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Elizabeth Taylor's Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Vintage Jewelry


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, décor 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.


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

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.

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!

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!


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!


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


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!



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.


Almost Any Shoe Will Do for an Upcycled Vintage Jewelry Look

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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


Photo by KateHon

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

EmmaGraceEllis LM on May 17, 2014:

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

KyraB on March 13, 2013:

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 :)

Sharon Berry from Michigan on February 11, 2013:

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

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on January 08, 2013:

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!

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