How To Start Making Your Own Jewelry
Making jewelry can be a fun hobby. It could be a chance to save money on jewelry while crafting items suited to your personal taste. You may even be able to craft jewelry to give to loved ones as gifts and possibly even turn your jewelry-making into a business (hand-crafted jewelry is very popular on sites like Etsy).
So just how do you get started making jewelry? This guide explains exactly what you need to start crafting your own bling.
Decide what type of jewelry you want to make
Jewelry comes in all forms from bead necklaces to pendant earrings. Decide what type of jewelry you want to start making - this will help you decide exactly which tools and materials you need.
Many people eventually end up branching out into different types of jewelry. However, it’s better to perfect one type of jewelry before going onto another.
Buy the right tools
In order to start crafting jewelry, you’ll need to invest in a few tools. Some of the basic tools you’re likely to need include:
Round nose pliers: When it comes to bending and shaping wire, these pliers are essential.
Flat nose pliers: Flat nose pliers will help with more fiddly wire bending tasks such as opening and closing jump rings.
Crimping pliers: These could be useful when working with crimp beads. They can also be useful when working with tubes.
Wire cutters: You’ll do a lot of wire cutting when making jewelry. A decent pair of wire cutters is therefore essential.
Hot melt glue gun/solder iron: For gluing tasks, it’s worth buying a glue gun and some hot melt glue sticks. A solder iron and solder could be an alternative option.
Bead reamer: These tools are round files that can help to enlarge holes within beads. Useful if you plan on doing lots of crafting with beads!
Tweezers: When using a glue gun or solder iron, having tweezers handy could be useful for picking up and positioning potentially hot components.
You can buy most of this kit pretty cheap. If you’re planning on making a business out of jewelry making, you may want to invest in slightly more premium tools - such tools are likely to be durable and better suited to heavy usage.
Shop for materials
Next, you need to consider which materials you need. This will depend entirely on what type of jewelry you’re making.
Wire, clasps and jump rings are some of the basic materials you’ll likely need. Wires come in various gauges - 20 is the best gauge for beginners. You may also want to look into necklace chains.
The fun part is choosing materials such as beads, gems, pendants. You may want to start off with basic materials like beads before moving onto expensive gemstones. This way, you’re not wasting precious materials on practice jewelry.
Having somewhere to keep all your materials is necessary. You can buy plastic jewelry organizers for this purpose - these storage units contain lots of small drawers and compartments for keeping various materials separate.
Develop your jewelry crafting skills
Some types of jewelry crafting can be very intricate and require a lot of learning and practice. You may want to start by watching tutorials on Youtube, picking up a jewelry crafting book or taking a course.
Some of the skills that you may want to learn include:
Wire wrapping: This involves working with wire. As a beginner you may want to start by learning to cut, bend and put on clasps. Eventually you may go on to learn more advanced wire wrapping techniques such as various weaves and decorative loops.
Beading: In its most basic form, this involves placing beads onto a wire in a pattern. However, beading can get a lot more complex than this - look into bead weaving to get an idea of just where you can go with it.
Fabricating: This can be a very complex form of jewelry making which may incorporate metalworking using soldering or embedding using glue. This could allow you to make intricate pendants, earrings and bracelets.
Engraving: Engraving could be another area of jewelry making to get into. This involves a specialist engraving tool.
Keep a budget
Jewelry making can get expensive - especially if you get a bug for buying gemstones or precious metals. Of course, it can also be a very cheap hobby if you don’t venture into this side of jewelry making. Either way, it’s good to set yourself a monthly budget when it comes to buying materials so that you don’t overspend. A budget could be particularly important if you eventually turn jewelry making into a business.