I love garage sales because not only does the true bargain shopper in me get to live a little but also because you can find really great treasures that just need a little love. This weekend we found a lot of great finds but the best one was three tarnished dirty brass bracelets for $5. I know how to clean brass using a simple kitchen item so I knew that for only $5 and a trip to my refrigerator, I could transform the bracelets into something wonderful.
Here’s the bracelets before I cleaned them. They were large and heavy. I tested them to see if they were real brass by trying to get a magnet to stick to them. If the magnet would have stuck than they would have been brass plated and could only be cleaned with soap and water to protect the delicate brass plating. If they were brass plated it would have been easiest just to paint them. But the magnet didn’t stick so it told me that they were in fact pure brass and had a ton of potential.
So how do you clean brass? You simply need Ketchup.
Simply dab a small amount of ketchup on a rag until the rag is damp but not saturated in ketchup. Then you slowly buff the brass in circles. As you work at it the brass will slowly start coming to life and bcome shiny again.
If you use too much ketchup it will actually take longer. In this case, less is more!
I just sat down and watched two episodes of House Hunters while I rubbed and buffed each bracelet until they were shiney and lovely again.
Now they are pretty with lots of great character. I think I’ll let Mr. Byrd count this as his jewelry purchase for me for this year. Yes, they were only $5 and technically I bought them but it was with the money he makes and to be honest, cheap makes me happy.
So the next time you see something that looks a little grungy at a garage sale take the time to stop and think if you can bring it back to life again. It’s the same thing that Mr. Byrd does every morning when I roll out of bed. He stops and thinks about how he can bring me back to life. It usually involves coffee and a hairbrush.
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Want to make your own jewelry? Check out this DIY for making your own glitter necklace.