs: What to Do with Old Jewelry

Have more questions? We’ve got answers!

What if I just want to sell my old jewelry?

You can definitely do so! There are plenty of ways to sell old jewelry. However, it’s worth noting that most costume jewelry will not fetch a high resale value.

When should you not sell old jewelry?

You should not consider selling old jewelry if (a) there’s any sentimental value to the piece and you might regret it later or (b) the old jewelry isn’t worth enough money to justify the hassle of selling.

Can I sell cheap jewelry?

You usually won’t have any luck selling cheap jewelry unless you’re selling it at a yard sale or other such situation. For that jewelry you can’t sell but still want to get rid of, consider donating it to a secondhand store.

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Out with the Old, In with the New — Including Some Jewelry Insurance!

If you’re specifically selling your old jewelry to make room in your jewelry box for new, bright, and shiny treasures, make sure you keep every new purchase protected with the right jewelry insurance.

BriteCo offers comprehensive jewelry coverage that will ensure you can repair or replace your favorite pieces in the event they’re damaged, stolen, or even mysteriously disappear. See how BriteCo differs from your average homeowners’ insurance and how it’ll go a step further to keep you protected — and then get your quote today.

Also Check: Best Way to Sell Inherited Jewelry | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.