Book Corner–Remaking Vintage Jewelry

I received a book on jewelry-making for Christmas, so it seemed like a good idea to do a book review.  As a bonus, I’m going to throw in a second review of a related book.

It’s pretty well-known to our readers that Kathy and I are jewelry fiends.  Really, that’s how we met and got to be friends.  Kathy had an antique store, Frivolities, and always had such cool window displays.  I wandered in one day, spent some time looking at her vintage jewelry, and we talked.  Pretty soon, it was a regular part of my week, and we realized that we had so much in common, it was scary.  She fixed jewelry for me, but she also encouraged and educated me on how to do repairs and jewelry-making for myself.  It’s something that I really enjoy; and there are so many resources.  That makes it an exciting hobby.

The first book, Vintage Redux, Remaking Classic and Collectible Jewelry, is my recent present.  The author discusses the pros and cons of remaking vintage jewelry into new pieces.  It isn’t something that I would do, unless the piece is broken.  However, lots of folks don’t wear or use vintage jewelry because it’s so dated.  My preference would be for people to put things away, and wait for them to come back into style, but that doesn’t work for everyone.  Thankfully, there are some vintage pieces that were always bad, so maybe remaking them may be a “good thing”.  Consider this first pattern:

Those pins were never really valuable, maybe fun, but not valuable.  I do like the way they look on a cuff bracelet, and the directions on the facing page are pretty clear and easy.

Here is another bracelet made from rings:

This pattern does not ruin the vintage rings.  If you ever want to wanted to use a ring, you just take the connector off, and hey presto, it’s ready to go.

There are patterns for belts, necklaces, shoe clips, purse enhancements, in addition to bracelets.  Some of her ideas are awesome, she used her dad’s class ring on a bracelet.  How sweet is that?.  I appreciate her creativity, even if I don’t like all of her ideas.  That’s a big benefit from reading these kinds of books, they put the re-purposing idea in the back of your mind.  It makes second-hand shopping more fun; you may come upon a broken treasure that you can use.  I would recommend checking out this book, especially from a library.  I’m not sure it would give everyone $15 worth of ideas.  However, if you like unusual jewelry, it may be right up your alley.

The second book was recommended by Kathy, and I love it.  French-Inspired Jewelry, creating with vintage beads, buttons & baubles is worth $12 and more.  I really enjoy the sensibility of the author, her jewelry is just so pretty.  The book itself is fun to look at, the illustrations are gorgeous, even the background papers are interesting.

This first necklace has so much going on:

There are lots of interesting vintage buttons, bezels, and charms included.  I probably would never wear anything this busy around my neck, but I appreciate it.  The author really rhapsodizes about the quality of vintage buttons, beads, and findings; where better to find vintage things than thrift stores and garage sales?

Here is another creation:

I am intrigued by the pin in the lower part of the page, it’s made from leaf beads, with wire stems.  The bracelet at the top is lovely.  I would wear that anywhere.

If you like to make jewelry, this book is well-worth its price.  There are patterns for necklaces, pins, earrings, and bracelets, made from a variety of materials.  Plus, it’s fun to look at.

I hope some of you are inspired to take the plunge and try some jewelry-making.  Either of these books would be helpful; they both have sections on tools and techniques.

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One Response to Book Corner–Remaking Vintage Jewelry

  1. talisachan says:

    Wow! Sounds like a wonderful book! Good for lazy summer days or weekends (to those who hold full time jobs). Great review! Hope we can exchange links ;-D Happy New Year!

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