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Broken Brooch to Striking Necklace DIY


At the last minute I decided not to pack this necklace that Hubby & I had made before I left for Hungary.  It was too glittery, I thought, but I regret not packing it because I’m missing Hubs and a little reminder of a recent DIY project we did together would have been so fun to have!   Ah well, there’s a ton of stupid things I forgot to pack or did pack and haven’t needed (more on that later).  For now, let me give you the DIY details.

I bought this broken brooch at a yard sale this summer for 25 cents.  25 cents!!

Even with a broken clasp, it was too stunning to pass up (plus it’s stamped “Made in Austria” and I am a sucker for anything made in Europe).

You could do this with a non-broken brooch too, to give an unloved piece some love. The supplies are pretty straight forward, as is the how-to.

We used side cutters (wire cutters could work) to snip off the rest of the brooch backing.  For some reason, these side cutters are one of my favorite tools.  Someone (my Dad maybe?) lent them to me for removing staples from the sub-floor when I tore up the carpet (that was a “Tanya job”) and I never returned them.  Not by accident; I willfully stole them.

After snipping what remained of the clasp, we used a small file to smooth any rough areas.  We took some time with this part, to make sure no rough metal remained.  A little of the faux gold finish came off too, but you can’t see because it’s on the back. 

Then we attached two split rings to part of the clasp.  Needless to say, this brooch-to-necklace conversion only works for brooches with some part that the rings can be attached to – so an open, filigree style is ideal.  If you’re having trouble with the split rings, use needle nosed pliers to open the ring.  Hubby actually used a knife, but that’s hardly advisable.

To complete this necklace, we attached some chain I had lying around (from a broken necklace, I think – but you could buy a length of it from a craft store) to the jump rings.  It was that easy!  And cost pennies. 

I don’t want to show this photo of me because I was harried and sweaty and stressed from packing when it was taken (it was snapped the day before I left for Hungary), but every time I post a jewellery DIY sans photo of me wearing it, I get comments and emails asking for a photo of it on me.  Why are you all so cruel??  LOL. 

Have any of you been up to any super simple crafts lately?

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20 Comments

  1. How2home
    October 2, 2012 / 2:18 pm

    That is such a gorgeous brooch turned necklace! Such a beautiful way to showcase this beauty! Great job Tanya! We did do a little bit of crafting over the weekend (how2home.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/how-to-d-i-y-gold-vases/). Can't wait to use these vases for sarah's grandma's birthday next weekend!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2012 / 4:01 pm

      Thanks!!LOVE your vases, they look so chic and modern. What a great DIY! Gold spray paint is surprisingly pretty on things, I have to give it a whirl!

    • How2home
      October 3, 2012 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ We're pretty excited to use these for Sarah's grandma birthday next week. The finish of the 18k gold spray paint is in high gloss. However, b/c we used a matte finishing spray, it makes it a little different. Not as shiny and the perfect tone we're looking for! Glad you liked it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 3, 2012 / 4:18 pm

      Such a good tip to use the matte finishing spray. I'm so lazy when it comes to extra steps. I need to start being a little more experimental!

  2. m @ random musings
    October 2, 2012 / 3:53 pm

    You know, even though large gold sparkly brooches/necklaces aren't really my thing, it looks totally awesome on you. You're so talented! (and I really like that shirt – source?)

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2012 / 3:56 pm

      My sweater is from a store called Cassis (http://www.cassiscollections.com/). Funny story: I was wearing a dress that day that totally didn't go with the necklace so I zipped the dress down to my waist and threw on this sweater! I had to crop my scrunched dress out. But otherwise I would have looked totally nutty! Now I only am nutty but hide it well;P

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2012 / 3:57 pm

      P.S. Thanks for your kind words ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. erica | wicked bride
    October 2, 2012 / 4:19 pm

    Really beautiful (and um, I totally have a sweater almost identical to that, same color, cropped sleeves, cowl neck.. yeah, surprise, surprise). I love re-purposing jewelry – I just bought some cheapo earrings last night that I'm going to take apart and make into new ones (since the huge hoops the stones are connected to make me look like Dopey).

    • erica | wicked bride
      October 2, 2012 / 4:21 pm

      PS – Hubs and I went into a shop while on vacation that we love and visit every year, and they had baskets (BASKETS!) of agate cuts. All I could think was, "If T was here, OH the things she would do!" ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2012 / 5:34 pm

      Haha, love that we have almost the same sweater. When I visit, I will have to have you approve my packing list so we don't wear the same thing everyday, lol.I can't wait to see what you do with the jewellery!! Did you buy any agate for yourself?? I am totally drooling. BASKETS you say?? So jealous!

  4. Staci @ My Friend Staci
    October 2, 2012 / 5:40 pm

    Oh come on, you look great in that photo. All of your pictures of yourself are so soft and serene ๐Ÿ™‚ This would be a great way to show some love to an inherited piece, if the person in question isn't exactly the brooch-wearing type. I think the reason people want to see the jewelry on you is so that they can see how far it comes down! Very important when it comes to necklaces!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2012 / 6:11 pm

      I promise I wasn't rooting around for a compliment, but thanks. I'm seriously blushing.I find taking photos near a window helps with the "airbrushing" lol. And it's true, jewellery looks good flat on a table but can look weird when it's worn. It does make a difference how it "hangs". Glad you like the project. Brooches can be tricky to wear. Hopefully a few more will be reborn as necklaces!

  5. Lindsey @ A Pear to Remember
    October 3, 2012 / 2:17 am

    Oooooooooooooookay, my creative juices are overflowing!! I purchased a BEAUTIFUL vintage brooch four years ago for our wedding, I thought it would be amazing in my hair. But then I couldn't figure out how to possibly pin this big thing to stay in my hair. So I never wore it. Ever. It is so beautiful I still sigh when I see it alongside my jewelry.It would make a STELLAR necklace, especially on a lengthy chain—I would never have thought of that part, either! I'm running to my drawer right after I right you : )Thank you thank, merci! kรถszรถnรถm! kรถsz!Lins

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 3, 2012 / 4:04 pm

      Oooo, a brooch in the hair would be so pretty (but so heavy). I cheated and wore big vintage rhinestone clip earrings in my hair for my wedding. I am so happy you'll be able to put that brooch to use!! Can I see your brooch turned necklace???

  6. Anonymous
    October 8, 2012 / 12:40 am

    Your necklace is really beautiful! I feel the need to tell you, though, that Australia is not in Europe…It is its own continent…..

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 8, 2012 / 8:37 am

      Thanks for the compliment! I think you read the post too quickly, though. The brooch is stamped "AUSTRIA" not Australia and the former is a country in Europe. Austria has a long history of making glass and crystal.

  7. Heather SettingforFour
    October 26, 2012 / 12:20 pm

    Love the colours in this brooch Tanya! You are so clever to turn it into a statment necklace! Saw this featured at Serenity Now (congrats!)…so glad to have found your blog! I am a Canadian blogger as well and we just moved to Ottawa this past July! Love your blog and I am your newest follower ๐Ÿ™‚ Heather @ Setting for Four.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 27, 2012 / 6:22 pm

      Hi Heather, nice to meet you. I didn't even know it was featured, so thanks so much for letting me know! I love meeting Canadian bloggers, especially Ottawa-based bloggers. I'm so excited to check our your blog!

  8. Ulina / Apricot Bubbles
    August 23, 2013 / 11:26 am

    You did a great job on this brooch-necklace!Best regards from Austria! :-)Ulina

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 23, 2013 / 1:11 pm

      Thanks Ulina!

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