Beginners Guide to Repairing Your Jewelry

Beginners Guide to Repairing Your Jewelry

The right jewelry is like the icing on the cake of any good outfit. Whether you have precious pieces or a large collection of costume jewelry, you want the items you love to last. Fortunately, many jewelry repairs are easy at-home jobs that you can do with a few simple tools and craft store supplies. These DIY instructions will carry you through a slew of common repairs.

Detangling Knots

Jewelry Repaired on Rocks

A little lubrication goes a long way with tangled jewelry. Grab the handiest oil and apply a few drops to a cotton swab. You can use olive oil, vegetable oil, or even baby oil for this task. Gently dab at the knotted part of your necklace or bracelet with the oiled swab. Next, take two straight pins and begin working at the knot with great precision. 

It helps to lay the jewelry flat in a brightly lit area so you have a good look at the problem. Working on a contrasting surface will also make it easier to see what you’re doing. By carefully maneuvering the pins, you should be able to detangle or unknot the chain with patience and care. Reapply the oil as needed while you work. To prevent these types of issues and retain your jewelry’s value, hang your necklaces and bracelets to store them.

Replacing Stones or Faux Pearls

It’s usually not worth the cost of a professional repair when you’re dealing with costume jewelry, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to restore these items to their former glory. You can bring a piece of great costume jewelry back to life with needle-nose pliers and B-7000 jewelry glue. This adhesive will bind to plastic, metal, and stones, so you can use it to replace nearly any type of loose or broken stone or faux pearl.

Use only a few small dots of glue. Hold the stone or pearl in your pliers and dab the glue on carefully. Position the piece over the fitting and gently replace it. If you use the right amount of glue, you won’t see any gushing out around the edges of the piece. If you do, dab this away with a cloth immediately. Allow 48 hours for the glue to dry completely.

Repairing a Clasp

If you discover a broken clasp, you should simply replace it with a new one rather than attempt to fix the tiny parts of the clasp. This is fairly easy to do. Take two pairs of chain nose pliers and open the jump ring that connects the clasp to the necklace. To open a jump ring, lift one end of the ring up, and pull the other one down. You can then unthread the jump ring.

Next, thread a new clasp onto a new jump ring. Connect the ring to the necklace or bracelet. Close the new jump ring by moving one end of it down and the other end up so they meet perfectly in the middle. Never pull the ends of a jump ring apart, as this will weaken the ring and bend it out of shape. Always twist the ends up and down instead. 

Filling Chipped Enamel

Enamel costume jewelry comes in a range of bright colors and appealing designs. Since these pieces are relatively inexpensive, it’s usually best to opt for a cheap DIY repair when the enamel gets chipped. Just take your item to the nearest drugstore and match the enamel to a bottle of nail polish. Two or three drops of nail polish over the chip is all it takes to fill in the damage and leave the jewelry looking like new.

Reassembling Stretch Bracelets

Stretch bracelets are fun to wear, but they’re susceptible to breakage. If your bracelet snaps, the first thing you need to do is gather up as many of the beads as you can find. Collect these in a zip-top plastic bag or other secure place until you can reassemble the bracelet. If you’ve lost a significant number of beads, you may need to purchase some replacements before you repair the bracelet.

Purchase an elastic cord designed for beading from your local craft store. Cut about a foot of cord off the spool and place a piece of tape at the end to keep the beads from falling off. Fill the bracelet with about 7 or 8 inches of beads, depending on the size of your wrist. Place the largest beads at the top and bottom. 

When you’re done, remove the tape and tie off the bracelet with a surgeon’s knot. Apply two single knots after the surgeon’s knot. Dab some super glue over the knots to keep them in place, trim off the ends, and tuck your knot up into one of the larger beads.

Reshaping a Ring

You will need a ring mandrel and rawhide mallet to reshape a ring that’s gone askew. Place the ring over the ring mandrel and gently tap at it with the mallet so it slides down the mandrel and takes on a round shape. Turn the ring over and tap on it again to get a perfectly even shape. Use only as much pressure as you need to get the ring back into a rounded shape. If you continue tapping, you may enlarge the ring. 

Only attempt this type of repair if you’re working on costume jewelry or a ring without stones. If the ring has a cheap or plastic jewel, place your finger over the jewel to protect it while you work. If your ring has precious stones, you should have it repaired by a professional. Otherwise, you risk damaging the ring and losing the stones.

Contact a Professional

If you’re dealing with a more serious repair or you’re working on fine jewelry with precious stones, you should contact a professional for your jewelry repairs. If you no longer want the item, you can also sell your broken jewelry at a competitive price to Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Buyers. Bring your item in for an expert evaluation to determine what to do next.