Jewelry · purposeful

Aunt Ruby’s Brooch (or How to Turn a Pin into a Pendant)


Another day, another “loose end” project. (I’m beginning to think I have enough “loose ends” to last through the spring.)

OK, so awhile back, a friend may have implied that I’m a hoarder. She actually said, “Wow, I’m amazed at the clothing you hang on to.” It’s true. While there are moments when I go through the house like I’m on the warpath (um, today), tossing toys or mail or construction paper or Target “I buckled up for safety!” doggie stickers out just because they are in the way (We don’t need these crayons!), clothes and old jewelry are hard for me to let go. You never know when you might be able to reuse something.

Many years ago, when I was still a teacher, I did some jewelry repair work for a co-worker. When she brought all the broken pieces, she also brought a bag of miscellaneous pendants and necklaces for me to have. Score! I still dip into that stash to create something new.


Today’s project is brought to you by jewelry bit “hoarding”. (It’s really not that bad; all of my saved bits fit into a shoebox.) It started with this pendant from Adopted California Father. It belonged to his aunt, who was known to have some very nice pieces. When ACF took this one in to be appraised, he found it wasn’t really worth anything, so he passed it along to me. Fun! I was hoping to make a fun necklace out of it before Christmas. (Right. Hence my “loose ends” projects.)

So today, I got out the pendant and all my miscellaneous bits and got to work.


First, I clipped off the pin part of the back. I can’t get the pin to stay clasped, and I definitely don’t want it poking me every time I wear it. I just snipped with with my wire cutters.


Next, I looked at where I could attach the brooch to a chain if I were to try it as a pendant. It made the most sense to use the little circles at the bottom of the brooch that had tassles attached. I used pliers to open the jump rings and remove them from the brooch.


The bottom will now be the top of the pendant.


I know this brooch is not a precious metal, so I went through my costume jewelry pieces and found this broken necklace chain. I cut it into two pieces, 8 1/2 inches each.


I reused the original jump rings from the brooch to attach the chain on either side.


I found this S-shaped hook among other findings and attached it to one section of chain.


I attached these jump rings to the other.


That’s it. A super easy project, perfect for a rainy afternoon.


It’s no secret that I love bold, chunky jewelry, so I paired this new necklace with a doubled strand of mixed red and golden amber beads. Even better. Thanks, Aunt Ruby.



This post is part of a 31 Day series about improving my days by being more PURPOSEFUL.

You can read more about it here. You can find all the posts in this series here.


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