Vintage Jewelry Making

Vintage Inspired Butterfly Necklace

  • Vintage jewelry making instructions for making your very own vintage inspired butterfly necklace. Using simple making bead jewelry techniques, this necklace making idea couldn't be easier!

    This vintage inspired sterling silver filigree butterfly pendant literally jumped out at me while I was wading my way through a Bali silver vendor stand at a wholesale bead show.

    What struck me most was the hollow part behind the filigree: there was potential there to design something that could discreetly shimmer and sparkle.

    I couldn't wait to get home to try out some jewelry making ideas!

  • vintage jewelry making
  • Inspired by Antique Pottery


    At home, I looked through my binder of design ideas and came across pictures of vintage Swedish pottery made by a company called Gustavsberg, and their line of vases and bowls using the Argenta process.

    Wilhem Kage was the man responsible for designing and introducing this Argenta series in 1930 through the Gustavsberg company. These distinctive pieces featured a turquoise-green glaze, with a sterling silver overlay depicting aquatic scenes such as fish, ships, and also botanical motifs.

  • Choosing a Color Palette


    The pictures of the vintage pottery showed signs of age, and some of the sterling silver had begun to tarnish beautifully into vintage shades of brown, bronze, and black.

    The Argenta pottery was my jumping off point for this vintage jewelry making idea. I decided to soften the color palette a bit, separating the turqoise blue into a softer baby blue and green by using amazonite and jade gemstone beads. I also decided to include a touch of smoky quartz to complement and highlight some antiqued Bali silver beads that I would be using to infuse the necklace with a sense of rhythm.

Jewelry Making Materials & Expenses


  • The jewelry making materials used in this vintage jewelry making idea are:

    • 1 Sterling silver filigree butterfly pendant: $8.00
    • 4 8mm Swarovski rounds in olivine AB: $2.32
    • 2 4mm Swarovski bicones in montana light: $.10
    • 14 3mm sterling silver balls: $2.10
    • 12 6mm Bali bead caps: $9.60
    • 4 4mm Bali silver beadcaps: @$2.00
    • 4 4 X 8mm Bali silver pincushion spacers: $3.20
    • 4 10mm Bali silver bead caps: $5.00
    • 4 12mm Bali bead caps: $6.00
    • 2 12 X 15mm Bali accent beads: $8.00
    • 1 Fancy sterling silver leaf hook clasp: $8.00

    Two Each of the following:

    • 10 X 18 faceted smoky quartz: $1.00
    • 6mm jade: $.60
    • 20 X 20 checkerboard cut amazonite $1.50
    • 10mm faceted smoky quartz $.50
    • 15 X 15 faceted "blue quartz" $.20
    • 10mm faceted jadeite $.40
    • 12 X 16 pillow cut smoky quartz $.80
    • 12 X 18 jadeite $.20
    • 5 X 10 faceted amazonite rondelle $.20

    Jewelry making tool: chain nose pliers and crimping pliers.

  • Create Your Own Vintage Inspired Masterpiece!


Vintage Jewelry Making Instructions


  • Vintage Jewelry Making 1

    Add Some Sparkle!

    For a little surprise, add a few 6mm Swarovski beads in the back of the filigree pendant.

  • Vintage Jewelry Making 2

    Transition from Pendant

    String a 4mm crystal bicone, followed by a 3mm sterling silver ball and then a 6 and 10mm Bali silver bead cap.

  • Vintage Jewelry Making 3

    Continue Stringing

    Using the Bali beads as the unifying constant, continue stringing your necklace, alternating colors and shapes.

  • Vintage Jewelry Making 4

    Finish the Necklace

    Once you've completed your stringing pattern as shown, lay out your necklace into a circular pattern and then attach the fancy leaf clasp with your crimping pliers.

    Pricing Jewelry for Maximum Profits


  • Well done, you've now finished the vintage jewelry making tutorial and are ready to figure out your pricing formulas. We've used higher end materials in this vintage inspired jewelry making tutorial, so the pricing should be interesting!

    We'll work out the pricing in two parts: wholesale price, THEN retail price.

    Cost of Materials


    Total cost of Jewelry Making Materials: $59.72

    Cost of Labor or Build Time


    Labor: 8 minutes @ $1 per minute = $8.00

    Total Labor: $8.00

    Wholesale Pricing Formula


    So using the wholesale pricing formula:

    1.15 X (Materials + Build Time + EDF + GP) + Profit  

    Wholesale Price =1.15 X ($59.72 + $8.00 + 0 + 0) + $6.00

    This necklace is already going to be pretty expensive since we used a lot of sterling silver, good thing it won't cost anything for emotional distress fee or genius pay!

    Our profit on this necklace is: $6.00.

    Wholesale price =: 1.15 X ($59.72) + $6.oo = $74.68

    Rounding up, the minimum wholesale price is $75.00

    Funny thing about this is that since I started my jewelry business, the price of silver has increased 600%!!!

    I used to wholesale this necklace for a little over half this price!

  • Retail Pricing Formula


    Retail prices will vary, depending on retailer. Here are some examples of the price points you would find this beaded necklace at in retail outlets:

    These are just some examples of the price points you would find this vintage inspired necklace at:

    At retail, this beaded necklace would go for: $150-$187.00

    Higher end retailers will sell for: $300-$375.00

    Yikes! Kinda steep!

    Finding the Right Price Point

    This necklace is still sellable at $150, but in today's economy, it might take a while! Good news is that there are some things we can do to bring down our costs a bit:

    • Wait til the silver market goes down a bit.
    • Buy your Bali silver and sterling silver by the KILO.
    • Don't use sterling silver in this necklace, maybe try some cast lead free pewter beads and spacers instead for almost the same vintage look.
    • Make your own clasp instead of buying one.


  • More Beaded Jewelry Making Ideas

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  • Business Tips & Techniques:



    jewelry making
    selling at craft fair
    selling handmade jewelry online
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      Jewelry Business Ideas

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