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.
#40 – The Oprah Necklace
#41 – Mazu Necklace
#42 – The Tallulah Necklace
#43 – The Uzume Necklace
Named after the Japanese goddess Ame-no-Uzume, who is a fun-loving deity, and part of a famous Japanese tale of how the sun goddess Amaterasu was tricked out of coming out of hiding with a mirror. Read more about her here.
I had taken this necklace, removed the chain and just had the 5 triangles. I used only the three in the middle and kept the other two to the side as I think I’d like to upcycle them into other projects in the future:
I strung together pink stones (Little Bun calls them raspberries), together in a row of three strings, then added a gold chain over it, a glass acorn pendant with a leaf (another old necklace being upcycled), and merged it all together:
I like the asymmetry of the triangles on the left, the hanging acorn pendant, and the entire look of the necklace to represent happiness, laughter, the dawn and love – everything Uzume stands for.
I also made the enclosure at the back with two toggles so it looks as nice from the back as from the front.
#44 – The Amaterasu Necklace
Going in line with the previous necklace, I saw this and knew it was to be named Amaterasu, just from the depictions of the Sun Goddess – the middle pendant is actually a moonstone, but the moon only reflects the sun.
There is nothing to it – the branches were just attached, and I put a Stella and Dot pendant in the middle:
I loved the Stella and Dot pendant just on its own (it came with another second necklace which I cannot recall what happened to, I may have donated it), but it was too simple for my tastes, and looked perfect with the gold branches as a centerpiece.
I’ve actually gotten compliments on just the gold branch necklace by itself, and I am surprised as it is such an easy piece to make.
STUFF I USED
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.
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.
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.