How to Use Old Earrings: Ways to Reuse Orphaned/Single Earrings
New Uses for Old Earrings
If you have pierced ears, chances are there is at least one earring at the bottom of your jewelry box whose mate is missing. Earrings come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but when one is lost, the other may seem useless. Rather than throwing out your earrings that are no longer in pairs, use these ideas to give new life to your old jewelry.
Do you have another idea for using old earring that isn't listed here? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!
Recycled Earring Charm Bracelet
Turn old earrings into charms to create a unique bracelet. Cut a piece of chain to the desired length and add a closure, such as a lobster clasp or toggle, to the ends to create the base for the bracelet.
For earrings that are hook-style, use jewelry pliers to remove the hooks. There should be a hold in the earring where the hook was attached; thread a jump ring through this hole and use jewelry pliers to attach the jump ring to a link of the chain.
For post-style earrings, you will need to create a loop for attaching a jump ring. Use a pair of round-nose jewelry pliers to twist the post into a circular shape, making sure the loop is tight enough that it will stay attached to a jump ring. Thread a jump ring through the loop you just made on the back of the earring, then attach the jump ring to the bracelet chain.
Continue adding earrings until the chain has the desired number of charms. You can add just a few charms, or go crazy and add more depending on the look you want.
Salvaging Parts from Old Earrings
If you create your own jewelry, breaking down old earrings into individual parts allows you to reuse things like beads and findings in new projects. Use jewelry pliers to take old earrings apart and organize the pieces in small containers. Baby food jars, embroidery floss boxes, and tiny zippered bags are a few ideas for holding your sorted parts.
The steampunk necklace shown here uses a reycled earring. The rose in the necklace was a post-style earring; the post was removed using a pair of pliers. (This piece also uses several other parts recycled from old jewelry, including the case from a broken watch and pearly beads from a different orphaned earring.)
Earrings as Decorative Thumb Tacks
When post-style earrings are missing a match, one of the best and most obvious uses for the remaining earrings is as decorative thumb tacks. Dress up a plain bulletin board by holding notes, photos, and other paper items in place with your old post earrings. Simply remove the earring backs and press into cork board.
Earrings as Knit/Crochet Stitch Markers
If you or someone you know is a knitter or crocheter, hook or loop style earrings make great stitch markers. Crafters use stitch markers to make counting stitches easier, especially when working on larger projects or projects worked in the round. Just hook the earring through the stitch you wish to mark.
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