In Style, Upcycling Projects

DIY Upcycling Jewellery Projects – Part Eight

Upcycling Project Overview

As a way to create my own jewellery because I admire so many bold pieces from the likes of artists like Adina Mills, I started creating my own items. I use old necklaces, rings and bangles I no longer wear or want, and change them into something new.

All of my items have names of strong women, historical, fictional or otherwise, and this is just a fun hobby for me, which I have started to grow very fond of.

My other upcycling projects can all be seen here.


  1. Amalia Cuff
  2. Antoinette Necklace
  3. Valentina Necklace
  4. Hedy Necklace
  5. Eva Ring

#35 – The Amalia Cuff

Named after Amalia Eriksson who was a poor widow who, in 1859, was granted a permit to open a bakery in Gränna. She invented the polkagris candy stick, which would become a great success. Today, polkagris is one of the most famous Swedish souvenirs.

Read more about her here.

I originally thought I’d make it like this with a stone and a cuff:

Then I thought I finished it when I added the three beads on top and thought I’d leave it like that… but I wanted to add some colour to this to go out of control:


So I made a gradient of colours in dark blue to red:

Then I splattered gold all over it to make it interesting:

I especially love the look of this dark navy blue with the gold flecked on top:

I love how bright it is and fun! Like the candy she created (polkagris)…

I also toned down on the red and the pink near the stones with gold. I like how bright and fun it is.


#36 – The Antoinette Necklace

There could be no other necklace name but Antoinette, after Marie Antoinette.

It started when I took all the flowers in yellow crystals off this necklace:

And then I started playing around with some stones….

I thought about adding the yellow crystal flowers onto the necklace:

Then, I created this pendant, and decided to add a bunch of gold chains at the bottom:


And I added a yellow stone flower to the necklace to tie it all in together:

I added some gold to the blue clay to blend it in, and some gold beads to tie it all in together:


#37 – The Valentina Necklace

Named after the astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, Russian astronaut who became the first woman to travel in space aboard Vostok 6. I really think it fits her perfectly because.. HELLO LOOK AT THIS ROCK.

Read more about her here.

It started out like this – copper mesh as the necklace part, and this beautiful azurite stone with malachite (very space-y and Earth-esque):

I played around with the idea of adding brass chains at the bottom but the metals didn’t match for me.

I thought about a third pendant in between the two, but felt like it would just be too much…

So I kept it simple, with a labradorite pendant in between some stone ones as a second pendant:

And this is how it turned out, with some copper painted for the clay with the blue peeking through (I am not completely sold, I may still decide to really paint it all copper):


To infinity and beyond!

#38 – The Hedy Necklace

Named after Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful movie star on screen who.. with her brains, invented WIFI. YES. WIFI THAT WE USE TODAY. How could I not name this after her?

Read more about her here.

It actually was very simple. A long chain necklace I thrifted:

I originally thought I’d put a second necklace around it, but it didn’t seem statement-y enough:

So I added some stones at the top:

Then decided to double the stone at the top to give it a different twist!

#39 – The Eva Ring

Eva Peron acted as de facto minister of health and labour, awarding generous wage increases to the unions, who responded with political support for Perón. After cutting off government subsidies to the traditional Sociedad de Beneficencia (Spanish: “Aid Society”), thereby making more enemies among the traditional elite, she replaced it with her own Eva Perón Foundation, which was supported by “voluntary” union and business contributions plus a substantial cut of the national lottery and other funds.

These resources were used to establish thousands of hospitals, schools, orphanages, homes for the aged, and other charitable institutions. Eva was largely responsible for the passage of the women’s suffrage law and formed the Peronista Feminist Party in 1949. She also introduced compulsory religious education into all Argentine schools. In 1951, although dying of cancer, she obtained the nomination for vice president, but the army forced her to withdraw her candidacy.

Read more about her here.

It started with this pendant:

Which I loved as the clear crystal instead (but it’s a boring simple pendant for me):

I decided to make it into a ring.

Added some curves around the side:

Employed Little Bun to paint this for me, with a gold wash so that the grey peeks through (I see very few marks I have to clean up carefully with my fingernail on the stone) but it’s great the way it is:

That gold patina wash I was talking about? Pure Little Bun genius.

I love the way the grey comes through.




Fimo Professional Clay

I used this because I researched everywhere, and it seems like the Professional version is the most versatile of all of them. They have other versions like Soft, and so on, and another brand called Sculpey, but I wanted something that wouldn’t crumble, be strong, and stay solid, and this one seems to hit all of those points based on what I read.

I picked up black, navy blue and champagne for my next round, as colours for clay. I can always change the colours afterwards, but it is better to have a background that is already coloured rather than white, to make my life easier. It’s also easier to have a gold wash on the clay for colour and styling it.

Folkart Acrylic paints

These paints are great. I use them for everything, and I have a whole range of colours. I need more metallic paint however, I am seeing that I will use more of it in future projects.

Vintage chains

I also have vintage and old thrifted chains to upcycle that I added to the necklaces and so on.

Statement stones and so on

I hunted a few on eBay and Etsy, and looked for items 3″ – 4″ because I wanted a really BIG statement rock for my pieces but they are quite… expensive, around $30 – $60 per stone, as people use them for healing/chakras, and tend to pay a lot.

The smaller rocks are okay, but you need to add way more clay to make it a bigger statement piece as a result. I am trying a few suppliers but haven’t found any that is “cheap” and of high quality yet. I will share when I do. I have been disappointed in a lot of them so far.

How do you make them

I also have a video on it here:

Are the pieces heavy?

No. It’s mostly clay you see which is super light. What’s heavy is if the stone is large or if the chains are heavy.

You’ve ruined the stone with so much plaster

To each their own. You say ‘ruined’, I say ‘made into art’.

(I literally got this in a comment on the video I did). Also, how do you expect me to put the stone on a chain without plaster to hold it in? I mean.. it’s just not possible.

The chain needs to be on there with a lot of plaster or else it snaps off because there isn’t enough support to hold it on to the stone. Basic jewellery making 101.

Are you going to sell any of them?

They’re all kind of like my babies at this point. I mean, I’ve worked hard on them, I’ve painted them, I’ve named them. I don’t know how people sell their creations.

I guess I could make MORE of the same ones that are easy to find in the same stones (simple shapes in quartz), but each one is in the end, quite unique as even some of the chains are vintage or out of stock, or just old pieces from thrifting hunts, or artisans who are no longer selling their work.

Loved this?

My other upcycling projects can all be seen here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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