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UPCYCLE! How to Make Bracelets From Old Necklaces

Perhaps you’ve recently inherited a jewelry box full of pretty trinkets, and you don’t know what to do with them.   When you think your mom’s costume jewelry isn’t worth wearing or even keeping, think again. Harvest those pieces for their individual beads and learn how to make bracelets for yourself! I made this pretty trio of bracelets by tearing apart three ho-hum old necklaces.


The small ivory stone beads in necklace #1 were beautiful, but they looked too plain by themselves. Necklace #2 is all plastic, but those white carved beads had great texture. The only part of necklace #3 that I liked were the hollow cut-out silver beads and the tiny silver spacer beads.old bead necklaces

The stone and plastic beads were a little dirty, so I soaked them in soapy water overnight and rinsed them the next morning. I scrubbed the carved beads with an old toothbrush to clean out all those nooks and crannies. I decided not to polish up the metal beads; I kind of liked them looking a bit distressed. I clipped away the old closures, pulled all the beads off their strings and got to sorting.

bracelet supplies

Here’s what I used from my own stash of beading supplies:

eyepin links for bracelet

For this first bracelet, I grouped beads together on to eye pins and bent the end into a loop with the round-nose pliers. Then I linked each set together with jump rings. Quick and easy!

With the other two bracelets, I just threaded them on to wire and looped each end of the wire around the pliers, then twisted the end around the base of the loop to secure. Even quicker and easier!

twist loop to finish wire bracelet

Add a closure with a jump ring and you’re done! I really love wearing these three bracelets together – the ivory, white and silver look pretty and delicate with just a hint a shabby chic.

From forgotten to fabulous! What kinds of treasures are tucked away in your mom’s jewelry box that you can refashion into something new?

bracelet trio by lisa fulmer


Do you have some old jewelry to repurpose?