Matching Best Friends Necklaces from Vintage Clip On Earrings

Matching Best Friends Necklaces from Vintage Clip On Earrings

When I was growing up, lots of little girls wore those matching Best Friends necklaces. They consisted of a single heart charm that was “cracked” in half, and each girl would wear one of the halves. Fast forward a few decades to today, where I decided to reinvent the idea of best friend necklaces for adults. And to do so, I’d convert a pair of vintage clip on earrings as the matching pendants!

Vintage clip on earrings

There are SO many of these floating around in a world full of pierced ears. And to create a set of matching necklaces, my plan was to convert a pair of vintage clip on earrings into necklace pendants.

Make sense?

Backs of vintage clip on earrings

I gathered a few pairs of vintage earrings and my jewelry making supplies. With gorgeous Spring weather leading up to Mother’s Day, it seemed like the perfect time to sit on my back porch and make some friendship jewelry.

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Converting Vintage Clip On Earrings to Necklaces

The first thing I needed to do was convert the vintage earrings into necklace pendants. This process will vary from earring to earring, but I started with the pink earrings because they seemed easiest to work with. 

A special shout-out to Pink Dogwood Jewelry for supplying me with vintage clip on earrings to work with! You can also always find them on Etsy, as well.

First, using jewelry pliersI carefully bent the clip on the back up, making it easy to snip off. 

Converting a clip on earring

Next, I snipped off the clip as close to the earring as I could using wire cutters.

I then used the flat tip of the wire cutters to bend the remaining clip portion down, until it was flush with the earring.

Converting a vintage clip on earring to a necklace

Of course, I did it to both earrings so that I could make a pair of matching best friends necklaces…

Making a mother and daughter necklace set from clip on earrings

If the metal edges are rough, you could either add a smooth dollop of hot glue to the back or glue a small round of felt to the area.

Next, it was time to move onto converting them into actual necklaces with chain!

Matching Best Friends Necklaces

With the vintage clip on earrings that I worked with, adding chain would be easy, as they’re on a filigree base.

Again, this will vary from earring to earring. If you used cluster earrings, you would likely need to glue them to pendant blanks like these.

But instead of just attaching regular chain to my vintage earrings, I decided to add a few pops of color by making some beaded chain first! I used glass beads and eye pins, both of which came from a craft store.

Adding chain to matching sister necklaces

And making a beaded chain is easy. You’re basically just adding loops to a bead so that it can connect to chain on either end.

First, I slipped a bead onto an eye pin.

How to make a beaded chain

Then, I used my wire cutters to clip off excess pin and my round pliers to carefully curve the pin into another loop.

They’re easy to make once you get the hang of it…and it’s OK to sacrifice a few eye pins as you practice! 

Beaded chain for matching best friends necklaces

While this was a TOTALLY optional step, I thought it was worth the effort to add a little more “extra” to my friendship necklaces.

Vintage clip on earrings as friendship necklaces for 2

When all was said and done, I clipped off matching lengths of chain, inserted the beaded chain that I had made, and was nearly done!

Best friend necklaces for adults

Vintage Clip On Earrings as Pendants for Matching Necklaces

I ended up making three sets of matching best friends necklaces from three pairs of vintage clip on earrings.

Converting vintage earrings into a mother and daughter necklace set

As you can see, Cottonball decided to help me finish them up.

Adding clasps to mom and daughter necklaces

And if you’re wondering, yes…I’ll be sharing one of these necklace pairs with my mom.

Matching sister necklaces from vintage clip on earrings

Hope she doesn’t mind seeing her Mother’s Day gift a little early this year!

Matching Best Friends Necklaces from Vintage Clip On Earrings

Upcycling a pair of vintage clip on earrings into “hers and hers” necklaces is perfect for best friends, moms & daughters, aunts & nieces…you name it!

Matching best friends necklaces from vintage clip on earrings

Wouldn’t it be extra special if you were able to use a pair of your grandmother’s (or mother’s) vintage earrings, too?

Best friend necklaces for adults from vintage clip on earrings

I always like to wear one-of-a-kind jewelry, but I’ll make an exception this time around…because these are truly “two-of-a-kind” jewelry!

And if you love unique jewelry, please check out this collection of upcycled jewelry ideas here for even more inspiration!

upcycled jewelry

 Before I go, allow me to give a quick note of thanks to my good friends who modeled the BFF necklaces for me – Maliasmark and Carla Sue Vintage/Kate DiNatale Vintage

Craft on!


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Upcycling vintage earrings to make the matching best friends necklaces

Repurposing old jewelry into matching best friends necklaces

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Karen Benitez says

    Adorable Sarah!!

  2. Pretty!! I collect vintage clip ons to actually wear as I do not have pierced ears. There are more of us out there than you might think.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Mine aren’t pierced, either, but I only wear vintage screwbacks! I’m weird, I guess, but I just can’t stand actual clip earrings…but I have a glorious collection of dangly screwbacks.

  3. Sarah, what a sweet and special gift for you and your Mom to enjoy! You created such pretty necklaces and I really love all the different chains (I clicked over to the ETSY shop) each one is gorgeous!

  4. Love the jewelry but Cottonball steals the show! He’s gorgeous!

  5. Amy Castor says

    Such a cute idea! Definitely have to try this for Mother’s Day, this year.
    I think your light blue cameo set are my fav!!

  6. Love this idea. I have made bracelets for my sisters from jewelry that was my Mom’s. They are treasured pieces. Yes, I have to do this.

  7. Oh my gosh you are a jewelry maker too? These are gorgeous! I especially love the pink ones 🙂

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hahaha! It’s the first jewelry project I’ve made in over a year, but there have been several since I started my blog. 😉 Thank you!

  8. Janet Brennan says

    I love this idea! Vinttage broaches could be used this way also.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      They could if you wanted just one necklace – I own several like that! The earrings as a “bonded set” just take it up a notch to share with someone special. 🙂

  9. Really cute idea and not super hard to do. Thanks so much!

  10. I think my daughter would love this. So cute!

  11. What a great idea. I have often bypassed clip-ons as I love my pieced earrings. I am experimenting a bit more with simple jewelry making and really enjoying it. Another thing to add to my “look for” list!

  12. These are so stinkin cute! Would be perfect for my granddaughters! <3

  13. Hi. Any suggestions what I could do with vintage clip ons that don’t have filigree? They’re basically solid brass round shaped clip ons and would make stunning pendants if I could find a way to do it! Thanks!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Absolutely! You can buy pendant blanks at craft stores or on Amazon and simply glue the earrings to them (with super glue, after cutting off the clip portion)!

  14. Finally! Something to do with my grandmother’s clip on earrings. How special. Thank you.

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