How to personalize antique lockets to tell your story.


I’ve been on the hunt for unusual and beautiful lockets in the last year, and have curated a stunning collection of Victorian lockets for FrenchGardenHouse that will capture your heart. I focused on finding lockets that can be modern, and styled with other pieces in your jewelry collection. There are so many ways to personalize a locket, I’m sharing how to personalize antique lockets to tell your story today


Each of these antique lockets is a miniature work of art.  I can’t wait to send these one-of-a-kind antique jewelry pieces off to their new owners, to be personalized and treasured.





LOCKET: A small ornamental piece of jewelry consisting of a little case, typically made of gold or silver, that’s worn on a necklace and opens to reveal something of sentimental value, such as a photograph, a lock of hair or another type of memento inside.



Named from the Old French loquet, “door-handle” or “latch,” for the way the covers move on a hinge and close securely, like a little door. In a world where everything seems public, lockets are a personal sanctuary to keep your most valuable photos and mementoes very private.






“The reason antique lockets are so special is because they were created for you carry around someone or something incredibly important to you close to your heart.  Lockets help you remember special celebrations, adventures, “firsts” and memorable travels. A locket is a piece of jewelry that represents your family like no other piece of jewelry can.” -Lidy Baars



Lockets cross all generations – young girls wear them with their favorite quote inside, moms wear tiny little photos of their babies in theirs, and grandmothers keep a treasured scrap of a love letter written to them.



There is really no limit to what can be put in a locket.  Lockets can be personalized to represent the people, times, and places we never want to forget.








To create a memorable, personal and one-of-a-kind statement necklace, these suggestions are just what you have been searching for!




How to personalize antique lockets to tell your story.



This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’m talking about more than the “perfect” photo here. It could be a slightly fuzzy photo you snapped on your phone, it may not be perfect. But if it is important to your heart, it’s the right one for your locket.

Photos are emotional, not logical. These days we’re all bombarded with images, snapped on our phone, we go through them and discard willy nilly.  But once in a while, a shot stops you in your tracks. It represents a moment in your history that you loved. A little snapshot of your heart and what matters to you. Print it out, and put it into your locket and you will be able to grab hold of that emotion whenever you look at it.

While we still can’t travel back in time, your small image of that time will instantly transport you back there. With all the feelings and joy of that day, week, or year.



Lockets aren’t just for photos. Fill your locket with a sweet note from someone you love.  Many times I find antique lockets with a tiny snippet of someone’s letter inside, from long ago. Worn close to the heart, these samples of writing {almost a lost art today!} of someone you love are so meaningful.

What other written things can you put in your locket? An inspiring quote you love. Lyrics from “your song.”  Your word for the year. Your list of goals that you want to accomplish this year. There is enough room for little scraps of paper in most lockets, so think what will fill your heart when you open your locket.



Many of our FrenchGardenHouse clients add other things to their lockets. A snip of baby fine hair. Sand, from the beach where they went on their honeymoon. A snippet of their wedding veil or a piece of lace from the dress.

A client wears two antique lockets she bought from us, each one holds a tiny, miniature print of her children’s handprints from when they were babies. How sweet is that? Another client makes small watercolor paintings of her fur babies for her lockets, so that they will remain near her heart even when they are no longer with her.



You can customize your locket on the outside too. I’ve often said that we are blessed, you and I, because we have the beautiful craftsmanship of Victorian jewelry, but none of the r u l e s.  You can add charms to the chain, one or many, to make your antique locket more modern.  This makes your locket completely personal, and a one-of-a-kind statement piece of jewelry.



Another easy way you can up your fashion quotient with your lockets is to layer them. Either together, or with other chains. You can change things up, wear one, two or three. This really makes your antique locket necklace look modern.


The fashion runways in Paris and Milan for Spring 2020 featured a strong take on vintage and antique jewelry, lockets featured in a big way!





There are so many ways to personalize your lockets.  Consider putting a photo of someone who brings you encouragement and strength in your locket. An attorney client puts special pictures of her family in her locket when she is facing difficult negotiations. She feels comforted wearing a symbol of what matters most to her and says it helps her focus on what is important and what is not.






You can change what you put in your locket!  Don’t think once you put the photo or note in there, it has to be forever.  Over the years I’ve changed up what is inside the antique lockets in my own jewelry collection.

Pictures of my girls as children, a photo of them and their husbands, pictures of friends who passed away. Quotes that meant something to me. The first little note my first grandchild wrote me {a printed out copy I shrunk into a small size.}

You can add memories of trips you take, a photo of your childhood home, whatever is meaningful to YOU. There are so many ways to tell your own story with an antique locket. As you change and evolve, so can what is inside your lockets!



Collecting Antique Lockets >

Collecting Heirloom Keepsake Jewelry >


You can see all the lockets we currently have available here >


13 thoughts on “How to personalize antique lockets to tell your story.”

  1. Lidy, what exquisite pieces! I have a rather large locket, a piece of mourning jewelry that I bought in Paris, with nothing in it. Thank you for the wonderful ideas of what to tuck inside.

    1. Vicky, I hope you find the perfect thing to put in your locket! It’s what makes lockets such a pleasure to wear, knowing they have a “secret” that you wear close to your heart. 🙂 That auto correct doesn’t like my name…I fixed it. Hope. Your day is gorgeous!

  2. Oops! Just reread my comment. I swear I typed Lidy NOT List. Darned autocorrect!

  3. Theresa R Keller

    Beautiful lockets, I love them all! I have a couple of old ones that were my Gmother’s and Mother’s, now i have to look and see if they have anything in them!

    I do wear them on occasion and always get compliments.

    Thank you Lidy, have a nice day!

  4. Theresa, how fortunate you are to have inherited your Grandmother’s and Mother’s lockets. I hope you find treasured photos in them!

  5. Such beautiful lockets! And styled so lovely!

    I have a funny story. My mom gave me one of her lockets. A gold heart with her monogram initials. She told me that her boyfriend years before she married my father gave it to her. I still have it and chuckle every time I see it. I display it with other hearts on a shelf. I tried to think what the age of it would be. This April 12th my mom would have been 102. So I am thinking this locket is 80 some years old!

    Thank you for the memories! Happy Friday to you!

  6. These are such beautiful pieces! I have one from my Great Aunt that I will always treasure. Thank you for sharing. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  7. I need to get my mother’s out and use it! It was gold plated, and I have wondered about replating it to bring it back to life. It would be 80 years old soon.

    I love how you have displayed them and I think layering them and added charms is a great idea.

  8. I have several lockets’s , being a dealer, but find it very hard to sell them because I
    love all of them! One in particular, an 18kt French mourning locket , late 1800’s
    or early 1900’s, I will hand it down to a special niece.

    1. That does sound like a very special locket, Helen! How wonderful that you will give it to your special niece as a rememberance.

  9. Stephanie Texeira

    I just purchased a heart shaped locket from the 1940s with the monogram of my soon to be married name. It seems like there’s a little lip for over the photos, but I’m afraid to try to lift it and break it. Is it something that would usually open? Or should the photo somehow be tucked under? Appreciate any help!

    1. Stephanie, congratulations! How exciting. I think you are speaking of the little metal “frame” – does it have a celluloid cover? You can carefully lift that up, I usually can wiggle it loose with the edge of my nail. Your photo goes underneath that, and that little frame should click right back into place.

    2. Stephanie, there are usually little metal “frames”over the photo parts. You can very carefully try to lift it up. Congratulations! xo

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