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Artistic Inspiration: Reworked Jewelry with Laura Florence Designs

January 11, 2012


As an artist, sometimes its easy to get stuck and for the creativity to stop flowing. I think we can all turn to other creative people to get inspired and to find new ways to interpret objects. That’s really the secret of thrifting, anyway: seeing something that’s ordinary and lifeless, sometimes even a little worn out or ragged, but having a vision of how it can be revamped, reused, or remade into something different altogether.

This is exactly what Charlotte jewelry artist Laura O’Neil does with her line, Laura Florence Designs. She rescues little trinkets that have been cast off to incorporate them into new jewelry components. You can use some of her same methods with your own Goodwill finds, turning old jewelry into new, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Laura took the beads off a thrifted necklace and used them to make her own chain. If you don't want to take the time to handcraft a chain, you can just restring the beads on a new necklace.

Recently, Laura shared a little insight into her approach so that we can all draw some inspiration.

What inspired you to repurpose materials you find at Goodwill?

The items at Goodwill may no longer be useful to their previous owners, but they’re new and exciting to me! Goodwill is going to have jewelry that I can’t find at any other store in town. So I know that whatever I create with my finds will be unique.

Clip-on earrings also make great hair clips. No need to worry about getting creative to create this look; just cut off the back and glue onto a hair clip. (Be sure and use a glue that will bond metal.)

What is your favorite thing to look for on your thrifting excursions?

I love digging through baskets of old jewelry to find things that most people wouldn’t think to look for. Clip-on earrings are a great example. There are so many pretty designs, but many of us have our ears pierced, so we don’t seek them out when shopping for accessories. I like turning them into pendants and pins.

What is your favorite item that you always look for?

I’m always on the look out for a well-priced jar of old jewelry that I can buy without really knowing what’s in it. When I get home I can have fun dumping it out and going on a little treasure hunt.

The pendant on this necklace used to be a clip-on earring. Laura cut off the backing and just attached it through one of the natural openings on the earring. You can also reuse pendants you find at Goodwill and just add them to a new necklace.

What advice do you have for others who are looking to make something with their thrifted finds?

Let your imagination run free – if you can think it, you can do it. But if you’re stumped in the imagination department, just hit the Internet. There are so many creative people with blogs that you’re bound to find something you can make using your thrift store find. In the process of making it, you might even add something that will make it uniquely yours.

Thanks, Amanda! Readers: What is YOUR favorite item at Goodwill?

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 14, 2012 6:17 pm

    i also saw a really cute DIY about using mismatched earrings, broaches, etc and stringing them on a chain to make a bracelet. here’s a link!

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