Creating your own unique jewelry pieces is an easy hobby to pick up. Like anything, all it takes is a little investment of time and cash. Once you have the right equipment, you’ll be on your way to making cool statement pieces.
Making your own jewelry is the perfect way to ensure you always have entirely unique necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings. Plus, if you get good at it, you can create special gifts for friends and family, or even turn your hobby into a business.
Rather than investing in those little kits that all come with the same stuff, the list below features some of the necessary basics to start making stuff you dream up. Of course, there’s also a book thrown into the mix so you can learn and be inspired.
So, here’s everything you need to get started on your new hobby of creating awesome jewelry.
Table of Contents
Bending, Clipping, and Twisting Tools
Your jewelry tool kit will be one of the most used things you purchase. Not only will you use these items to make your jewelry, but they come in handy for repairs—even on your storebought jewelry pieces.
You don’t have to spend a ton to get a good set of jewelry-making tools that will last a while. This eight-piece tool kit has everything you need to get going with jewelry making, and it comes in a nice storage case that will help protect your tools. Among the must-have items in this kit, you get all the styles of pliers needed, cutters, a beading awl, a bead shovel, and tweezers.
Each different plier has a purpose—like crimping pliers can smoosh down crimps that help hold things in place on different jewelry creations. The bead awl will help you widen holes on beads and create holes if you’re making your own clay beads.
A Beading Board
If you’ve ever done any crafting with beads, you know they can quickly get away from you and make an annoying mess. A beading board not only helps you keep your beads under control, but also gives you a place to plan out your creations. This will ensure you get the lengths of necklaces and bracelets you want.
This beading board comes with a lid, making it great to take on the go as well. You don’t have to leave your jewelry projects at home when traveling for work or vacation.
While much of the work done to create jewelry happens by stringing stuff together with beading and jewelry wire, there are times when jewelry glue will come in handy.
If you’re gluing fobs onto a stone to make it a pendant or gluing gems into rings and bracelets, the E6000 Jewelry and Bead Glue is the best choice.
When it comes to stringing together necklaces and bracelets, there are a few different options out there. There are plastic strings, much like the fishing string used on reels, stretchy plastic lines used for stretchy bracelets, and wire. The wire is by far the sturdiest and most versatile option.
The gauge of wire you chose depends on several factors, including the size of the holes in the beads, or if you’re using the wire to wrap stones or other items. Thicker wire that’ll stay in place when it’s bent is a must for wire wrapping. You’ll want the thinner, more flexible stuff for necklaces and bracelets.
Beadalon is a great brand of jewelry crafting wire. This size works well for most general purposes, such as making statement necklaces and beaded bracelets.
Hooks, Jump Rings, and Crimps
Before you can wear your homemade jewelry out and about, you’re going to have to put it all together with crimps, hooks, clasps, jump rings, earring hooks and posts, and ring settings.
Crimps keep beading wire attached to your chosen clasps, while jump rings allow you to hook beautiful pendants to your beaded bracelets and necklaces.
You can buy all of these separately in packs of dozens or more. To get started, though, it’s easier to grab a collection with a little bit of everything, like this one from PAXCOO.
There are all sorts and types of beads out there. You can buy plastic, glass, metal, natural stone, and so much more. Then, there are also tons of charms and pendants you can buy or make. If you don’t already know, experiment to find out which kind you like best.
Along with your charms, pendants, and beads, you’ll need some spacer beads. These also come in all kinds of designs. They’re usually either a silver or gold color, and you use them between other beads and charms to enhance the look of your creations.
Beads, metal parts, charms, and other small pieces need to be packed away in a storage box so they won’t get lost. This is also a handy way to keep all your supplies organized.
You can also get these plastic boxes in bunches, which will be nice when you start getting really serious about your new hobby.
Bead Jewelry Making for Beginners
A good beginner’s jewelry book will not only inspire you, but it’ll also teach you the basic techniques for making beautiful jewelry that won’t fall apart the first time you put it on.
Cecilia Leibovitz’s Bead Jewelry Making for Beginners is the perfect primer on everything jewelry. Not only does it tell you what you need, but it also has tips on more difficult projects, like wire wrapping.
Making jewelry is a great way to keep your hands busy, develop a new skill, and create beautiful things you’ll love wearing yourself! The more you make, the more you’ll notice which colors, textures, and styles you like the most, which is what’s so fun about this creative hobby.