Nov 5, 2011

Hard Wear: A Re-user's Guide

Beat up bags, worn out shoes...things to just toss and be done with, right? Wrong! One habit I've cultivated in recent years is to always "strip for parts" old clothes and accessories on their way to the circular file. Buckles, zippers, buttons, snaps--all manner of bits and bobs can be re-used in creative ways.

Case in point, I recently acquired a new pendant that always gets compliments when I wear it:




But want to know where I got it? From a shoe.

Yep, it's a chain detail I cut out of a metallic Me Too ballet flat. I loooooved those shoes, let me tell you, and I wore them almost literally to tatters. Then came the day I looked at them and knew it was time to say farewell--but not without nabbing the stainless steel goods. Now I didn't know what I was going to do with these things at the time, but my point is, you never know! And I might make something else out of them...today a pendant, tomorrow...??? After all, I do have two of them:




You probably can't see this in the picture, but my pendant's twin still has a tiny speck of schmutz on it where a piece of fabric matching the shoe was glued to the metal--easily cleaned off if and when I decide to use it for something. And note how I arranged it in a V to show how it moves & therefore gives me even more options with how I can put it to use. My main point about the schmutz is this, however: sometimes all you need to do to achieve a transformation is a little alteration. My pendant was hiding behind some fabric and glue that took seconds to remove.

Pendants are a pretty easy one. All manner of found objects can be put on a chain & voilĂ ! instant jewelry but note what I did with the chain (one I already owned of course!). Instead of buying & attaching a bail (one of those little rings that hooks a pendant to a chain) I just looped the chain through itself:





This is a good trick as it really frees you up to get creative with "found jewelry" --many objects that didn't start out their lives as jewelry will often hang better with this method. My shoe decor for example is quite heavy but hooking the chain around the pendant keeps it stable and securely centered when I wear it. Also, the aesthetics of the chain crossing over itself help pull the look together all the more, i.e. making it "look like jewelry".

If you're like me, you don't have much money to spend on new accessories, but with a little imagination you can find them where you least expect it.

HAPPY HUNTING!  

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