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One of the most fun things I’ve found about making jewelry is when someone gives me an existing piece or an idea and says, “I want the finished product to look like this.”

At the end of last summer (holy cow, how was it so long ago?), Ally over at Two Normal Moms asked me if I could help her with a necklace.Β She had a necklace with a beautiful pendant, but it was too short. She wondered if I could repurpose the pendant on a simpler necklace and reuse the beads for something else. She sent me some photos of the piece:

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I loved the pendant, but I saw what she meant. With all those beads, it was a little overkill. That pendant was cool enough to stand on its own. I suggested a traditional silver-toned chain and asked what she thought of waxed cord, which I thought would fit well with the style of the necklace. I sent her a few images, and she opted for the cord and let me choose what to do with the extra beads.

She sent me the necklace and I tore it apart (man, I love tearing apart jewelry). I made the necklace to her length specifications, and I tried to make earrings out of the beads. Turns out, the holes were so super teeny tiny, they wouldn’t thread on any of the wire I had — but they did fit on some stretchy cord (mostly — I had to ditch four or five beads because I suspect they only would have fit on a strand of hair).

Ally was thrilled with what I came up with and recently told me how much use she’d gotten out of the set. She told me she’d been pairing the tiger’s eye bracelets with a pearl bracelet to bring out the white stone in the pendant. She even sent me a picture: Check it out!!

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Thanks for sending me the pic, Ally!

Similarly, a coworker gave me a loooong strand of pearls earlier in the week and asked if I could restring them — the cord is stretched and there appears to be a few “holes” in the strand. They’re not real, she told me, but she wanted to be able to wear them as they were her grandmother’s. I’m added a gold-plated clasp to the necklace and plan to finish it up this weekend.

This is to say: Anyone with something in her jewelry box that just isn’t right, shoot me a note. I just might be able to improve on that merely “meh” necklace, bracelet or earrings of yours.

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