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Costume-Jewelry Makeovers




Pardon the irony, but costume jewelry often feels a bauble too precious to wear on any given day. Thanks to Blueprint's easy, do-it-yourself reinventions, the "diamonds" in your jewelry stash -- from that crystal bracelet to those cubic zirconia earrings -- can shine in new ways.

Bracelet Into Belt

This waist-defining stunner -- perfect for holiday parties -- was created by looping satin ribbon through a hole in the filigree at each end of a bracelet. To make your own, choose a bracelet with ring clasps or openwork through which you can easily thread a strap (satin or grosgrain work well). The bracelet should also have a bit of heft, so you won't risk breaking it every time you laugh. Take it with you to the fabric store when selecting ribbon so you can gauge the right thickness and color.

Necklace Into Shoulder Strap

A chiffon top with a sweet jewel-encrusted touch proves it's more than okay to have a few chips on your shoulder. Our silver-and-stone necklace hides a spaghetti strap underneath, but you can also try this idea with a strapless top. You'll need two French safety pins (the kind that don't have bottom coils) and a choker or short necklace with consistent width (avoid necklaces that graduate in size). With the non-clasp end positioned at the front of the top, tuck the pin underneath the top, push it through the material, and hook the end of the necklace to secure. Repeat on the back. Or, if you prefer, you can make the look semipermanent with a few hand stitches.

Brooch Into Bracelet

The brooch had its (most recent) big moment a few years ago, but why not welcome it back as the centerpiece of a romantic ribbon bracelet? The cuff is simply a cubic zirconia-encrusted leaf pinned to some lavender velvet ribbon. The only tricky part is tying it on your wrist-you'll need an extra pair of hands to help you there. Pick out a thickish ribbon, like velvet or double-faced satin, that will support the brooch's weight.

Earrings Into Pins

As for those glitzy earrings that see action only at weddings, cluster a few together to give holiday outfits a pop of sparkle. Clip-ons can be clamped onto the neckline, while studs can be pierced through the fabric.

Necklace Into Bib

Take that necklace you wore to the prom and recast it in a fashion-forward setting that looks great over a ribbed tank or crewneck sweater. Select a sparkly drop style and one-third yard of fabric -- we suggest taffeta or linen in black, off-white, or silver. Arrange the necklace on the fabric in a U shape and use chalk to draw a rough outline around the necklace, extending it a foot beyond each end for the bow. Cut out the fabric (don't worry about fraying, which gives the bib the edge you want), and glue the necklace down jewel by jewel with Magna Tac ($8.50,, Katie's favorite fabric adhesive. For a less-permanent fix, sew it on.


  1. Step 1

Blueprint, November/December 2007



Reviews (14)

  • nananoname 14 Mar, 2012

    Another use for old or broken jewelry that I do, is to take it and glue or sew the pieces onto old purses. It brings new life to them. I often go to discounted second-hand store and pick up purses for about $4 to $8 and by adding some jewelry to them they look like high-fashion designs!

  • Jazzed 1 Sep, 2011

    I also take old broken jewelry (like clip on earrings), snip off the back, and glue them onto tie tack pins you get from the craft store. (Use a good glue). They are great for keeping up a droopy top that shows too much cleavage or wants to show your brastrap. Love getting to re-use something that was destined for the trash. Love all the other ideas from this article... I'm going to use a couple of those, too.

  • JudithKB 1 Sep, 2011

    Why is it half the links don't work for me. I click on making jewelry into pins and all I get is making bracelets into belts. This happens all the time, the links never take me to the right place!

  • pjshotts 15 Nov, 2010

    my friend, Jane, does the ribbon on her old charm bracelet and wears it as a necklace. It is chunky and so awesome.

  • rock63roll64 15 Nov, 2010


  • ROBINELIZA 9 Aug, 2010

    I have just started this Jewelry making thing . I have got to tell you I am addicted. It is so much fun and if you are a diva like I am for pretty things that sparkle. Then you have to try this, This is a great Idea as well.

  • felecia_19 5 Aug, 2010

    AWESOME! So pretty. you could also use elastic (or still use the ribbon) and use as a hair it.

  • crystalelegance 11 Jun, 2010

  • crystalelegance 11 Jun, 2010

    The beauty of <a href="">costume jewellery</a> lies in its simplicity with innovative designs with the dresses. We can add a lot of designer elements like brooches, brecelts, special <a href="">silver charm bracelets</a>, etc. with a little bit of practise only.

  • lovelysmycke 28 Mar, 2009

    what a smart n creative idea..i will give it a try this new trick..

  • crafty_sophie96 11 Jan, 2009

    how cute, clever, and functional!

  • crafty_sophie96 11 Jan, 2009

    how cute, clever, and functional!

  • bestwife 2 Jan, 2008

    very clever idea! I'd love to see the remaining pages, also.

  • J3nn 29 Dec, 2007

    I'd love to see pages 2 and 3! They don't seem to be available right now.