Sunday, September 9, 2012

Unique Jewelry Links - Make Your Own!

Hey, pop quiz!

Who knows what all three of these upcycled jewels have in common?

Not sure?  Well, I'll tell ya.  All those fun little links (the tiny buttons, silver-rimmed dots and sparkly black spirals) are actually scrapbooking brads!  See?

You will love how these are made, and how fun they are to incorporate into jewelry!  Read on for the cool DIY.

First, choose a cute brad.  Not difficult - there are cute brads everywhere you look nowadays.  Walk into any craft store and swing a dead cat, and you will knock over a hundred packages of them!  If you do not have immediate access to a dead cat (and, actually, I hope that is the case), walk into any craft store and ask the salesperson for the scrapbooking aisle.  A much more sanitary option.

Turn your brad over and pull apart the two arms.  I'm calling them arms because I can't think what else to call them.

Grab the end of one arm with round-nose pliers and start rolling it towards the center, like so:

Roll it up until it meets the body of the brad.

Do the same for the other arm.  Hey, presto!  You now have a link with two loops!

Aren't these things nifty?

Now you can create all kinds of jewelry, using the simple technique of jump rings between the links.

Cool jewels, eh? 

Here's another version: make a jewelry drop.  A drop is like a charm, with just one loop at the top.  Here's the trick:

See how one loop is hiding inside?  You can also snip off the extra arm, but when the brad is large enough, I like rolling it up to avoid having to file off a sharp edge.

How sweet are these tiiiiny crystal earrings, with drops made from tiiiiny rhinestone brads?

And the drop at the bottom of this necklace is made from one of the miniature button brads:

Okay, girls and boys, that's today lesson.  (I have to admit, it's one of my favorite re-purposings ever.)  Thanks for visiting, see you soon...

Note: no cats were harmed in the researching and writing of this post.


  1. Being a scrapbooker, I have tons of brads I know I'll never actually use but just had to have for the pretty factor. Now, I know what to do with them thanks to you!
    Oh, and the arms are usually referred to as prongs. Now you know! :-)

  2. I'm so glad that the cats were safe. I'll have to head out to my local scrapbooking store. I hadn't seen the fancy brads and certainly never thought of using them like this. Thanks.

  3. Oh my oh my oh my! Do you know how many brads I have in my stash ? OK me either but now I have another way to use them up! So cool !

  4. oh bugger... this is like a revelation!!!

  5. Oh how cool is this? Now I feel so inadequate because I don't have any scrapbooking supplies. I just might have to head on over to the craft store (minus the cat) and stock up!

  6. What a great surprise..I have some of these at home. Love the use of the buttons, too!

  7. Wowed again! Love how you used the scrap book finding - very creative!

  8. these are lovely..I have some brads though not crystal ones and Iwill see if I can do something quirky with them

  9. On my list.
    Just wrote it down this second!


  10. I am headed over to JoAnns now later today. I am thinking I'll get the steampunk Idea-ology set. FUN!

  11. Whoa, now that is tricky in the best way! The possibilities are just endless with you, eh? As it should be.

  12. this blog have to be list in the 'genius' book of record!

  13. Do you have a problem with the brad arms breaking?

    1. Hi, Maple Girl! I haven't had that happen to me yet. But one thing I could mention: since the loops are rolled up, it's best not to put too much weight on them in case they want to unroll a little bit. So when I make necklaces, I use lighter pendants that won't strain the links too much.

  14. Beautiful, in fact Awesome :)
    I have missed the post before, actually I was not on blogger, now I am at wordpress :)

  15. You are a GENIUS! I love this idea!