The very first step in creating handmade jewelry pieces is to learn jewelry making techniques. The more techniques you learn the more creative you can become. Gather the proper jewelry making tools as well. Of course, there are many tools yet to start out a few basic ones is all you need. Just add to your collection of tools as you learn new techniques. Do you look in the hardware store for jewelry tools? Of course not. You will find lots of tools yet not the kind needed for a jewelry artisan.
Where do you find jewelry making tools and what are some of the basic tools? Online would be my first choice for searching, and in just about any craft store you will find exactly what you need. The very basics to start out with would be:
- round nose pliers
- wire cutter pliers
- long nose pliers
More often than not you can find these 3 basic tools in kits for less than $20. Another basic tool I recommend for beginners especially is the “One Step Looper” tool. I have seen this advertised on Amazon for $20 and other places for $30. This tool creates consistent loops you will need to make for dangle earrings and other jewelry projects. It is truly a great tool and especially if you intend to make a lot of jewelry at one sitting. It will save you a lot of time.
If you make jewelry that requires adhesive, a favorite one of mine is the E6000 industrial strength (transparent). You can get this glue at any craft store and even in your local Wal-mart store as well as online. It is very easy to find.
If you get into bead jewelry making techniques you will need beads of course and either thread or wire. A mat of some kind is best to use when working with the very small jewelry components. I actually use a piece of fleece material, however, there are specific mats you can purchase for bead work.
You can use a loom for bead weaving projects while you run threads through the beads to form a fabric-like affect. For a project such as this you will want to purchase the same size beads so they will load clean.
A couple of bead weaving techniques are:
- adding a stopper bead to keep the beads from coming off thread or wire
- the proper way to close bead tips to keep the clasp safe from breakage
- a simple technique of making clasps is to use a wire long in length, take your round nose pliers and make a loop at one end, or use the one step looper tool to make the loop at the end. Bend the wire into a “S” shape. Bend the opposite wire into a “S” shape. Be sure the clasp you have fits the end of your piece.
- Learn the technique of “to crimp” when connecting clasps.
- An illusion necklace is one of those “fragile pieces,” however, you can master techniques without knots or crimping. When you get to the attaching clasp part of the project tie the end of the wire around a seed bead, glue the knot and use the usual bead tip.
- A few other techniques to master might be “spiral rope chains,” “chain mail,” “jump rings,” opening and closing jump rings,” “tying knots and bead tips as well as wire wrapping
There are how-to videos on every video site that can show you exactly how-to master all these techniques and more. Once you learn the proper techniques to hand crafted jewelry you will amaze yourself with gorgeous one of a kind jewelry pieces.