hording collecting vintage costume jewelry for a few years now in anticipation of making these bejeweled Christmas trees.
Apparently, this was a very popular trend back in the early 1970s. I can't imagine why these fell out of vogue because I think they're absolutely stunning! And what better way to upcycle broken, damaged, tarnished, or out-of-style jewelry?
I had so much fun making these! And it was super simple...
Gather your jewels ~ any costume brooches, earrings, necklaces and bracelets will do! Grab a pair of wire cutters, a picture frame, a piece of fabric for your background (I used velvet), spray adhesive and your choice of craft glue.
Cut a piece of fabric about an inch larger than the opening of your frame and using the spray adhesive, glue it to the cardboard that comes with your frame. After it's dry, pop it back into your frame, ditching the glass (unless you're using a shadow box frame, the frame will be too shallow to fit the jewelry and the glass).
Lay out your jewels in the shape of a Christmas tree, or any shape for that matter, and when you're satisfied with your design, begin gluing each jewel to the fabric.
I began by first choosing my tree topper and then worked my way down and out. I did my best to form perfect symmetry though this is really impossible when you don't have two of every piece of jewelry. I must've rearranged my jewels about 20 times before I was satisfied I had the best design.
Several of the jewelry pieces I collected were missing gems, so I pried out gems from pieces I didn't want to use, dabbed a bit of glue onto them and then used my tweezers to place them into the pieces for my trees. Good as new!
This is the one I made for my daughter. I chose jewels with all sorts of color ~ red, blue, pink and purple. Natalie especially loves the bow "tree trunk" and the ornate black frame ($4 I think from TJ Maxx).
See the mini cameo on the left?
This is the one I made for my BFF, Melanie. Diamonds and pearls and stones in all sorts of blue shades. Love how all the bling pops off the black velvet and white frame. Oh, and though you can't really see it in these pictures, after I painted this frame white, I brushed on some silver glitter paint.
This is the one I kept for myself. I used mostly diamond and pearl pieces and added a few pink-ish gems.
I went ahead and gave Natalie and Melanie their trees so that they'll be able to enjoy them all Christmas season this year. And so that I could share this post with you ~ you may want to give these a try yourself!
I love them so much that I'm trying to decide on a non-Christmas themed design so that I can leave it out and admire it all year long.
I probably have a good 10 lbs of jewelry left over so I'll likely make more trees ~ maybe list them in my Etsy shop and website. Tis the season to get crafty!