The Jewelry Box Cleanout: 53 Pieces Transformed Into 1 Boho Chic Treasure


Now that I’m well into motherhood, the STUFF galore in every nook and cranny of this house feels like it’s eating me alive! We are so blessed with an abundance, but I tend to be a cluttered person and attach too much sentimentality to items. This combination usually leads to stuff sitting on the kitchen counter, the bathroom counter, our dresser, a box in the closet… I’m sure I’m not alone in this! Organizing and clearing out clutter feels like an ongoing process, especially now that I have a kid and all of his toys and clothes to manage.

The latest KonMari craze has definitely helped me rid our home of a ton of unnecessary things. We’ve been tackling different parts of the house to decide what to trash, recycle, or donate. My husband has an easier time making these decisions. He is the level-headed voice of reason that I need in life. If I’m pondering a purge of something, he’s cheering me on to let things go. In the end, I feel more free and less overwhelmed by the visual clutter.

I recently opened up my jewelry box and immediately felt the itch to purge jewelry. As I poked around the drawers, I realized I hardly wear the majority of the pieces these days! So I started by throwing away those cheap studs I bought from the teenybopper store ages ago (gross) — the ones that irritate my ears now that I’m nearing thirty. But when I got to the necklaces and bracelets, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw a lot of them away, or even donate. Most were still in nice shape and had some sentimental value to them. So, what to do?

A Nod to The Originals

Let me give some context and credit where credit is due. I come from seriously creative genes. As I’ve become more of a creator in the last decade of home ownership, I genuinely admire my parents’ creative ideas and projects they set their minds to. They inspire me. I can always count on them to gush with me over my own projects, with a big, gaping-mouthed, “SHUT. UP!” They never disappoint.

My Mom has always been a Pinterest-worthy Mom, way before Pinterest. I recalled one of her recent creations. She had gone through her own jewelry box and combined a bunch of pendants onto a short, thick gold chain. It now hangs on her rearview mirror. What a good idea, right? For the pieces you don’t wear much — because you have way too much jewelry — but they mean something to you enough to keep. This consolidation gets those pieces out of a box and into the light so you can enjoy them in your day-to-day life.

My Take on The Creative Idea

This got me thinking as I paused in front of my overstuffed jewelry box… I didn’t want another decor item…Lightbulb! I’m going to compose a whole NEW necklace, utilizing jewelry I already have. Oh, my heart started racing with excitement! I combed through every drawer and pulled out the pieces that I thought I could incorporate in such a project. I love the look of mixed metals, and combining accessories you wouldn’t normally think to put together — thanks to allowing my toddler to pick out my jewelry for me every now and then. *Side Note: That strategy of accessorizing can bring adventurous, bold combos to your wardrobe. Your kid will love that they contributed to your look that day, so wear it with confidence!*

I then came across a beaded necklace that first belonged to my Grandma. And the vision was complete: an eclectic, BOHO chic composition, of literally ONLY items I already own! In creative thrill, I asked my husband to bring the pliers from the garage, STAT. I grabbed my stash of little jump rings from my craft supplies and started laying out a plan.

I was accidentally deep into hyper-focused, crazy-crafter, cannot-rest-until-it’s-done mode. I took all the pendants and charms off their chains, earring hooks, or bracelets. As I attached pieces to the bead strand, I tried to keep longer pendants toward the middle (hanging in the front of the necklace when I wear it). In my mind, the two larger earrings with metal fringe obviously needed to frame the tree pendant in front. Besides that, I tried to separate all the earring pairs. Instead of focusing on exact symmetry, I wanted more of an artsy mix with similar items sprinkled throughout. I placed the more stout charms around the ends/back of the necklace, to really give it a cohesive look. As I worked, I made sure to check that I liked how the pieces were dangling in each spot by holding it up the way it would lay around my neck.

I also composed little bundles that represent different parts of my life.

For instance, I paired the best friend pendant with the glass dolphin, because of my BFF’s love of dolphins. Next to it, I attached the pendant from that time in childhood that she and I tried to read “The Secret Garden” book together. We really wanted the matching key necklaces that came with the book. I don’t think we ever finished reading it! Girlhood priorities.

I attached the Holy Spirit/dove pendant from the necklace my Mom gave me on my Confirmation in 8th grade, to a small cross, a ring that says “War”, and a pearl teardrop earring (now symbolizing the beauty that comes out of life’s battles because I have hope through Jesus).

I bundled a heart with the purple and red beads that were in my husband’s boutonniere for our wedding. The beads represented our birthstones, which were also our wedding colors. I decided through this project that I could throw out the rest of the dried up boutonniere. It was floating around our home in different spots for seven YEARS!

When I wear this new necklace, I see a whole slew of memories attached to it:

  • Purple seashells my husband gave me after his summer in California while we were dating. He found them on the beach and thought I could make some pretty jewelry out of them. Isn’t that precious?! I hadn’t worn them in a long time, but now I will.
  • A glass spiral pendant from the time my sister and I took our brother to the Corning Museum of Glass for his birthday. Glasswork mesmerizes my brother, and it was a really fun sibling trip we took together in our teens/early twenties.

This project really cleaned up my jewelry box! It’s so refreshing. In the end, I pared down thirty-one necklaces (yikes!), six bracelets, and eight pairs of earrings. (At first I was afraid the new necklace might be too weird, and I know it would be too much for some people. But I like a little weird.) I now have this fun, bold, chunky, one-of-a-kind, BOHO Chic style necklace that I love to wear. That’s all that matters, right?!

If this has inspired you to make something new out of what you already own, I would love to hear about it and see a picture of your new creation!