Sunday, April 6, 2014

DIY Jewelry Fixes Anyone Can Do

We have all suffered that "jewelry tragedy" that makes it impossible to wear a beloved piece and forces a trip to the jeweler or maker of the item. I have personally known those that can go for years without ever making the trip the the jeweler and their once loved piece sits idly in the back of the jewelry box until the person forgets it even exists! Whether a lost earring back, a chip in the enamel of a favorite pin or a missing rhinestone small repairs and quick fixes can hold you over until you can either take the item in for a proper repair or they might even suffice as a permanent fix when not overly complicated.

I highly recommend having a small repair kit on hand. Stock your kit with a few essentials like G-S Hypo Cement, an extra clasp or two, some jump rings in about 6-7mm size and in both gold, bronze and silver finishes, earring backs, eyeglass screws and small screw driver, pliers, a nail file, toe nail clipper or small wire cutter, needle and either jewelry stringing thread or un-waxed dental floss. Another good item to have is jewelry beading cable and the crimp ends that go on the ends of this type of stringing material. 

For less than $20 you will be prepared for pretty much anything that might suddenly go wrong with a favorite piece and you may well save yourself the hassle of that trip to the jeweler or forgetting the item all together. 

Chipped enamel
One of the easiest fixes for chipped enamel is to use nail polish on the item to fill in the chip or even recolor the entire piece if you so choose. If the edges are sharply chipped try lightly sanding with a very fine grit emery board. Then fill in the chip with one or more layers of polish, being sure to let each layer dry for at least one hour between coatings. 

The best part? If it looks awful or you decided to have the enamel professionally repaired at a later date you can remove it with a polish remover and the item will be back to its old self. I would advise using a remover that is acetone free so as not to interfere with the plating or other coatings on the item.

Eyeglass Screws and Pads
Eyeglasses have a way of coming apart at the most inopportune moments. A quick fix for a lost screw is simple to do with a small piece of wire or a paper clip that you snip short and bend slightly at both the top and bottom until you can get home to your repair kit and do the job properly. A pad is a bit harder to fix on the go but a small bandaid might suffice to get you through the day.

Carrying a small eyeglass kit is ideal, if you are able. A purse for women or the glove box of a car or desk drawer for men and women are both good places to have a spare kits. Small kits for repairs can be found at almost any store for under $10. Kits usually come with pads, a cleaning cloth, screws, a small magnifying glass and several small screwdrivers.

Loose Pearls, Gemstones and Rhinestones
Taking loose gemstone and pearl items to a jeweler is truly the ideal. If you are looking for a quick fix I recommend the use of the G-S Hypo Cement. A drop or two at most of this clear liquid glue is sufficient. 

G-S Hypo Cement is also the perfect adhesive for rhinestones, as it will not have any effect on the silver or gold backing found on most of these types of stones. I have successfully used it on both new and vintage or antique findings. It does need some time to dry, as it is not an "instant" glue but is well worth the time it takes in both staying power, clarity and being safe for all types of stones, pearls and rhinestones.

Please be aware that the instant glues on the market can damage or destroy both real and faux pearls, soft stones and the backings of rhinestone jewelry! I truly recommend not using any of these "instant" or "super" glues on any item you do not want to risk destroying.

Missing Earring Back
The obvious answer is to simply replace the earring back from your handy dandy kit. The not so obvious answer is to use a pencil eraser that you break off the top of a pencil. I recommend the second only in the case of an emergency. For instance if you are in a wedding party and there will be photos taken that you don't want to look silly in with one earring on one side and nothing at all on the other. If at all possible store both earrings and wait until you are home and can replace the back properly. Matching colors of earrings to backings is easily done these days as there are a variety of finishes available.


Missing or Broken Clasp
In a pinch you may want to thread a paper clip through the jumprings and use that for the time being. Once home replace the missing or broken clasp with a new one using either the already attached jump rings or perhaps, new ones should one be missing.

Broken Bead Strands
Using Tiger Tail or Beading Cable is my personal choice for stringing or restringing beads. This cable uses crimp beads or ends for finishing off necklaces, bracelets and anklets that may have used string and attaching clasps and rings to the ends of the cable.


Please see my blog post on this subject by clicking here.This process works for most items other than knotted pearl strands.


  1. Serendipity!

    I was gonna contact you about … what to use to reset some stones that have come loose from a lovely ol' vintage button. And … here it is!

    Thanks, Dawn ~ you're awesome.

    1. Back atcha! I appreciate the blog love! :)

  2. Thanks - reminds me I still need to fix mt great-grandmothers pin I was gifted.

    1. Thanks! I am glad it was helpful. Bring it by if you like and I will see what we can do if you need. :)


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