Jewelry making is an activity that you can enjoy regardless of your age, ability or status. Making necklaces, bracelets, or earrings from scratch is a very rewarding experience as you can get to wear your own pieces, share them as gifts, or sell them to help you make extra income. For beginners, consider the corresponding items.
1. Get acquainted with the materials and supplies needed for your project. There are tons of tools you can use but a few essentials are the following:
- Beads. You can create customized necklaces, earrings, and bracelets using a variety of beads that come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes. The popular types used for jewelry are stone beads, pony beads, bugle beads, seed beads, and spacer beads. Other types are glass, bone, metal, pearls, clay, shell, etc.
- Clasps. Examples are hook and loop that can be made by hand using wire, toggle clasp which is simple and elegant – ideal for thick necklaces, barrel clasp which is simple but attractive on bracelets and anklets, lobster claw which is secure and easy to use and to be paired with a split ring or jump ring on the other side, and spring ring which is the classic and inexpensive kind.
- Strings. To string your beads onto, you need materials like wire, nylon, silk thread, monofilament, silamide, elastic cord, waxed linen cord, leather cord, etc. Wire is popular for bending your jewelry into shapes or making loops and bangles. It comes in different sizes, shapes, and degrees of hardness and softness. The most commonly used shape is round, half round is typically used for wrapping around other pieces of wire to connect them, and square is used for many wrapping projects and neat for making bangle bracelets. Use a stringing medium according to what is suitable to your type of jewelry.
- Rings and pins. Examples are jump rings, split rings, headpins, eye pins, bead tips, and ear wires among others. These are used to connect different parts or pieces of your jewelry.
- Other materials. Essential to jewelry making are pliers such as chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors, hemp, bead board, jig board, polymer clay, glue, and containers. There are many other materials you can use depending on the requirements of your jewelry project.
2. Go easy on your first project. Whether you are making a bracelet, necklace, or a pair of earrings, choose simple patterns and designs unless you want to challenge your creativity on your first attempt. A great and inexpensive idea would be to find free jewelry making tutorials on the Internet. A lot of tips for starters are available on the web to help you with the basics, from choosing the appropriate colors and sizes of your materials, using the appropriate tools, stringing or clamping your pieces together, to finishing your project.
3. Take classes for jewelry making techniques. This is if you want to make a serious hobby or business out of making jewelry. Get information from your local community or public school system on craft making courses particularly jewelry making classes. The Internet also has a host of resources for this.
If you have an eye for design, you only need to learn the basics such as how to properly use the jewelry making tools and you are free to practice your own ingenuity.