Monday, July 17, 2017

DIY: A Civil War Brooch Under $5

I've been asked on more than one occasion to make a stone brooch. Here I am, fiddling with 10,000 beads or making odd concoctions from a period magazine. In my career as an 1860s "jeweler", I find myself more drawn to complex, challenging pieces. Something with a bit of research that makes me go-aha! I get bored with doing the same thing over and over again, which is why much of my jewelry is a one-time thing (unless I get repeat requests, like with the crosses or basic drop earrings).

With that said, I would like to share the information on how to make one. I've promised at least one person this post, and with summer vacation here I can finally sit down and do it! It is very simple, and I have to say not challenging. Which is why they haven't made it to my shop. So here's a quick post on a DIY brooch that would be appropriate for Civil War reenacting for under $5. *Disclaimer: You will spend more than $5, but the total cost for each brooch will be inexpensive because you buy things in bulk!

Step 1: Buy Stuff

Stones to Use (they come in different sizes!)
Click on links to find them online!
-Black/Green/Red Agate
-And more! (feel free to ask

*Note: Some of these stones will tip you over $5. But seriously, not that much

(Just match in size to the stone) 
Gold was most popular!
Definitely under $1

A bit over $1 a piece

$5 for a pack of 50

E 6000 tubes last forever
You can also find this at any craft store

Step 2: Glue it together
Dab a bit of E6000 glue on there, and push in the stone. It is not a permanent glue (I have repaired several costume pieces from other jewelers like this over the years), but it should hold fairly well. After it dries, glue the pin to the back. Let it dry again.

Step 3:.....Finished!
And there you have it friends! How to make a stone brooch! You will definitely have materials left over! And take care not to glue another bead or setting atop this stone-not only will it probably fall off, but I've yet to see substantial documentation for this method. *It has been brought to my attention that there is a period method where they wire jewelry through the stone. If you can do that, have at it! Otherwise, you're looking at something falling off the top of your stone, unless you sand it down...

Here's a few components I have sitting in my shop; it's funny how I'll spend weeks figuring out a project, and a simple glue won't get done!

Well, I hope I've been able to help you get a brooch on a budget! These things are so inexpensive/little time/no skill to make that I feel almost wrong putting them in my shop.

Good luck, happy jewelry making! And look forward to a very crazy beading post coming ahead!



  1. Awesome! Thank you for sharing Kristen! This would be a fun project to do with some friends :)
    ~ Jamie

    1. Hey Jamie! If you need more information or links, let me know! I'm sort of a maverick at googling the correct jewelry terms!



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