Upcycle a Vintage Filigree Locket

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with an old filigree locket or other jewelry piece, here is a little inspiration! Recently, one of my customers wrote to ask if I had ever made a beaded locket before. I had not, but was intrigued by the idea. My customer wanted a ‘mourning’ locket which featured a beaded portrait of her beloved pet Papillon named Star. Star had passed away as a result of bladder surgery. The locket was meant to hold a lock of her dog’s hair.

At the time, my customer did not have a locket in hand, but after an lengthy search (and a bit of trial and error) we found a vintage one which would work on Etsy. So, I cut out a piece of beading foundation roughly the same diameter as the locket. Then, I created a felt foundation in the shape of the dog’s head which I stitched to the beading foundation. Using size 15 Japanese seed beads, I carefully beaded a tiny portrait in black, gray, and white. I also stitched on a tiny star-shaped stone bead just below her nose. After I completed the first layer of beadwork (above), I added a second layer of beaded fringe to accentuate her beautiful hair (below).

After I completed the portrait, I peyote- stitched a silver and gray frame around the beadwork. This extended beyond the edge of the beading foundation and added some visual interest to the piece.


Once everything was complete, I opened the locket and carefully stitched my beadwork to the front of the piece. This took a bit of time and very tiny stitches in between the rows off beads. I stitched around the inside of the locket a few times to ensure that the piece was secure. Below, you can see – the stitches are barely visible!


I hope this unique bead embroidery piece will provide some comfort to my customer as she remembers her dog for many years to come. I think it will also be quite a conversation piece! What do you think? 🙂


Custom orders are always fun and challenging. If you have an idea for a custom bead- embroidered piece, please send me an email using the Contact form above or message me via Etsy. Due to another travel adventure, all Ready-to-Ship items purchased in my Etsy shop between Feb. 2 – Feb. 14, 2018 will ship out no later than Feb. 16, 2018. Most Made to Order items will ship according to production time stated in listing. All PDF beading patterns (English & Spanish language) will be 15% off Feb. 3 – Feb. 18, 2018 only. Thanks for looking! 🙂