Thrift Shop Find Turned Fab

July 20, 2016 , In: Inspiration, Jewelry, Metalsmithing, Tutorials

When it comes to art beads I am some what of a bead snob! I like to support the handmade artisans that put time and effort into their beautiful creations, But when it comes to what I class as secondary beads, the pearls and semi precious beads as long as they are of good quality I’m always on the look out for a good deal and surprisingly I seem to have hit the honey pot with my local charily/thrift shops.

My Local Charity Shops and the Jewellery Cabinet

Normally I would head straight to the book section with my youngest daughter as this has proved by far the cheapest way to fund her book addiction, but recently I have been paying more and more attention to what is in the jewellery cabinet. 

More often then not there is a string of some kind of beads going at a really good price, todays cabinet has a lovely string of 5mm flourite beads, a mixed string of button pearls and 4mm goldstone beads or the really nice chunky Potato pearls with a lovely luster (that might possibly have come home with me). But also there is always a piece of jewellery that I think Wow, I could not make that for that price, which on this occasion lead me to buying these earrings….

Thrift Shop Earrings

While these are lovely, they are so not my style! For a start there are no art beads! 
But, look at what there is…. 3 pairs of sterling silver set stones! 
So, I know that the cost of those stones (the triangles and drops appear to be amethyst and the tiny stones look like iolite) would be way more then I paid for the earrings, then add in the cost of the silver and the time taken to set them and they are surly a steal at £6.99, so they had to come home with me!
Then came the challenge how to make them into some thing I could wear.

Broken into Part

I’m not going to lie, cutting them into pieces felt good and oh my look at the potential! Beautiful little treasures wrapped in silver just looking to be paired up with some wonderful handmade art beads! 
With a rummage around my bead hoard/stash/collection these parts were soon turned into some thing much more my style….


Glass Sparkles

Handmade fancy earwires with amethyst drops and lamp work headpins by the wonderful Bead fairy. I love these but after looking at the photos I will change out the upper jump ring for a copper one so the mixed metals are more cohesive! And then there are these…. 


Amethyst Studs

I don’t normally make these kind of dangly stud earrings, but I really like this pair! Lamp work by Lesley Mclver and mushroom head pins by moi! Much shorted and with glass way more my style!
So my question to you, do you use thrift store finds in your jewellery or is there some where unconventional that you buy your beads from? I would love to know!


Niky Sayers

Niky Sayers started creating jewellery 6 years ago after stumbling across a jewellery making blog while looking for a hobby. She is a stay at home mum with hermit like tendencies, a mild addiction to coffee and chocolate and a love of all things handmade or antique/rusty. While not raising her tribe she like to keep as busy as possible playing with metal sheet, wire and other treasures and trinkets all at her kitchen table in Surrey, England.
    • missannethrope
    • January 22, 2017

    That is beautiful and inspiring!

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