Bad things can happen to good jewelry. Necklaces get tangled together. Clasps break. Pendants and earrings come off of their loops and hooks. And let's be honest; jewelry gets neglected and abused sometimes.  If you have a pile of tangled, broken jewelry that needs repairing; bust it out and let's get to work.

how to untangle chains using olive oil.jpg


If you're fond of cute jewelry bowls and boxes, chances are you have a pile of tangled and knotted up chains and necklaces. When searching for your go-to piece in these jewelry holders, it's easy for things to get messy. Here are a few tips to help work through the jewelry box chaos. 

1. Get out your pile of tangled or knotted up jewelry and put it in a dish, bowl or the palm of your hand and pour a small amount of oil over it. Use olive oil, coconut oil or any cooking oil. Rub the chains gently to loosen the knots. 
2. Lay the necklaces and chains out on a towel and grab a sewing needle or safety pin. Use the needle or pin to loosen tight knots and separate chains.
3. Using a magnifier or reading glasses can help you to closely inspect and work through the knots.
4. Be patient. I have spent more time than I'd like to admit untangling chains and the most important thing to do is remain calm. Right when you just want to hurdle the necklace across the room; take a deep breath and refocus. You can do it. 
5. Make sure to rinse the oil off your pieces with water and dry on a paper towel.
6. To avoid future tangles, find a hook to hang all of your necklaces from. Reserve the jewelry dishes for rings and stud earrings. 


A lot of jewelry repairs can be done at home, with the purchase of some super handy tools and a strong DIY spirit. Head to your local craft / jewelry beading store on a rainy day and tackle that pile of broken jewelry you've had on your dresser for months.

1. One of the most common jewelry repairs is fixing a jump ring that breaks or separates.  Jump rings attach clasps to necklaces, earrings to hooks and so on. Buy yourself a pliers kit, some coordinating jump rings and reattach your clasp, chain or pendant. If you're unsure of how to use your pliers, there are lots of cheesy how-to videos online. I'll spare you the links and leave this up to your own discretion. 
2. Once you get the hang of using your pliers and jump rings, you can turn your lone dangle earrings into pendants or make your own charm bracelets and necklaces with random jewelry parts. You're making jewelry now!
3. For costume jewelry; use craft glue or super glue to reattach loose rhinestones and inlay. 
4. Head to the thrift store! If you're in need of a replacement chain, ear hooks, clasps, etc.. you can find a bevy of replacement parts for cheap. 
5. Contact a local jeweler. Not everyone is interested or has the time to tackle their pile of broken jewelry. Understood. A lot of jewelry designers will repair jewelry for a nominal fee or for free, depending on their policy. 

Lauren Neal