Saturday, May 2, 2009

Repurposing Jewelry Findings

By on Saturday, May 02, 2009 17 Comments


When I first started making jewelry years ago, I bought findings which I subsequently found difficult to use. It is really tough to compress down the last coil on ready made coiled cord ends. The reason is they are made from memory wire and you know how hard that is to work with.

So rather than waste them, I trimmed off the loop end to turn these coil ends into simple beads. As you can see I added them to my cord necklace which has a beautiful sterling silver labradorite pendant - a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. 

By the way, I was rather pleased with this photograph as it is the first time I managed to capture the characteristic inner blue flash of the gemstone (see my past post on the legend of labradorite).



I now use the fold-over type of cord ends or make my own coiled ends from softer metals.

Do you have any repurposing tips to share?

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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17 comments:

  1. Great idea - and oh what a pretty stone! I'll have to check what I have and see if there is something I can use a different way than it was intended. I am very wasteful - last time I went through all my beading stuff I got rid of a lot of things I had never used - right into the garbage. Makes me sad now!

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  2. What a great idea Pearl...looks great...wow you did a wonderful job capturing the flash of the labratorite pendant...one of my favorite stones!!

    Cheers

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  3. Wonderful idea regarding the end coils...I've a whole bag of them in Sterling Silver no less, tried them a couple of times and decided they were too much trouble and a pain to use. Never thought to use them as a coil bead. Very clever of you.
    Anna

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  4. such a good idea--i did the exact same thing. bought literally hundreds of these things right when i was starting out and then discovered how hard they were to work with. i've still got them somewhere, maybe i will dig them up now and try to repurpose them!

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  5. You might as well use them up rather than leave them using up valuable space (for more beads!)

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  6. I bought a ton of these in diff sizes, when I made my FIRST jewelry findings purchase. Sometimes being ignorant is quite helpful! :-)

    I've been using them as bead separators, beads, and even in an original "thing" I made (basically a nail cross but put these findings so that the 2 intersections of the nails (one partially down and one partially up; put one on top of the middle and let them snuggle into each "spring" ~ coarse was cutting off the piece that sticks out ~ and then did the same thing for the sides, but using shorter, smaller nails and "springs.")

    They turned out so well, I made several and gave them to all my Christian friends (the boys really went for them!)

    Sometimes, ignorance is bliss! :-)

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    Replies
    1. OMG, I did the same thing! I'd love to see a pic cuz it sure sounds identical. Funny how we end up doing things like this without any kind of prior relationship. It becomes a small world after all. :-)

      PKae

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  7. Now that is positively inspiring! I would love to see a picture of that original "thing"! So contact me! Pearl

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  8. I found it difficult to get findings of good quality for the end of cords and like you had, I have a supply of unused coils since they did not close.
    So now I know what to do with them. The positive side is that I starting making my own findings since I was so annoyed after making a lovely pendant to use a cheap cord end.Although this takes a wee bit longer its that attention to detail that wins.

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  9. Way to go Cath! That's what makes handmade so special.

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  10. Great idea! I will try using the coils. Loved your labradorite pendant. I have a labradorite ring that I bought in the 80's in Finland. Love the way the light changes the colors of the gemstone!

    Jean Waldron

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  11. I was really lucky to get that particular labradorite pendant as it had A LOT of blue flash!

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  12. Great advice! I have plenty of older supplies I don't know how to use.
    I love that pendant!

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  13. I am so glad I stopped by this page because I couldn't get those springs to 'squish' down for anything. I thought I was just doing something wrong. What a relief. :-) At least I did find other uses and didn't toss them in frustration. Why don't they tell you it's memory wire? Hmmm....

    LOVE your site! Definitely my favorite jewelry newsletter!

    PKae

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  14. We all share inspirations and tips on this site!!

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  15. This is funny to me because I've been using those coils without even knowing to press down the top one. I just leave it in the upward position and attach a jump ring or clasp to that. I don't even see why you'd need to press them down but I know they're not at all flexible because when I had a bail that was too small, I tried to slightly flatten the whole coil with pliers, but to no avail.

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  16. Ah, The top coil is for attaching a jump ring for the clasps. It is the last coil on the bottom that is squished down onto the cord to help grip to it.

    Usually these coil ends are made from something like memory wire. Very hard to compress. I now make my own wire coils with sterling silver,copper etc.

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