Turn single earrings and busted baubles into a sentimental statement piece.

So many of us have jewelry boxes containing bits of broken chains, solo earrings, and non-functioning brooches. But you don’t have to toss these odds and ends—start the new year in style by turning would-be trash into a treasured necklace.

You’ll need: jump rings of various sizes, 22-gauge craft wire, a lobster clasp, round-nose pliers, and sharp-nose pliers. Get several lengths of chain in different widths and sizes (and don’t forget about all the broken and tangled chains you already have). One should be at least 24" long—it’ll be the base chain that goes all the way around your neck, and it should have chain links big enough to fit a jump ring through.

Gather all your jewelry: broken pins, tangled necklaces, random charms, beads, rings, single earrings, and even buttons will all work great. We stuck to pieces in gold and brass tones, but feel free to mix it up. Lay your chains and trinkets down where you want them and take a photo. This way you’ll have a plan and a reference picture.

Connect the chain pieces with jump rings, then squeeze the rings closed with sharp-nose pliers. Be sure to hold the necklace up frequently and check your progress, to make sure everything is hanging correctly.

Most of your pieces can be connected to the chain using jump rings. But if you have a bit of jewelry that can’t be attached with a jump ring, wrap it with some craft wire, and thread it through a link in the chain. Use round-nose pliers to twist the two wire ends together, snip off any excess, and tuck the ends under with pliers. Make sure you attach the items so they lay face up when worn.

Once everything’s attached, affix a lobster clasp to one end of the main chain. Now, when it comes to well-loved jewelry, you’ll never have to say goodbye. 

Article Written by Callie Watts

Resource: Jump rings, clasps, and chains, mjtrim.com

Makeup by Misuzu Miyake using M.A.C. cosmetics

Hair by Ruby Whalen for Fringe salon

Modelled by Eunice Ward at MuseNYC

Photographed by Amanda Bruns

  This article first appeared in our Dec/Jan print edition of BUST    Magazine. Subscribe Now!

Tagged in: from the magazine   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.

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