A Remembrance Tree – Or What to Do with 855 Pieces of Costume Jewelry!

Chirped by Cass

3-Trees-Complete

The three trees completed

So first I want to start out by saying my mom loved Christmas…everything about Christmas.  The second thing I want to state is my mom had a lot, I mean a lot of earrings and jewelry.  And a combination of those two things is how I came up with this craft for Christmas and remembrance.

My mom was a collector of things.  She had a collection of Longaberger baskets, Boyd’s bears, clothes, jewelry, etc.  If she liked and enjoyed something, she bought it.  When she passed 6 years ago, my dad and I had the task of cleaning out her closets… yes closets (she had 3 filled with clothes).  Some we donated, some I gave to friends and family, but most were taken to consignment shops.  She also had a large collection of jewelry which included several jewelry boxes of clip-on earrings.  The consignment shops wouldn’t take the earrings and everyone I knew had pierced ears. The owner at one of the shops said she does have people ask for clip-on earrings for craft purposes.

Pinterest-Tree

Pinterest Tree Idea

So I started to research what you could make with those kind of earrings. While browsing Pinterest, I found this picture of a foam Christmas tree decorated with clip-on earrings… how perfect! My mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas and what better way to use her earrings than to decorate a Christmas tree.

I was on the hunt for a tree, not too big or small, and one the earrings could adorn.  I liked the look of the one I found on Pinterest, but I wanted a tree that was a bit more natural, to have a little rustic with the bling.  So I scoured the internet and found these grapevine trees by The Grapevine Store and ordered them.

I was very pleased when they came in because the grapevine was quite dense and I wouldn’t have huge gaps between branches and earrings.  Of course I had to attach a few to see how it looked.

Lights-inside

Putting craft lights inside the tree

I also picked up little LED light strands and tried wrapping them around the tree, to add a little light to the display. After thinking it through, I decided to switch to a string of craft lights and put them on the inside of the tree… that way if the lights stopped working, they could be easily removed and replaced.

Star-topperStrolling through the craft store to buy more hot glue sticks and the craft lights, I found the perfect size stars to put on the tops of the trees to finish them off.

Next was the task of dividing up all the earrings for the three trees. I forgot to mention -I’m making trees as well for my brother and sister… Luckily, my  mom was very organized in her collection and she had all the earrings sorted by color.  It was very easy to go through each bag… one for you… one for you and one for me.  She also had several pins that I divided between the three trees as well.

After dividing up the jewelry, I had three plates with a colorful assortment of all different colors, shapes, and styles of earrings and pins, ready to be re-purposed.

Tina joined me for a few afternoons to decorate the trees. We broke out the hot glue guns and got to work. I had some lazy Susans that we placed the trees on so we could easily spin the trees while attaching the jewelry.

Like I said, my mom had a lot of jewelry and she also had a large assortment of necklaces and bracelets.  So we sorted through them and selected ones that we could wrap around the trees like garland.  We attached them together and hot glued them to the branches.

Then we started clipping and securing the earrings and pins with a dab of hot glue to the grapevine trees.  About 855 pieces of jewelry later… yes, that’s not a typo… all three trees were complete.

Finally, to finish off the project, I had found a picture of my mom at Christmas opening up a gift, which happened to be a necklace I had given her. I bought three frames, got the photo reprinted for my brother, sister and myself, and added a remembrance.

Tree-in-Window

I placed my tree on a table in my front window.  I love how the sun makes the jewelry sparkle in the middle of the day and I love how the tree lights up at night.  Each time the tree catches my eye, I think of my mom and remember…

4 thoughts on “A Remembrance Tree – Or What to Do with 855 Pieces of Costume Jewelry!

  1. Hi Cass! OMG! I have a collection of pins, and the other day I told Kevin that I was going to buy a small tree and decorate it with my Christmas pins! How IRONIC that I came across your posts today. Lol! Beautiful idea Cass! What a lovely memory of your mother.

  2. You are the most creative person I know. I am so happy to call you one of my closet friends. I wish I had this idea when my grandmother passed away 15 years ago. She had hundreds of clip on earrings as well. What an amazing remembrance of your mother to enjoy year after year. Love you, friend.

  3. What a wonderful idea! This may work with all the odd earnings and broken jewelry I have! Thanks for sharing. The trees are beautiful.

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