Wednesday, May 13, 2009

bling spring cleaning

"upcycled" pairless earring turned pendant

Yes, even our bling needs some spring cleaning. You know what I mean? I have boxes of bling, real and not, given or bought, for crafting, for experimenting, for gifts, and to actually wear myself. Over time, these boxes get accumulated so I am opening them up to upcycle some of those gems... shall I call them "vintage"? Maybe not yet.

In any case, this got me started because I could not get rid of some things but I still would not wear them as they are. Sometimes all it takes is adding a chain or putting a pendant on silk cord, leather or suede; or how about adding or taking off beads, combining items together. For example, I have this beautiful sterling silver earring with a blue-turquoise like stone. Trouble is I lost its pair, so now I turned it into a pendant by closing its earwire. Just a little cleaning and leather cord and that baby is ready to be worn again.

Speaking of cleaning silver, there are gazillion ways to clean your Ag... you or your mother might have some sort of solvent hiding some where... those are good enough. Though, keep in mind that if your piece is oxidized (chemically darken), it will cleaning right out and get rid of the effect. Clean silver looks very white... chalk like... so be careful. Also, some stones and pearls might not survive the solvent. I hardly ever use this method, sorry, I have no recommendations as I do not like the results with the solvents I've used. Once I do, I will let you know.

Sunshine Polishing Cloth

Another way to use a polishing cloth. You can probably find it at a local bead store. I've used different ones and found the Sunshine Polishing Cloth to be the most effective. Simply clean your silver with water and dish soap to get rid of any dust or particles that may scratch the metal, dry it well, and then softly clean in with the polishing cloth.

Rock Tumbler

The Rock Tumbler is my favorite method... I love it! You can get an inexpensive Rock Tumbler at Michael's (make sure to use your 40% coupon). Rock tumblers are used to smooth stones, kids love to see this effect... well let me tell you, is is worth the investment as your bling is sure to shine after it has been through this apparatus. Here is what you'll need: the rock tumbler, stainless steel shot, water, dish-washing soap, and electricity. Put your silver pieces, your coins, and any other metal then let that baby roll... in as short as 15 minutes you can see shiny pennies. This process will also harden your metal adding to its life span.

Stainless Steel Shot

Hope this resurrects some of your hidden, forgotten gems. Go ahead, play with your jewelry, break the rules and create new styles... or simple have a shinier, more brilliant and cleaner gems. Wear that bling proudly!

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