Monday, June 24, 2013

How to use Antique Paper Scraps to Create Chandelier Crystal Jewelry Pendants, Ornaments, Decorations

See some of my creations below:


How to Make Jewelry Using Antique Paper (Ephemera) and chandelier crystals:
This is the perfect project for your paper scraps, broken or torn off pieces from old valentines or postcards that are otherwise damaged. 
The above pendants were made using pieces of antique Valentines, Victorian calling cards, and postcards. THERE ARE 2 that used NEW paper and prints which I will show at the bottom.
 If you have followed any prior blog posts than you probably have begun a "stash" of antique paper items. You can use scrap pieces of items from your "stash". 
One last note before we begin. When I started doing these I was using architectural salvage and vintage chandelier crystals BUT the metal pieces are almost always damaged, badly tarnished and/or bent. In the photos I have used NEW crystals purchased on eBay. I like the neat, clean, uniform, shiny Gold of new and these are also available in a Silver finish if you prefer.
Supply List:
  • Paper items for the graphics you want to use, if you have larger pieces like old postcards DO NOT CUT them yet
  • Be aware of what is on BOTH sides of your paper because BOTH SIDES will show. The accent in the front and whatever is on the back of your paper will be the backing of the piece, if an ornament you don't want something like old glue or badly yellowed or dirty paper to show when it spins around
  • A sharp pencil
  • Sharp, small paper scissors
  • Exacto blade
  • A rag you will want to throw away when finished (not paper towels)
  • Your chandelier crystals - before you begin it is easier to remove the top small round crystal and then put it back on when completed if you want
  • Thin organza ribbon (or if using for jewelry you can put them on a chain)
  • DUCO CEMENT, comes in Green color tubes at any hardware store - this is one of the FEW crystal clear cements that allows you time to work with your paper BEFORE it begins to dry
  • An old magazine to use as a glue surface so as each page gets sticky you can rip it off, throw it out and there is a clean new page ready
  • Hard cutting surface (not a cutting mat) I use a cheap kitchen cutting board made of a durable plastic, I don't think wood will work well.
  • Jewelry tools to clamp and/or wind the metal pieces that come attached to your crystals
  1. Take one of the crystals and lay it over areas of your postcard or paper until you see a design through the glass that looks delicate and colorful. I used many on an angle, in a corner, upside down, sideways, etc. Just keep moving your crystal around until you are happy with the design
  2. Once happy with the design, use your sharp pencil to trace around the glass drawing as close to the OUTER edge as you can
  3. Cut that piece out with your sharp paper scissors
  4. Lay the FLAT side of the crystal  over it, until it is placed exactly as you want it to be sure it fits well BEFORE you glue it
  5. Now lay your designed, cut paper face up onto your magazine page
  6. Put a very THIN line of Duco cement along the outer edge of the FLAT side of your crystal
  7. Lay your crystal OVER the design cut paper on your magazine page (because some glue will ooze out when you PRESS down firmly) you should be pressing the flat part of crystal glass ON TOP of the design, wipe away any excess glue
  8. Once you get it centered and fit, lay it aside until the Duco cement dries (in the meantime you can start on the design and cutting of the next piece)
  9. Once dry, use your exacto blade to trim away any pieces of paper that extend beyond the crystal glass OUTER edge so it is smooth and clean along all sides, front AND back - beautiful, isn't it?
  10. Now you can decide if you want to put the small round crystal back on, or if you like it better without the additional piece. They look beautiful as ornaments or decorative elements WITH it because it adds an additional element of sparkle, but looks a little long with that piece added if it is to be used as jewelry. That is up to you!
  11. You will notice that the metal clip pieces easily bend open and closed but to form a more permanent closure clasp the metal over the CENTER of your ribbon piece and squeeze it closed with your jewelry tool to keep the ribbon from sliding out
  12. If you want to put the little round crystal back on, it just fits right through the small hole in the base of the round crystal piece. You will also have to clamp it tightly closed with your tool to keep it from falling off
  13. Take the ribbon and tie it tightly at the tip of the metal and I leave the ends of the ribbon open so it can be tied wherever you want
  14. Beautiful !
At the time of this posting these are on consignment at a little shop on Main St. in Williamsville, NY "The Shabby Chic Boutique".

Here is what the box looked like when getting packed to take it there, the colors are so delicate and pretty:

 Some close up photos and notes on papers I used:


This is a piece of old German postcard, the picture came from a basket of roses. You can see I had to flip it so the design fit the crystal with the flowers at the bottom and the little bow at the top
This was a piece of paper from an old Victorian trade advertising card, I like the roses facing this way because it fit the design of the crystal best
Here is a design with NO flowers, it was a piece that broke off of an old Victorian Valentine. I love the colors of aqua, peach & gold together and the design was perfect at this angle (which was actually a corner)
Believe it or not this is NOT real lace! I cut a 1920's lace pattern magazine. It was demonstrating a pattern for making a doily. Perfect for this piece BUT I had to do a double cut on this one as the back of the magazine page was nothing you would want to see so I had to cut and glue a separate design OVER the back.
Above I wrote that I would show you how to create one using NEW papers, THIS one is a computer print clip art of the Eiffel tower, just printed out on cardstock weight paper, follow the same steps above just use NEW prints and papers. 

The Blue Forget-Me-Nots appeared hand painted on this old valentine card. It was perfect for this piece and I love the colors...just use your imagination !
Here is one that is an art rubber stamp in Vintage Brown ink, I embossed it before adhering it to the glass
  If you have any questions just comment them and I will replay as soon as I see them, I also would appreciate any comments you may have !


  1. This is such an awesome idea. Ifind it a bit difficult to follow you on the printed explanation, do you have a video perhaps? that will be really great.
    many thanks xx

    1. Thank you Jacqui, I do not have a video but basically just trace the shape onto paper and use the glass glue to attach it to the back !

  2. These are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for the tutorial.

  3. Do you put glue on the whole back of the crystal or just the edge to hold the image?

    1. You just apply the glue to the entire back, press your image on and quickly wipe any excess from the edge with a paper towel or throw away rag. Thank you!

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  5. I'm a little confused. Are the backs of the crystal teardrops flat? All the ones I've seen are not.

  6. Thank you so much I have a box full of these crystals dident now what to do them so I will try this out

  7. Hi Angela, I have only just found your page on how to create Amazing Art from Antique Paper Collectables. They are amazingly gorgeous and I will definitely try these myself. What size chandelier connectors do you use? I have notice while looking there are various sizes. Can you recommend what size is best? Many Thanks...

  8. Sp Beautiful. It is so kind of you to share your gift.

  9. Thank you, I really have to get back to it! First I had the accident and now we just moved to another part of the state. Time to start again!