Making your own jewelry can be a wonderful way to explore your creative side, learn to work with hand tools, study up on gems, and expand your accessory collection with fun handmade pieces in no time! Even better, a line of your own jewelry creations can be an excellent way to give gifts, and even grow a business.
Make What You Love
If you only wear silver, do not fiddle around with gold jewelry pieces or parts. You know what silver goes with and the best gems to pair with it, so start there. If you enjoy working with clay, consider investing in art clay that does not need to be fired so you can create unique shapes all on your own. Make sure that you think things through as you design. A lovely handmade pendant can be a thing of beauty, but if you did not fashion a way to hang it on a necklace before it dried, it may never be a good necklace.
You will need some basic skills to build your own jewelry. There are a lot of YouTube videos out there on basic jewelry making, so be sure you spend some time with your new pliers just working out how wire bends, the fastest way to form a loop, and how much space you need to create a manageable hook.
If you are interested in working with paper, study how to use Cricut Design Space. For those with an interest in clay design, stamping, or metal bending, get a small amount of raw material and practice, then consider either taking a class or finding a video.
Visit gem and mineral shows in your neighborhood or city. Many of these shows feature large collectible items, but you can also find specialty beads at these shows. Keep an eye on bead size when looking for projects at gem shows. Tiny beads may look great on a string in the shop, but if you do not have the right needles or wire, you will have a hard time stringing them.
If you have a mineral store in your city or know of a craft store that offers beading classes, sign up! Not only will you meet up with like-minded folks, but crafters love to share ideas, stories, and challenges. If you are having a hard time finding inspiration when you finally have some wiggle room in your schedule to create, likely someone in the class has ideas.
Be Your Own Best Advertising
When you make something, wear it. It does not have to be perfect. It is a custom piece. If you make a lovely pendant, put it on a short chain and frame it in a longer chain. Wear a simple dark top behind it so it stands out. When folks ask, let them know that you designed it.
Do your best to connect with other crafters as well. For example, you may find someone who is great at crochet or macramé. Macramé and other forms of twine and yarn crafts can turn into terrific bracelets, so invite them over for a crafting session and ask them to teach you. In turn, show them how to make beads.
Find Raw Goods Cheap
If you are interested but do not want to put a lot of resources into your jewelry-making endeavor just yet, visit thrift stores and yard sales for jewelry that you can take apart. Look for brightly colored beads of uniform shape and make sure they slide easily on the string. If not, they are waxed beads. Waxed beads can be quite lovely, but they are almost impossible to unstring.
For those who just want to start with pendants, look for ribbons, embroidery thread, and multi-chain necklaces that you can use to create necklaces. A ribbon with a simple knot or metal crimping clasp can be a lovely addition to a sundress. Embroidery floss or thread can be looped, braided, or twisted into a one-of-a-kind chain for a custom pendant. A multi-chain necklace from a thrift store can be taken apart and fasteners added. You may need to invest in lobster claw hooks and jump rings to make your own chains.
You can organize your supplies into small bins from a local dollar store, and ice cube trays make terrific bead storage bins. If you are using a cardboard or a solid bin, make sure to label the end of the box before you put the lid on.
Jewelry projects can be easily transferred to a small bin so you can take them with you. Work on it anywhere, once you build up basic skills and tools. You will soon be wearing custom-designed jewelry made just for you. Enjoy!