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How to Create Vintage Inspired Costume Jewelry

Vintage-inspired costume jewelry has a certain charm that never goes out of style. From flapper-era elegance to mid-century glamour, each historical period offers its own distinctive aesthetics that can be borrowed for your jewelry designs. Whether you’re a fan of Art Deco, Victorian, or retro 70s styles, here are some tips and ideas for creating your own vintage-inspired costume jewelry.

1. Research and Inspiration

Start by exploring different periods in history for inspiration. Familiarize yourself with the materials, colors, shapes, and patterns popular in each era. Old magazines, vintage ads, and historical jewelry catalogues are great resources for understanding the design ethos of different time periods.

2. Vintage Components

Incorporate vintage or vintage-inspired components into your designs. These could include filigree metal components, glass or crystal beads, cabochons, cameos, or even old buttons. Online shops, flea markets, and estate sales can be excellent sources for finding such items.

3. Color and Pattern

Choose colors and patterns that reflect your chosen era. For instance, Art Deco style is known for its geometric patterns and bold colors, while Victorian jewelry often features intricate floral designs and softer hues.

4. Techniques and Styles

Consider the jewelry styles and techniques that were popular in your chosen era. For example, if you’re drawn to the 1920s, you might try creating long, beaded flapper necklaces. If you love the 1950s, consider crafting colorful, oversized beaded earrings or charm bracelets.

5. Pay Attention to Detail

Small details can make a big difference in achieving a vintage look. Consider the type of clasps, earring backs, or other findings used in your chosen era and try to replicate these in your own designs.

6. Repurpose and Upcycle

One of the best ways to create vintage-inspired jewelry is to upcycle actual vintage pieces. Old, broken jewelry can often be disassembled and its parts used to create new pieces. This not only gives you authentic vintage materials to work with, but it’s also an environmentally friendly option.


Creating vintage-inspired costume jewelry is a fantastic way to explore different historical styles while putting your own creative twist on them. Remember, the goal isn’t to create perfect replicas of vintage jewelry, but rather to capture the spirit and aesthetic of the era that inspires you. So, delve into the past and bring a piece of it to the present with your unique jewelry creations!

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