Creative use of old foil-backed glass stones

I have a whole lot of little paper packets of old foil-backed
faceted glass stones. There are various colors sizes, probably
somewhere in the 2-5mm range. I also have many baggies of little
various colored glass stones (I think in “birthstone” colors) in
settings that were apparently meant to be screwed onto something.
Anyone have creative ideas of how these can be used nowadays, other
than replacing ones that have fallen out of old pieces? For several
years now these two little boxes of packets have been sitting on one
bench or another down here, not really having a home, and they really
need to find either a purpose or another home. They were my
grandfather’s and/or great-grandfather’s, I found them in an old
workbench, and I’d like to use at least some of them in something if
it makes sense, rather than just get rid of them. Thanks for any help
or inspiration y’all can provide!

Designs by Lisa Gallagher

Hello Lisa,

Should you decide to give away or sell your Grandfather’s old
stones, I would like to purchase them.

I refurbish vintage jewelry for local patrons.

I also create jewelry using sterling silver but because of the
economy I am filling a need and keeping busy. Let me know what you
decide and I will send you my address.

Best Regards,
Veva Bailey

Vintage is really HOT now. I would encourage you to explore the
settings, filigree available you can wrap with. You can also remove
the gold backing with vinegar and/or alcohol if you do not want to
have that. My site is on etsy and you can see some of the
mountings/glass I have. Having been in yourfamily makes it even more

There are a lot of raw brass out there and you could doing some
simple soldering or glue any are standard sizes.

Hello Lisa,

I’d love to see them mounted, with plain silver bezels, on
relatively dark-colored thick background materials, such as ebony or
copper. Alternatively, the background can be a lattice-like light
structure (in silver perhaps?), with randomly scattered bezels or
other structures to set stones.

Would make a nice mirror frame with those, for example? I’m sure
there will be a plenty of other great ideas, too :-).


I also have quite a collection of vintage glass pieces that I’d like
to use. Some of them have already lost their foil backing. On some of
them, the backing seems to be peeling off like paint. Is there a way
to restore/replace the backing?