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Elizabeth Taylor's Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry

Updated on April 8, 2014

Elizabeth Taylor's Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry

Ever imagined how Elizabeth Taylor might upcycle her vintage jewelry? No, not her good jewelry, just her costume stuff. Read on to learn how to upcycle vintage jewelry as Elizabeth Taylor might have done. Learn how vintage jewelry can be repurposed any number of ways, including special occasion uses, d├ęcor items, fashion ideas, and more.

You often see costume jewelry at tag sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. You may even have some vintage jewelry of your own and/or some that you inherited, but were without a clue how to best use it.

After you have finished this article, you will be inspired to look at vintage jewelry with a new, discerning eye. Your imagination will be brimming with creative ideas to upcycle your own vintage jewelry, giving yourself endless opportunities to enjoy vintage jewelry's unique beauty in entirely new ways.

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Share your vintage jewelry questions or tell us about your latest vintage-jewelry-inspired creation here!

Have Vintage Jewelry? - Have you transformed it? Interested in learning how?

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      Open 2 years ago

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    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I have a bunch of vintage jewelry that my great-aunt gave me when she was down-sizing her apartment. I'm fascinated with it and have used a few pieces, but have never been sure what to do with the rest.

    Get an Education: Find Prices and More About Your Vintage Jewelry

    Not sure what your baubles are worth, if anything? Learn all about vintage jewelry with these helpful reference books.

    Vintage Jewelry: A Price and Identification Guide, 1920-1940s
    Vintage Jewelry: A Price and Identification Guide, 1920-1940s

    Knowing how to identify vintage jewelry makes it easier to know what it's worth

     
    Popular Jewelry of the '60s, '70s & '80s
    Popular Jewelry of the '60s, '70s & '80s

    A great compilation of mid-century jewelry

     
    Warman's Jewelry: Identification and Price Guide
    Warman's Jewelry: Identification and Price Guide

    Warman's has been a top name in the jewelry industry for years - you can trust Warman's!

     

    Practical How-To Guides to Update Your Vintage Jewelry

    Need some help to visualize new possibilities for your vintage jewelry? Look no further than these great books on the subject!

    Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry
    Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry

    The perfect place to start to repurpose your vintage jewelry

     
    Flea Market Jewelry: New Style from Old Treasures
    Flea Market Jewelry: New Style from Old Treasures

    More inspiration to breathe new life into vintage jewelry

     
    Rejuvenated Jewels: New Designs from Vintage Treasures
    Rejuvenated Jewels: New Designs from Vintage Treasures

    Learn how to see your vintage jewelry in a new light with the help of this great book!

     

    Elizabeth Taylor's #10 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Vintage Teacups & Saucers - Make it easy to see what you have

    Elizabeth Taylor loved her jewelry and always wanted it where she could see and enjoy it.

    Do you have vintage jewelry stored away out of sight? What happens? If you never see it, you probably will not think of it or take the time to dig it out to look at it.

    If these pieces are tied to a memory and/or have been handed down from a loved one, it is important to see them, touch them, and yes, on occasion even to wear them. Doing this is more possible if you know where your vintage jewelry is and can easily get to it.

    Clear out a dresser drawer, preferably one that is easy to see and reach into, and fill it with vintage cups and saucers, tucking them in as snugly as their shapes allow. Sort through your most favorite pieces of vintage jewelry and stow them where they fit and look best. Affix earrings to the lip of cups or the edge of saucers, keeping jewelry sets together.

    Use a saucer as a receptacle for rings, pins or brooches.

    Each time you open this special jewelry drawer, I guarantee you that the beautiful display will bring a smile to your lips and make your whole day brighter.

    Image by KateHon

    Elizabeth Taylor's #9 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Refrigerator Magnets

    It wouldn't surprise me if Elizabeth Taylor kept pictures on her fridge -- with magnets made from vintage jewelry, of course!

    Keep it simple with a matching set of vintage jewelry repurposed into refrigerator magnets. Remove the jewelry's fasteners, then glue a flat magnet onto the back of the vintage jewelry using E-6000 adhesive.

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    Elizabeth Taylor's #8 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Napkin Rings

    Elizabeth Taylor loved bling everywhere, so it's easy to imagine she might very well have had it on her dinner table, and having upcycled napkin rings embellished with vintage jewelry would be a natural fit.

    To create your own upcycled napkin rings, simply gather several napkin rings and the same number of pieces of vintage jewelry.

    Remove the fastening hardware from your vintage jewelry with a needle-nose pliers. Apply a dab of E-6000 glue to the back of your jewelry and affix it to your napkin ring.

    Allow to dry according to the adhesive's directions. You are now the proud owner of unique, one-of-a-kind napkin rings like no one else's!

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    Elizabeth Taylor's #7 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Embellished Picture Frames

    Use your vintage jewelry to embellish a picture frame. Simply remove the fastening hardware from the back of the brooch or earrings and adhere the piece to the frame of your choice with a dab of E-6000 adhesive, available above. Allow the adhesive to set according to directions and your work of art is ready to frame a work of art!

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    Elizabeth Taylor's #6 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Vintage Jewelry Chandelier - Let your upcycled vintage jewelry light up your life!

    Elizabeth Taylor appreciated good lighting on her movie sets and I'm sure she felt the same way about the lighting in her home, so I'm positive she would love this upcycled vintage jewelry chandelier.

    Fashioned from vintage necklaces, this unique piece, "Pendant Light", was made by Floto+Warner, a New York-based photographer and director team.

    Think about making something similar with pearl necklaces. Or how about using aurora borealis crystal necklaces for blazing bursts of refracted light?

    Start with a simple wire frame, light kit, and let loose your creativity

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    Get the Basics on Wiring a DIY Pendant Light - Find the original Shandell's cloth-covered wire swag & pendant light kit here!

    Great eBay Options for Lamp Shade Frames

    Choose your frame, insert the light kit, fill the frame with the vintage necklaces, chokers, and chains of your choice and, voila! Let there be light!

    Which of Elizabeth Taylor's Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry Do You Like So Far?

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    Elizabeth Taylor's #5 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Embellished Shoes - Use vintage jewelry embellishment for a one-of-a-kind 'shoe'-stopper!

    Elizabeth Taylor loved fashion, so it stands to reason she would have loved some bling on her shoes.

    A perfect example of upcycling, these simple black patent leather mules have been embellished with vintage jewelry and are now simply spectacular. Pair them with a little black dress and you are all set for a special night on the town!

    Collect vintage jewelry in colors of your choice, remove their hardware, and glue them into place onto a pair of shoes of your choice. To the best of your ability and the materials available, maintain symmetry of jewelry choice on both shoes. If absolute symmetry is not possible, keep things symmetrical by means of your color palette.

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    Almost Any Shoe Will Do for an Upcycled Vintage Jewelry Look

    Pleaser Women's Domina-101 Sandal,Black Patent,9 M US
    Pleaser Women's Domina-101 Sandal,Black Patent,9 M US

    Go from simple to spectacular using upcycled vintage jewelry to embellish these black sandals

     
    Women's Trendsup Gaga-1 Fuchsia Pink Patent Platform Wedge Peep Pumps Shoes, Pink, 5.5
    Women's Trendsup Gaga-1 Fuchsia Pink Patent Platform Wedge Peep Pumps Shoes, Pink, 5.5

    Consider using only silver or clear-bead vintage jewelry embellishments to add upcycled drama to these pink peep-toe pumps

     

    Elizabeth Taylor's #4 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Cocktail Rings

    This ring has been made from one of a pair of 60s dome earrings. Its vivid turqoise hue and simple faceted face combine to make a sophisticated, colorful statement, perfect for most every occasion.

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    More of Elizabeth Taylor's Favorite Cocktail Rings Made from Upcycled Vintage Jewelry - All vendors can be found on Etsy

    Click thumbnail to view full-size
    Sunburst upcycled ring by Vintage Fusion JewelryAqua upcycled ring by Creative Kate'sGreen upcycled ring by PrettiedPink upcycled ring by Eye MusicTwist upcycled ring by Dot StitchDeep orange upcycled ring by Eye Music
    Sunburst upcycled ring by Vintage Fusion Jewelry
    Sunburst upcycled ring by Vintage Fusion Jewelry
    Aqua upcycled ring by Creative Kate's
    Aqua upcycled ring by Creative Kate's
    Green upcycled ring by Prettied
    Green upcycled ring by Prettied
    Pink upcycled ring by Eye Music
    Pink upcycled ring by Eye Music
    Twist upcycled ring by Dot Stitch
    Twist upcycled ring by Dot Stitch
    Deep orange upcycled ring by Eye Music
    Deep orange upcycled ring by Eye Music

    Elizabeth Taylor's #3 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Embellished Wedding Cake Toppers

    Elizabeth Taylor loved weddings, so it's obvious she would have loved this monogrammed wedding cake topper adorned with a sparkling brooch.

    Fashion your monogram from wire and wrap with ribbon.

    Affix a vintage brooch to the letter and you have made a one-of-a-kind monogram wedding cake topper.

    Use a piece of vintage jewelry from a loved one and your topper is all the more meaningful.

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    Elizabeth Taylor's #3 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Embellished Wedding Cake Toppers, Part Two

    Elizabeth Taylor was of the 'more-is-better' way of thinking when it came to jewelry, so I can easily envision her embracing a wedding cake topper made with lots of vintage jewelry.

    Express the love shared between you and your spouse-to-be with this heart-shaped, vintage-jewelry-encrusted unique wedding cake topper. The narrow edge of the heart is filled with rhinestones. The cake topper's back face is covered with various sizes of rhinestones, which have been oxidized with paint to render them gold and silver. Stunning!

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    Elizabeth Taylor's #2 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Repurposed Necklaces and Bracelets

    There is no doubt this necklace would appeal to Elizabeth Taylor's sensibilities and taste.

    Made from an Art Deco leaf-shaped shoe clip and a sterling silver chain with sparkling rhinestone accents, this necklace is fit for a bride!

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    More Examples of Elizabeth Taylor's #2 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Repurposed Necklaces & Bracelets - All vendors can be found on Etsy

    Click thumbnail to view full-size
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a cuff bracelet by OOAKJewelzVintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Rose and ThatchVintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Rose and ThatchVintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Rose and ThatchVintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Rose and ThatchVintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by PrettiedVintage jewelry repurposed into a cuff bracelet by OOAKJewelzVintage jewelry repurposed into a bib necklace from OOAKJewelzVintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Dotstitch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a cuff bracelet by OOAKJewelz
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a cuff bracelet by OOAKJewelz
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Rose and Thatch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Prettied
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a necklace by Prettied
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a cuff bracelet by OOAKJewelz
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a cuff bracelet by OOAKJewelz
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bib necklace from OOAKJewelz
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bib necklace from OOAKJewelz
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Dotstitch
    Vintage jewelry repurposed into a bracelet by Dotstitch

    Elizabeth Taylor's #1 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Brooch Bridal Bouquets

    Considering Elizabeth Taylor's love affair with marriage, it's easy to imagine that her very favorite use of upcycled vintage jewelry could well have been brooch bridal bouquets!

    Limited only by one's imagination, brooch bouquets can be made in any color or combination of colors, sized appropriately to each bride, composed of family heirlooms and contributions (or use the artisan's supply), and priced to meet most every budget.

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    More of Elizabeth Taylor's #1 Way to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry - Brooch Bridal Bouquets - All these brooch bouquet artisans can be found on Etsy

    Click thumbnail to view full-size
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by NoakiVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by NoakiVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by The Ritzy RoseVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Baubles and BridesVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Baubles and BridesVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Hair Bows Wonder WorldVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Hair Bows Wonder WorldVintage jewelry brooch bouquet by NoakiVintage jewelry brooch bouquet with turtle accent by Lionsgate Designs
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Noaki
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Noaki
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Noaki
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Noaki
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by The Ritzy Rose
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by The Ritzy Rose
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Baubles and Brides
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Baubles and Brides
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Baubles and Brides
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Baubles and Brides
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Hair Bows Wonder World
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Hair Bows Wonder World
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Hair Bows Wonder World
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Hair Bows Wonder World
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Noaki
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet by Noaki
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet with turtle accent by Lionsgate Designs
    Vintage jewelry brooch bouquet with turtle accent by Lionsgate Designs

    Which of Elizabeth Taylor's Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry Was Most Appealing to You?

    Photo by KateHon

    Share which of Elizabeth Taylor's top 10 ways to upcycle vintage jewelry was your favorite

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    Vintage Brooches from eBay

    eBay can be a great source for finding inexpensive vintage brooches for your upcycled vintage jewelry projects (or for just finding a great piece of vintage jewelry to love and wear)!

    Please Share Your Vintage Jewelry Thoughts, Memories & Upcycled Ideas

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      • EmmaGraceEllis LM profile image

        EmmaGraceEllis LM 3 years ago

        Very interesting lens! Thank you so much, so many things I could do with my girls for crafting activities

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        KyraB 4 years ago

        I am not a huge jewelry fan but I do like to craft and I enjoyed reading your page a lot. Thanks so much for sharing all the fun ideas I had a lot fun seeing them all! I really like the shoes and bouquets :)

      • ShariBerry profile image

        Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

        I can't wait to get started on my picture frame. Wonderful lens.

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        Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

        Very fun lens! I'm bookmarking this so I can come back for more inspiration when I have time to do something with my vintage jewelry collection. Well done!