Hang onto old brooches. You'll need them for these DIY ideas

Perhaps you inherited a drawer full of brooches from long ago that belonged to fashion-conscious relatives, or maybe you’re just drawn to their romantic charm when you scour the thrift stores. The fact is that costume jewelry from the 1920s through the 1970s was usually very well made and heavy on sparkle and shine, a combination that adds beauty and energy to many DIY projects.
Brooches often had animal, insect, or floral themes, which makes them even more interesting to decorate with. Take the leap into creatively reusing these lovely pins in diverse ways. The results are consistently exquisite.
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Welcome to my world
Gather up the retro brooches in your jewelry box and put them to beautiful use. This wreath project requires only an embroidery hoop, some floral supplies, your brooches, and a few other supplies. The project yields a stunning wreath that’s appropriate for hanging on your front door, above your mantel, or as a welcoming touch in your guest room. The brooches add a sparkly and unexpected touch to the piece, which makes it all the more appealing. Learn how to make one here.
Every hair in place
You can make your grandmother’s wonderful brooches into gorgeous decorative hair combs that will turn even your worst hair day around instantly. All you need to do is remove the pin hardware and replace it with a comb, and the transformation is complete. This accessory will energize an everyday outfit or serve as the pièce de résistance for your special "night-on-the-town" ensemble. This project can be done in a jiffy, too. See how here.
One-of-a-kind wall art
A striking way to upcycle old costume jewelry brooches is simply by framing them as wall art. They look dramatic against a striking black felt background and you have lots of design freedom because the brooches are simply pinned onto the felt before framing. Our tutorial shows butterfly pins, which offers an unorthodox but lovely spin on the traditional pressed butterfly or insect art. If you have several different brooches, the project works just as well. The way in which you choose to place the brooches also helps to set the visual tone. If they’re organized in a straight line, they convey a stately formality, while disparately placed pieces look more casual. Learn how to make this project here.
Fetching frame of reference
You can transform a plain-Jane picture frame into something truly worthy of holding a special photograph with vintage brooches. This project has a wonderful antique vibe with the combination of ladylike lace batting and delicately refined brooches. Once the pin hardware is removed from the backs of the brooches, they can be glued to each of the four corners of the frame for a picture-perfect effect. Watch how to make one of these sweet frames here.
Romantic notions
This brooch-embellished candle holder project couldn't be any easier. After painting an unfinished wooden candle holder, you simply thread some pretty coordinating ribbon through the back of your brooch and tie it around the holder ⁠— no hot glue necessary! Brooches can also beautify a small glass votive candle holder. A grouping of these would up the romance of your tabletop considerably. See how to fashion them here.
Let there be light
Add a romantic sparkle to your window treatments by using a pair of antique brooches to make curtain tiebacks. This project pairs them with unfinished wooden beads and colored suede string. This thoughtful but functional decorative detail is a beautiful finishing touch to any space, and you can match your brooch’s stones to your room’s color scheme. Watch the tutorial here.
Beguiling bangles
Brooches lend themselves beautifully to making pretty, customized bracelets. You can attach a decorative pin to a bangle you already have, or make the whole thing from scratch by braiding a bracelet with suede string and adding a brooch as the decorative finale. An eclectic grouping of several would convey a striking fashion statement, or a single one tastefully sets off a solid-colored dress or blouse. These are quick to create and make great gifts for the jewelry lovers in your life! Learn how to make one here.
Trendsetting tote
How about embellishing an everyday accessory with lovely, glittery old brooches? Take five or six or more, depending on the size of your bag, and affix them in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row, or simply place them randomly. However they’re oriented on your bag, it will look so much more special and eye-catching. Take a look here to see how to make one.
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