Transformable Jewelry

Design Idea DC3V Earrings

by Jamie Smedley, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

How can a piece of jewelry, during its life, be a bracelet and a necklace or a charm, a pendant or pair of earrings? Through transformation--that is, the ability to change, on command, the purpose and design function of a piece of jewelry. But the change is not permanent, like a Transformer toy that goes from being a car to a robot and back again. An example of transforming a necklace (or vice-versa) into a bracelet is shown here:
Transformable Jewelry

Transformable jewelry probably first occurred in ancient times when a woman presented a man with her ring as a show of affection. Too small to fit on his finger, he strung the ring on his necklace and the ring became a pendant.

Lately, transformables have been a huge element that many jewelry designers have adapted to. We all want the most bang for our buck. The demand from shoppers weighs heavily in the creation process for jewelry lines. Designs must accomplish astonishing feats by demonstrating double duty and delivering the nearly impossible ... the ability to be anything at any time. Transformation!

The creative mind is rewarded as designers strive to out-maneuver their competitors with inventive adaptations of jewelry styles that jump the line between bracelet and necklace, or pendant and charm, i.e. transformable jewelry, also known as chameleon jewelry. But don't forget to include the build-it-yourself capabilities of the large-hole bead phenomenon which can transform a mere bowl of coordinated beads and charms into the "bracelet of the day," or a necklace that matches an outfit in a 5-minute time span.

How Do You Create Transformable Jewelry?

While it is up to your own creative genius to scheme and design your signature innovations, let us help you by telling you a secret. This transformability is accomplished through the creative placement and combination of clasps and other extraordinary findings. The basic element for duality and interchangeability is the clasp--the almighty clasp.

A good design is made better for jewelry metamorphosis by careful selection of its closure. As with most things in life, closure is important and so it is with jewelry. Closures that coordinate can also be paired together. For instance, a toggle ring needs to be paired with a toggle bar--but a lobster claw clasp can also be compatible with a toggle ring! How about a lobster claw clasp on earrings that can then be converted into pendants or charms on a bracelet. Button toggles on earrings and bracelets create some interesting drama, while fishhook clasps can be linked together to create a sort of chain. Clip-on earring findings can be used to easily turn stretch bracelets into earrings.

Transformable Jewelry Transformable Jewelry

Transforming Necklace into Wrap Bracelet

If you plan for it, such as using a lobster claw clasp, a single-strand necklace can easily be transformed into a wrap bracelet (and the other way around, for example starting with a wrap bracelet with a snap closure or button). You may want to start with a necklace that's rather minimalist with small charms, no focal, no pendants for example, so it will comfortably wrap around the wrist. As you may know, the length of the necklace and the thickness of your stringing material (kumihimo braid versus chain, for example) will determine the number of wraps for the bracelet.

Transformable Jewelry

Ah, now some real innovation is percolating with the seed of an idea planted. There are more possibilities for transformable jewelry, so put on that thinking cap and innovate some creative "clasping" to set your design transformability apart from the pack!

Transformable Jewelry

Innovative Supplies: Additional Resources ...

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Transformable Jewelry," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"This article really gave me some great ideas. Thank you. With loving aloha,"
- Ina

"This article was informative and inspiring. Creatively planned, and well thought out."
- Gretchen

"This is an amazing item, I will start using these on my new designs."
- Azaria