Magpie magic – Turn Costume Jewellery into Art!

Frame it
Frame it

There has never been a time when costume jewellery has been cheaper – which is why your draws are very likely to be overflowing with pretty pieces picked up on a whim for a few dollars, and worn only once or twice. Meanwhile, you’re looking about for affordable art work to decorate your walls – and finding everything you like is out of your price range. If this sounds like you, we have some fun and creative solutions to sort the problem. The results are so satisfying, that if you’re not already a magpie, you may soon become one!

Frame of mind!

To prepare your costume jewellery for the wall, head to the thrift shop or craft store for some cheap frames. Don’t be concerned about colour or condition (we have that covered!) but do have a hunt for frames with texture, especially those that have a vintage or antique look. Frames can be made of metal, wood or even plaster, and if they’re minus their glass, all the better because you won’t be needing it. When you have assembled your frames, give them a couple of coats of metallic spray – think gold, silver and bronze.

Backdrop for the bling!

To construct a backdrop for your jewellery, collect remnants of satin and velvet. You’ll also need some thick fabric such as polar fleece. Remove the hardboard or cardboard backing from your frame, and cover one side of it with the thick fabric (use a hot glue gun to help hold it in place). Cover the thick fabric with satin or velvet, draping it as you do so, and holding the folds in place with tiny stitches of invisible thread. Reassemble the frame.

Arrange your pieces

Arrange your costume jewellery onto the draped fabric. Don’t be afraid to take pieces apart – after all, you may want just one jewel from a necklace, and not the entire strand. Mix it up by placing an earring alongside a brooch, or a diamanté watch face inside a pearl bracelet. Be daring and make a statement by placing just one large piece of jewellery in in frame. Go completely random by covering the backdrop with an assortment of earrings, regardless of colour or shape.

Once you’ve finalised your arrangement, hold the pieces to the backdrop with stitches of invisible thread, or be bold and pin them in place with pearl headed dressmakers pins or vintage hat pins. And finally, arrange your art works on the wall, either as one-off pieces or, for an eye-catcher, en masse!

Thinking outside the frame

Art is up to the individual, so don’t be constrained by anyone’s instructions. Step outside the norm by covering your frames with the sort of fabric that suggests opulence (textured furnishing fabrics work well, as does furnishing-weight velour and velvet), then pin your jewellery to the frame itself. Or forgo the backdrop altogether and, instead, attach strings of jewellery from one side of the frame to the other, and simply hang the frame on the wall. There are as many variations to our framing concepts as your imagination can come up with – and isn’t that what art is all about!