Make the holidays even brighter by crafting your own decor using vintage jewelry.
We know we’re not the only ones who stockpile sparkly bits of broken jewelry. Heirloom Finds co-founders Kim and Jeanne are always bringing home boxes of assorted vintage treasures from auctions and estate sales, and inevitably they contain some mismatched earrings or loose baubles. We gathered all of those shiny pieces together to make a glorious, glitzy Christmas tree centerpiece.
We sorted our vintage jewelry craft supplies by color.
- Foam cones
- Stainless steel scouring pads, such as Scotch Brite
- Hot glue gun and plenty of extra hot glue sticks
- Assorted pins: straight, pearl-headed, and U-shaped
- Glass, pearl, and metallic beads in assorted sizes
- Jewelry wire cutters
- Needled-nosed pliers (not required, but helpful)
Besides an assortment of vintage jewelry, this project only requires basic craft supplies.
Get a foam cone form. The one we’re using here is 12” high, but a 9” or smaller cone is more realistic for a modest collection of jewelry odds and ends.
We found it was easier to unroll the scouring pads before trying to stretch them over the foam cone.
We needed a total of three unrolled scouring pads to cover our 12″ foam cone.
Unroll the Scotch Brite (we’re actually using off-brand scouring pads from the dollar store) and slide it onto the tree. Although they may not look too impressive at first, the scouring pads create a glittery background for the pinned jewelry and will add fullness to the finished product.
Be sure to pick out your tree topper first and set it aside for later.
We’re starting to add beautiful baubles to the tree with pins and hot glue.
Select a piece to top your tree and set it aside. Now start pinning and gluing the jewelry on. It’s best to get the larger statement pieces on and work from there, adding smaller bits as you go.
Chains, pearl strands and tinier baubles are great for filling in the smaller spaces.
Fill in any empty spots with beads, pearl strand and pieces of garland-like chain. The pins will keep most jewelry pieces in place, and the u-shaped pins (optional but handy) are especially useful for anchoring larger pieces. The hot glue really secures them so they don’t slip.
Our DIY jewelry tree is almost finished. We just need the star on top!
Last, add your tree topper. We hot-glued an old hat pin to the back of this star to hold it in position at the top of the tree.
Our gorgeous vintage jewelry tree is complete!
All done! Now you just need to decide where to display it. A glamorous wintertime tablescape would be absolutely lovely, or perhaps your desk at the office needs some fabulous Yuletide cheer. You can adapt this craft in many ways to fit your own creative style and holiday decorating desires. For example, try covering a foam wreath in metallic wire organza ribbon and festoon it with your choice of jewelry to create a fantastic hanging display.
We love giving new life to discarded objects, especially when it’s so striking. Forgotten heirlooms can become new heirlooms, infused with memories and meaning.
by Sara Bir