Something different – fixing broken necklaces

Well hello, and thanks to anyone still hanging in here! It’s been a while…

Today I am going to talk about fixing things rather than creating them. From time to time I am asked to fix something, usually necklaces. Most of the time this is relatively easy to do, however it always depends on the original design and materials. Also, the necklace owner might like a slight change – perhaps an adjustment to the length, or a clasp that is easier to manage.

I have had 3 necklaces recently that I have mended. I did them in order of easiness, well, the order I thought would be easiest… 😉

I started with this beautiful one belonging to my friend. I did not originally make this necklace. She had managed to keep the beads that had fallen off, including the tiny seed beads separating each feature bead. All I had to do was restring it. A quick way to do this is the pass the new wire through the beads as they are still on the old wire, then slide the old wire out. This makes it very easy to keep the design correct. However those teeny black seed beads were so small I couldn’t fit 2 wires through them. So I had to take each bead off the old wire, then thread it on to the new wire. Each. Bead.

broken necklace 1

So what I thought was going to be quite a quick and easy fix took about half an hour. I was able to re-use the clasp on this so finishing it off was straightforward.

broken necklace 2

This next necklace belongs to my sister. Again, I did not originally make this one. broken necklace 3The pendant is on a rubber cord which I don’t use, so I needed to find something else. I would normally use a suede or leather cord to give a similar look but I know that won’t last terribly well in her case. She lives in the high humidity of Hong Kong, and previous experience has shown leather- or suede-strung necklaces deteriorate quickly.

So I spent some time working out what to use. I narrowed it down to black satin ribbon, or memory wire.

broken necklace 4

Aiming to have it look as similar to the original as I could, I went with memory wire and threaded on larger black seed beads. The loop on the pendant was a bit wonky, so I fixed that up and attached a bail so it would go on to the wire easily. The old clasp was broken as well, so a new clasp and some extension chain was needed.  And I added a cute butterfly charm to the end of the chain – just because I could!

broken necklace 5

The last necklace I fixed is one I did make! My previous post has the story behind its design. You can read that here. So this necklace went to my mum. One night she forgot to take it off before going to bed, and it got caught in the bedclothes.broken necklace 6

I left this one ’til last, as to re-create it would have been a big job. It had three strands all the way through, so I couldn’t just add on a few extra beads. But then mum said it didn’t need to be as detailed and she would be happy with a single strand. I pulled out my green bead collection to search for something appropriate. I couldn’t change the green glass bead as I had used that in the matching earrings. broken necklace 7


I ended up using the pale green frosted beads which I think worked nicely. I also changed the clasp as requested.

broken necklace 8

And here’s a look at what it was like before it broke (from my previous post):

Doodle pic 1

A bit different now, but mum likes it and that’s the most important thing 🙂

So there you go – a bit of an insight into what’s required to fix a broken necklace. Sometimes it’s straightforward, sometimes its not. Quite often the most time is spent on working out alternate materials to use. When designing a new jewellery item the most time is always spent working out what combinations work best, so it’s the same here!

3 thoughts on “Something different – fixing broken necklaces

  1. I love seeing things mended to give them a new life! This is a great tutorial, and I have been taking notes! I especially liked the idea of threading an extra wire through the beads to avoid having to restring the whole necklace. Some wonderful ideas on here:)


  2. Pingback: How’s this for a feature necklace! | Something Special by Fiona

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