Monday, December 20, 2010

Turn an Earring into a Pendant

Before: Lost Earring
Sometimes upcycling is just using something that is broken or has lost parts.

I do not know what happened to the mate to this gorgeous earring. I just know it is long gone. The earring is very large and cried out to be made into a pendant, pearl enhancer or the focal point of a large necklace. We opted to make it into a pendant.

....the next question was how to accomplish the conversion. We immediately decided we did not want to solder a bail onto the back of the earring. Soldering would require removing the stunning fused glass from the setting. Whoever made these earrings did not leave a hole in the back that would ease repairs and removal of the glass. Soldering could be done, but we did not want to solder.

We knew we could drill to holes toward the top of the earring and attach a chain, bead strand or other necklace component, but we were worried that drilling holes would result in the pendant hanging oddly.

After: Pendant Repurposed  by GeltDesigns
So the solution we came up with was turning the post of the earring into a bail. The post was soldered about 1/3 way down the back of the earring. The location not only caused the earring to hang well on the ear it also would encourage the pendant to drape well on a chain.

Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers

Step 1
Clean the earring.

Step 2
Use round nose pliers to form the ear post into a loop. Form the loop down (not up) and tuck the end of the post against the back of the earring.
Step 3
Use chain nose pliers to continue to form the post into a bail Adjust the wire so the loop is centered, completely closed and flush against the back of the earrings.

Step 4
Feed the chain through the loop. We tried using a simple leather chain, but decided it was not substantive enough.

Next we tried a sterling silver neck ring and that worked but sat a little to rigid.

So we borrowed a chain from another necklace for the  dramatic look the pendant demanded.
Further Reading
"The Jewelry Repair Manual"; R. Allen Hardy; 1996.
"How to Repair Jewelry";  William (Mike) Phelps; 1987.

New & Noteworthy
"Jewelry Fixups: How to Clean, Repair and Restore Your Jewelry";  David McLoughlin; 2011.

Day 30. Week 5. Month 2. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: Lost Earring
New Jewelry a Day.  

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