Making your own jewelry is a fun, satisfying hobby. If you’re serious about it, and get good at it, you can even sell your wares at shows and boutiques. But what are the items you need to start such a venture? It’s actually easier than you might think.
Michaels, JoAnne’s, Hobby Lobby, any fairly large craft store will have the necessary products for at least rudimentary jewelry making. Look toward catalogs from Fire Mountain Gems and Rio Grande for more substantial, impressive gems and materials.
Designer Handmade Jewelry: String Me Along
You’ll need various stringing materials such as beading wire, braided thread, elastic cord, fiber cord, leather cord, nylon thread, silk thread, satin cord, etc. The stringing material you purchase is directly related to what type of jewelry craft you are designing. Pearls generally are strung on silk or nylon thread, heftier, southwestern styles are strung with leather cording. Overall, for general uses the beading wire will do just fine, and you’ll find beading wire at the giant chain craft stores.
Some extras to purchase for the cording are waxes and conditioners, and these are to help keep the more fragile strings from fraying and unintentionally knotting.
Designer Handmade Jewelry: Show Me Your Tools
There are a number of tools that make creating jewelry easier. Items such as anvils and bench blocks, crimping pliers (essential), chain nose pliers, files, flat nose pliers, hammers, jigs (for creating quirky patterns) and mallets will all allow you to bend, snip, twist, and tighten your beading wire. You might even find some of these tools in the garage or in the tool box!
Sometimes these items can be purchased as a set, which makes it easier on the pocketbook if you intended to buy them all anyway. It is best to talk with an experienced jewelry maker to ask them what you will need for the specific designs you wish to create.
Designer Handmade Jewelry: Beads are Us
Beads are the stuffer in the stockings, they are the frosting on the cake, beads are certainly not the only item in your creation, but they may just be the most important. They will be what makes the impact of your creative statement. So what sort of beads are best to buy? All kinds. Fire Mountain Gems offers customers a “Grab Bag” for just a few dollars. This Grab Bag contains items that are basically, thrown in there and you, the customer, don’t know what’s there before you open it. It’s like unwrapping a favorite gift, and because of the hodgepodge, you will likely come across a bead or pendant to use that you never thought of using before.
Beads come in all different sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and densities. They are created all over the world and in some cultures, are used as barter, something very much like money.
Types of Beads include:
– Glass beads
– Pony beads
– Bugle beads
– Seed beads
Gemstones that can be created into beads include:
– Swarovski crystals
These are just a very small sampling of the enormous number of beads available on the market. There are also metal beads, porcelain beads, and beads that are made of nuts from a tree. Practically anything at all can be made into a bead by drilling a hole through it.
The vast number of materials available for making designer handmade jewelry makes it one of the most fun hobbies around. After you get the hang of seeing a vision in your mind and then admiring the creation around your neck a couple times, you’ll be hooked.