HOW TO FIX YOUR BROKEN VINTAGE JEWELRY

Aurora Borealis50s stretch bracelet from Costumetreasures.com

Aurora Borealis50s stretch bracelet from Costumetreasures.com

What you might need:

Wire cutters

Gold or silver tone wire

Round nose pliers

Flat nose pliers (smooth)

Missing pieces or replacement parts

Tacky glue

The first step of fixing your broken jewelry is knowing exactly what is missing or broken that needs replacing or repair. Some are very simple and I will give a few examples of how to fix items and where to find parts.

MISSING BEADS. IF THE ITEM IS LINKED WITH WIRE

Meaning a small piece of wire is inserted through the hole of the bead and looped at each end where it is linked to other beads. Over time these can be ripped apart from being snagged or pulled on by an object and the metal becomes too soft and weak. At this point the metal breaks and the bead falls off making an incomplete and unusable piece of jewelry in this state.

Now we must buy a similar colored wire and a similar bead, if yours was lost, at the craft store such as A C Moore or a local beading place. Now we cut an approximate length of wire slip the new bead on and hold while we loop the end of the wire inward with round nose pliers. Repeat to other side. Now that the bead has loops it can join the others on you piece of jewelry by linking with the other beads. Simply open up the side of the loop, slip it inside the loop of the following bead and close. Repeat until necklace or bracelet is fixed.

The cheating way: If the length , order, or symmetry will not be altered with out a new bead simply link the disconnected ends together. With above steps. WARNING: If the item is very weak or does not have these loops of wire do not attempt this and it must be fixed the proper way above.

MISSING CLASP

If clasp is missing this one is simple. Go out in flea markets, other broken jewelry, or the craft store to buy a clap. Preferably a toggle clasp or lobster claw clasp. Crimp beads may also be required for wire or strung pieces. If so it will either contain a small flat metal bead close to the clasp or a round bead with a hooked end.

If it is the flat one the old one must be removed carefully and slipped onto the wire or cord with the other beads. Take the end of cord and loop it through the new clasp’s hole and back into the crimp bead. Try and make this tight as possible to the clasp and now flatten the crimp bead with your flat nose pliers or crimper. Make a gentle tug to see if the end is loose. If so, press harder. Repeat to other side.

If it is the round one this one is easier. Simply remove the old one and pull cord through hold in bottom with the bead open towards the end of the cord. Make a knot in the cord as close as possible to the beads on the piece. Now cut the extra cord off and close the crimp bead around the knot. Now slip the hole of the clasp in the hook on the crimp bead and close it. Repeat if necessary to other side.

Cheating way: If the ends are fine but the old clasp was broken simple replace it with jump rings. These are tiny rings of wire found on most bracelets and necklaces. Simply open on, slip on end of necklace and in clasp hole and close.

MISSING RHINESTONES

This one is tricky. If you still have the rhinestones you are ahead of the game. If you do not you will have to find very similar ones in other vintage jewelry or new ones in the craft store. Always take you piece with you to compare size and color. When you have found similar stones or different colors to replace them all you are ready to go.

Replacing one: Take small pliers and open up prongs. Slip in rhinestone so that it is in correctly and now push prongs down over rhinestone again. If it moves while doing this try and hold the stone in place with your thumb.

Replacing all: If you are buying new ones to replace them you will have to remove the old stones. Simply and carefully take a pliers or if it is too delicate use something small and flat like a tweezers and pry open the metal pieces holding the stones. Slip the new stone in and close the prongs (metal pieces) tight to the stone. Repeat for all other stones.

If it does not have prongs you will have to glue them in. Tacky glue is very useful for this as well as many other things.

WHERE TO FIND SUPPLIES

For tools:

Craft store

Bead store

For Pieces

Craft store

Bead store

Thrift stores

Flea markets

Yard sales

Other broken jewelry

Any questions on other types of fixes or jewelry leave a comment and I’d be glad to help.

And as always,

Stay Trendy

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2 thoughts on “HOW TO FIX YOUR BROKEN VINTAGE JEWELRY

    • No problem, some people what do do things but have no idea where to begin. I have been fixing clothes, jewelry, shoes, and random objects for years. If you love it and it needs a little upkeep or repair, do it.

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