July 19, 2011

Silver Knife Necklace

A few months back Julia and I went with some friends to the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market for the first time.  WOW!  What an amazing place, I was totally overwhelmed. Everywhere you looked, stall after stall was all this amazing vintage stuff. At the time, Julia was looking for a vintage style dress for Prom, so she looked at a lot of clothes and shoes. I was interested in all of the vendors that had their own specialities, like kitchen kitch or buttons, old keys, western gear, furniture, so much stuff you have to go there several times to take it all in. I think I'm do for a return trip! I wish I had taken pictures I could show you, but I wasn't blogging back then and didn't think to take any. Its at the old Pasadena Rose Bowl which is historic in its own right.

Early in our adventure that day,  we found a guy who had all this really cool western stuff. One item that caught my eye was a necklace made from the handle of an old silver knife and a vintage key. Now I have already been collecting old knives at home already for a different project; so this really interested me as I could already figure out how he had made them.  I made a mental note of the idea, and then picked up some old keys at one of the other vendors we visited.

Many old knives have hollow handles, and when you cut them off a few inches from the bottom they become little silver vases!  You can add a pin back to them and they are wearable vases! I will post some of those another day, but today I will share with you my Silver Knife Necklace creative day.

I look for knives at consignment shops, estate sales and of course our favorite Goodwill. I look for ones with fat, thick bottoms, better chance of it being hollow inside that way. I also think that ones that are lighter in weight are more likely to be hollow than a heavier weight one. I look for a pretty design, but something with a sleek or simple line is great too, depends on your taste. The the two knives that Julia and I used for our necklace project turned out NOT to be hollow inside! What a bummer - I hadn't come across that before. Maybe they were older, or maybe it was a newer technology - not sure? But we were relieved that the material that they were filled with (one had black stuff, one had white chalky stuff) was easily removed with a little picking and proding. This was going to work for our necklace project because we only needed a small hole for the key - this would not work so good for the silver vase pin project. So make note - not all knives are hollow!

My husband puts the knives in a vice and just cuts them where I want them with a simple hacksaw.  Here, in this picture Julia and I have put the knife blades in my craft vice, and we are gluing the keys into the holes of the knives.  I found an old bracelet piece I wanted wrapped around the key base so I put that on first before sticking the key in the hole. Julia wanted to wrap some leather around hers so we glued them all down with E6000 and let them stay overnight in the vice to dry.

Here is my knife blade with key and jewelry ephemera attached.
I like it already !

Now to add some more ephemera! I went through my stash of estate sale finds and pulled out a small piece of handmade tatting along with some of the leather Juila used. To be able to attach the key to a chain you need some sort of jump ring. All I had on hand was some shiny silver ones and they didn't quite fit the bill with all the other old stuff, so I found a piece of an old earring that worked great.

And here is the finished necklace added to a chain we picked up at a rummage sale.
So cool and so very unique!

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