Friday, November 15, 2013

America Recycles Day!

Today is America Recycles Day!

November 15

America Recycle Day

November 15 is America Recycles Day, an initiative of Keep America Beautiful. 
This national commemoration is the perfect opportunity to raise public awareness 
while encouraging action, because every person can make a difference. 
Click here for more information about how The Charm Hunter recycles and
re-purposes jewelry parts and pieces into new creations!

These beautiful bracelets were up-cycled from buttons, brads, vintage clip-on
earrings, and estate sale jewelry pieces.  YOU can up-cycle too!  Just take a
peek into your own jewelry box.  You're sure to find outdated, broken and lost
earring pairs that you can re-assemble into a new and fashionable wear.

Click here for many other jewelry recycling ideas!

Ten Ways To Save Money This Holiday Season

PS:  Check out #5 - Make (or purchase) handmade and DIY gifts

Beautiful Handmade Customs Gifts Can Be Found Here!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This Mess Is A Place

Recently discovered:  DFW treasure shops!

On a recent trip to the Dallas Fort Worth area, I went in search of treasure shops
not only in search of vintage jewelry, but other vintage finds on "my list".

Some places were complete dives in 'sketchy' neighborhoods, others had been 
completely shut down and replaced with new businesses, but I continued down my list of 
researched possibilities anyone, determined to find the type of shop I was searching for. 
 Although I LOVE antiques, stores labeled as "Antique Stores", are usually pricey and you 
can expect to pay top dollar.  That's why I like to sniff out the "in between" between a 
thrift store and an antique store; it's harder than you think!

Cornish Antiques & Collectibles

My first impression was skeptical, a tiny shop with metal bars covering every
window reminded me the likes of a liquor store as opposed to an antique store.

This sign on the front door warns newbys, be prepared!

            Oh my goodness, be prepared.  When I opened the door I was taken aback.  
It was hard to believe the amount of things, everything you could imagine, crammed into 
this small space. I think I spent two hours in there and I'm SURE I overlooked many things. 
 Let's just say that organization is not the owner's gift, however, her collection of treasures certainly is.  

Of course first on my list is always vintage jewelry pieces. OMG, I was in heaven.
Trays, and trays, and boxes, and piles of  jewelry.  Her counter was so cluttered with
piles of everything, she couldn't even get to all the trays in the glass counter, seriously.
Many pieces had 'lost' halves, which I grabbed without hesitation.  But she also had such 
an enormous amount of every type of jewelry, nice pieces, truly vintage and some real 
antiques. Let me just say, I scored many treasures here, jewelry and other finds.

Cornish Antiques has trays and trays of vintage jewelry!

 Talk about a kid in a candy store!  I got to know the owner after a couple of
hours with her.  Judy was a very sweet, older woman, obviously overwhelmed with all 
that she had.  I shared my jewelry making hobby with her and then she showed me her 
antique button collection with me!  WoW.  She had been collecting them for years and still 
could not part with them.  I told her I'd pay her a visit the next time I was in town and to 
bethinking of selling those buttons to me!

Cornish Antiques

4310 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76103

See what I've been up to with my newly found vintage treasures!

        What are your favorite treasure stores???   Please Share With Us!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Garage Sales Galore!

The ultimate source of found treasures...

Garage Sale, Moving Sale, Estate Sale, Swap Meet, Flea Market, whatever you want
 to call it, they're pretty much the same BUT they are definitely the place 
to find whatever item you may treasure!

Yes, I admit I can be regularly seen running into my local thrift stores for a brief scan of merchandise.  They're always there with set hours, conveniently located in select areas of other errands I'm running, 
which seemingly looks like a mad dash on my way to work.  (I am always amazed that I make it on time despite the maze of strategic stops made beforehand!).  However, I have new found excitement for garage sales that I must tell you about...

You see, I'm a night person.  My husband and I both work afternoons to late evenings.  By the time we get home, take a shower, have a snack and wind down, it's pretty late.  We are therefore not early morning people, which is when most garage sales begin........or at least you need to get there early to get the best picks.  This is why I've kind of given up on garage sales, that is until now.

In my own sleepy and small town, a neighbor told me about a garage sale down our street with some "good stuff".  I thought to myself I might take a look after returning from my cardio class, but I wasn't too excited and surely wasn't expecting much.  Boy was I wrong!

Ask and you shall receive...

I asked the lady if she had any costume jewelry...

 This "estate sale" literally had a bit of everything imaginable, which can be overwhelming when you see everything all at one time.  When I told the lady I was looking for costume jewelry and buttons, she said yes she had some but hadn't brought anything out yet because she wasn't quite sure what to do with it all.  (Hugh? I thought)  She brought out a Tupperware container type first and then she brought out her mother's wooden jewelry box, which was huge, like 2' wide!   I told her immediately I wanted to buy the jewelry box.  It was noticeably old and worn and in need of refinishing, but my goodness, the blue velvet lined drawers with skeleton key locks and ornate decorative trims on the top was something I could not pass up.

Ornate brass corners

Of course she said she already gone through everything and kept the pieces that she wanted, but I was taken aback at the size.  For a split second I thought to myself, "Is this a dream?"  Talk about a kid in a candy store!  I spent the next 20 minutes going through this "treasure chest" of goodies.  I admit I felt sort of guilty rummaging through her mother's jewelry; thinking how she might feel.  I sympathized with her recent loss; can't imagine what that must be like for her.

Brass Center Medallion 

Well, she was kind enough to take a "Bulk Price" for the selected jewelry, box, and other miscellaneous items.  I was ECSTATIC !    I have a new found mission to check out garage sales that I often pass on the road.  And who knows, maybe, just maybe I may find myself getting up early to seek out those treasures.

Take a peak at what I've been doing with my new found treasures here

Here's some tips for you:

Garage Sale Pricing Guide for Selling AND Buying!

Garage Sales in your area 

Happy Hunting! 

-Susan, aka The Charm Hunter

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What To Do With Broken Jewelry

What can you do with broken jewelry?

Save broken and mismatched jewelry

Recycle Old and Broken Bead Jewelry into New Re-purposed Creations

Whether you purchased your stash of broken, tangled or unwanted 
jewelry from a thrift store, inherited it from a relative or dug it out of 
your own jewelry box, finding a reuse idea can be a challenge.  
Here's some inspiration for you!   

Attach jewelry to candles
What a beautiful gift this makes!

                Why not look for vintage jewelry pieces that can be re-purposed                     into a new eco-friendly creation?


Glue jewelry to plain metal or wood napkin rings 
simply tie onto a new elastic hair band 

Dress up plain pillows into OOH-LA-LA pillows!   

                             Even Frames!

The possibilities are endless.  Need more inspiration?  Have you heard of Pinterest? If you haven't, you're missing out!  Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website. It's free to sign up and use.  Here you can search for "broken jewelry" and wa-lah, you will have photos of more projects and ideas than ever imagined.      Enjoy!

See my own recycled jewelry HERE
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Do YOU have some ideas to share?  

Please comment, post and share with us!

Until next time, keep charm hunting!                                  

-Susan, aka the Charm Hunter


Monday, September 2, 2013

Mahalo Alana of MidWeek for your write-up on One Charming Treasure

Mahalo Alana of MidWeek for your write-up on One Charming Treasure...

" Thank You! "

Preserving the past one charm at a time is what Susan Valle, owner and jewelry designer of One Charming Treasure, is devoted to.  In 2010, while on a family vacation, this Texas native stumbled upon what she refers to as the most beautiful hoop earrings, with dangling charms and blue stones, in a London boutique. In an effort to replicate this exquisite accessory, she began dabbling in charm jewelry-making and quickly took a liking to it. It wasn’t long before this hobby turned into a successful business venture.
“My business philosophy is about celebrating life and to always be grateful, while striving to create beautiful and meaningful treasures for others,” Valle says. “We live in a throwaway world, and I’m all about preserving the past. It’s about the keepers, the treasures, items with heart and soul. I love to make something new out of pieces of something old and discarded – reuse and repurpose items, whether it’s furniture, jewelry or photos.”
For Valle, who moved to the Islands in 1985, creating custom photo jewelry is just another way of saving and showcasing family history.
Working out of her home office, a loft studio on the North Shore, she lets her creativity run wild. The result? Custom photo charms in the form of pendants, bracelets and wind chimes, repurposed vintage and costume jewelry, as well as charm jewelry available through her online store. Prices range from $20 to $295.
“What makes my business unique is your photos, your family, your babies, your pets, your special occasions and milestones in life in the form of personalized jewelry and charm mementos,” she explains. “I create charm jewelry that represents that one moment in time that you want to remember forever!
“I studied the basics of jewelry making and soldering in Kansas City, but it’s an accumulation of workshops, courses and hands-on experience throughout the years that has helped me develop my own approach to jewelry design. For example, I’ve always loved photography, and that love has driven me to take PhotoShop courses, educate myself with a number of software editing programs and experiment with hundreds of printing products,” Valle says.
Currently, Valle is experimenting with a line of accessories that she hopes to launch by the end of the year, and she’s continually working on new designs and trying new products, always in search of the perfect vintage pieces to complete her final product.
“Through this journey, I’ve found that making charm jewelry combines everything that I love and already have a strong affection for – family, photography, scrapbooking, vintage jewelry and the thrill of hunting for flea market treasures.”
As an entrepreneur, Valle believes that dedication, time and patience are key.
“It’s not a race, but a journey of rediscovering your own creativity,” she says. “It’s finding something that not only brings you joy, but brings joy to others. If you don’t absolutely and passionately love it, don’t do it.”
For more information on One Charming Treasure, visit, or

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


photo by photo, charm by charm

         If a picture is worth a thousand words, then photo charms accompanied with small 
         mementos, are worth many more.  They can offer tangible links to the past, each 
        charm representing a meaningful event.  Charms can be photos, tickets, buttons, 
        fabric, words, and dates.  The owner has the chance to unfold a piece of their 
        lives to wear close to their heart and to share with others...

       Family history is always an engaging subject and ever popular for charm bracelets.  
       But even current topics, such as last year's vacation, a friend's successful battle, or 
       your very first marathon, are rich in material and possibilities.  Charm jewelry, after 
      all, provides a way to evoke moments past -- off of a facebook or instagram post 
      and on to a physical display.

     The following links are filled with ideas for arranging your findings.  I create charm 
     jewelry with distinct themes and moods, embellishments with a mix of handmade, 
     found items and store-bought flourishes.  But the best inspiration may come from
     the photographs and trinkets gathered by you -- and the story they combine to tell...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reuse and Recycle Broken Jewelry and Accessories

Don't Throw Out That Broken Jewelry!

Oh my gosh, DON'T!  Start a small bowl or jar, just as you do for your loose change.  
Start saving those lost half earrings, broken necklaces, stopped watches, and broken 
pearl strands,  even buttons! You can add pieces that are out of style or that you just 
don't care for anymore.   In no time you'll have a substantial 'stash' to work with.  What 
a perfect opportunity to begin collecting to make your very own charm bracelet.

The options are endless...whether you reuse pieces to create
new pieces or to have spare parts on hand to
repair your own broken jewelry

If arts and crafts is your thing, check out these bright ideas using jewelry parts and pieces:
Make a collage of pieces...

Who would've thought?
This makes such a beautiful mirror
for your vanity, bedroom or closet!
A Stunning Idea!

 Broken, unused and unwanted jewelry can be recycled into new items  

Bummer!  My favorite stretch
bracelet broke, but the actual
pieces are fine...
I just happened to have bought a cute pair of
new sandals.  I used a hot glue gun to glue the
broken pieces of my stretch bracelet to the centers!

Once you have a collection of pieces, you can begin adding them to a chain...

Begin adding pieces to a chain that
can later be turned into a
necklace or charm bracelet

    I think you get the idea.  The options and possibilities are endless, 
so start saving those spare jewelry parts and pieces!

                                  See other possibilities and ideas HERE

Thursday, June 20, 2013

History Matters...

Just read an interesting article, "History Matters" that validates why  I love 
what I do...creating family keepsakes and custom photo charms from the 
past AND the present.  The author shares his passion for historic preservation 
and why it's meaningful in all our lives.  I couldn't agree more.

Custom Family Photo Chimes

"History is about learning about our family, a 
concentrated effort to preserve our heritage."

Create instant heirlooms for all your loved ones with favorite family photos.

Preserve your heritage with custom photo charms

Custom Family Photo Charms

So whether you're a photographer, scrapbooker or jewelry maker,
start preserving YOUR family heritage!

Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY Button/Brad Jewelry...

make a lovely piece of jewelry this afternoon!

Who'd - a - thought?  Use fancy buttons to create beautiful jewelry...
That's right, you can use buttons, fancy or plain, to re-create your own jewelry.
You can find buttons just about anywhere, craft stores, fabric stores, online
or from your family's very own button collection.  You can also use those 
scrapbooking brads as long as they have openings to add jumprings to.

Just about any button will do, just add jumprings!
Once you've added jumprings to the sides of your buttons or brags,
attach them to beaded chains.  They can be rosary beads, pieces of a
broken beaded necklace, etc.  Experiment with bead colors and sizes.

Broken pieces of beaded chains are re-born when small
pieces are added to buttons or brads to make a new piece

                              I used broken beaded rosary chain links to attach to my fancy 
                                 buttons to re-create a new bracelet.  Add a toggle closure to ends.

Five small fancy buttons were used, plus ten 3/4" beaded chain pieces to create this beautiful bracelet

Don't limit buttons and brads to just bracelets.  Use the same technique for
creating necklaces, anklets, charms and pendants too!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

          DIY Vintage Style Initial Charms...

You can achieve this same "Vintage" look
with or without soldering
If you're not soldering, you can still achieve a similar look by using 
silver ball chain, and your own photo paper and printer.

Practice on regular paper then copy to a heavy
quality photo paper and cut to size
You can add seed beads OR rhinestone strands.
If you use seed beads, I recommend sticking
them in the tray first and then cover with a glaze.
Any glaze you use will appear
milky but will dry clear.  

If using the rhinestone strand, fill with glaze about 3/4 full,
then carefully lay the rhinestone strand around the perimeter
on top of the glaze.  The weight will cause the glaze and the
rhinestone strand to rise.  You can always add more glaze 
to the center to bring to desired height.  Pop any air bubbles
with a needle.

Now if you are soldering, follow steps above, but instead of
placing in a pendant tray, sandwich between glass, wrap with
copper tape and solder.  You can use your initial between
glass or other items, such as lace, a feather, a dried 
pressed flower or a lock of baby hair; the possibilities
are endless, but the end result is beautiful!

Please Like this on Facebook... I have a lots of ideas to 
offer and would love for you to keep connected!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring showers bring May flowers...

And who doesn't like roses?  I saw the most beautiful rose print pendant 
under glass on pinterest.  Have you heard of this photo idea sharing site?  
It's addicting, let me tell you, but it has an abundance of useful ideas.  
Some photos have links to additional information, others do not.  
The pendant I saw did not have a source or tutorial attached to it, 
but I figured out how to make my own and you can too! 

You can use salvaged chandelier pieces, buy individual crystals on etsy or purchase a set in your local craft store from Tim Holtz brand.

place prism over desired image to fit
I used a magazine image of a bouquet of roses
cut image to fit back side slightly smaller
than the prism itself; punch hole through
the image with a needle to meet the
hole already in your prism
paint adhesive on back of prism,
place paper image so the image
  shows through the front.                                                                                  

OK, pretty simple so far.  Once you've cut out your image to fit slightly smaller than your prism, 
glue to the underneath side. Usea needle to poke a hole through the paper to the hole already on 
your prism.  Coat another layer of glue to the back.  At this point you can glue another final cut 
out paper to the back side that will serve as your backside.  This can be script from a book, bible, 
magazine, song sheet or just pretty (or plain) patterned paper.  Thinner paper is easier to work 
with.  Follow the same procedure by adding a heavy coat of adhesive and punching a hole through.
The adhesive will dry clear, even though it goes on thick and milky.  (You may need to press down
some ends of the paper to help adhere)

meticulously wrap and trim in copper foil

This is where you can take your 
project to the next level.   The 
pendant is beautiful as is, but I    
L O V E   to solder.  Silver 
soldering not only adds value, 
but it's that hand made one-of-a-kind 
artisan look that  I'm looing for.
completely encase flat back

solder away!

beautiful shapes and sizes are available to experiment with

You can embellish with rhinestones as shown here and use a variety
of chains & necklaces to showcase your piece

                                                                       see other images here

For more custom gift ideas, like us on facebook where new ideas, 
products and inspiration added regularly.