Mention “jewelry” to just about any woman and her face will light up. It is a known fact that there are not many women who will ever turn their backs on necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pins and hair jewelry. For the creative mind, a steady hand and a person with plenty of quiet time, jewelry making is definitely a work of art worth pursuing both for the self and others.
Are you one of the women in this world who does more with jewelry than just wear it? Or, are you a woman who would like to do more with the creative end to jewelry art? The first step in the process is to compile your own kit of basic tools. Tools for jewelry making is almost as endless as beads and jewelry findings. However, fortunate for you if you are a bead jewelry artist you can start your kit with 3 basic tools readily available in any craft store and online. I added a fourth tool to my basic kit and that is the one step looper tool. The other three basic tools you will need usually come in a three piece kit of tools. They are Chain nose pliers, flush cutters and round nose pliers. I also recommend excellent lighting. A very basic magnifying light I plan to purchase is a table base magnifier lamp.
There are many ways to learn how to bead jewelry. I am finding using the jewelry kits is the most beneficial method for me. Usually a jewelry kit will include step by step instructions, all the materials you will need to complete the project with a few pieces left over in case you loose something along the way. The jewelry kits are excellent hands on training and will leave you with inspiration for new designs.
There are books and online tutorials galore. I have seen classes offered for as much as $900 per class. My opinion on that is try the cheaper methods first, you might learn all you need to know absolutely free online and with a few extra bucks try the jewelry kits for hands on training in which you do not have to buy excess materials to complete projects. Almost all the bead stores online offer some kind of jewelry kits at various levels of expertise. Jewelry kits are great “marketing tools” for bead stores online and offline.
There are also very helpful magazines available loaded with ideas for jewelry projects. We are living in a wealth of information era which totally and completely satisfies my curious mind to create something with my hands.
Choices in materials such as wire for stringing or wrapping can be of gold, sterling silver, copper or stainless steel. I do like the Buddy Braids wire for stringing. It is durable and strong, yet with a very sharp pair of scissors you can still cut through it. I have read some people prefer to shop for wire that has an enamel coating saying this is of the best quality.
I personally feel the Buddy Braids brand is one of the best. It is perfect for stringing necklaces and bracelets and at a very good price as well. Buddy Braids is a stainless steel multi-strand braided wire that is permanently colored and then nylon clear coated. It is very strong kink resistant and easy to use, easily knotted or easy to use with crimp beads. If you are looking for perfect necklace or bracelet wire at the best price you have found it! I am sold on the Buddy Braids brand and actually feel I have no need to look any further for a good quality, best priced stringing material. The wire is the backbone of jewelry making for necklaces and bracelets. You want to get the very best for your money.
Ah….the lovely beads…..which in my opinion is the star of the entire show. Beads come in many varieties and materials, glass, ceramic, wood, acrylics, plastic. I prefer using glass and ceramic beeds at this time. Beads come in a variety of shapes as well, oval, round, square, pear-shape and more.
If you liked to play in the rocks as a kid, you most likely will love the world of beads, beads, beads. They are much more colorful than the rocks use to be! Stringing a variety of bead shapes onto the wire creates more dimension and makes the piece look more interesting. Have a look at this 3 piece set I just finished in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207010294/carmilitas-three-piece-bead-sets
This was a set created from a jewelry kit that used a variety of beads in different shapes, and sizes which adds interest to the finished pieces. The color harmony is four colors of peach, light pink, rose, and antique copper to bring together a dance of cheerful looking flowers that seem to bloom out from a vine made from pink and peach glass crystal beads along with antique copper metal bicone beads.
Once you master the basics in bead work, go onto the next level. Keep improving as the days go on. I started out making simple stud earrings, then progressed to the dangle bead earrings and now I am making the 3 piece sets. I hope to continue learning the bead art craft as there is still so much more to learn and to be able to create even more. A person could fill their Etsy Shop with thousands of beaded pieces of jewelry. I believe the next step up for me will be magazines, perhaps instruction manuals and books. There are also DVD’s available. The Interweave Store online is a great place to get resource materials. For me, there is no better teacher than “myself.” I do better at learning anything in which I can teach myself, of course, with the help of visual aids and written instructions.
Patience, a steady hand, good eyesight, good lighting and lots of quiet time are essential for the bead jewelry making art. If you have the basic qualities for the art of beading, the essential tools, materials and instructions are easy to find.
Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings: https://carmilitaearrings.etsy.com
This is a 3 piece bead set I added to Carmilita’s Three Piece Bead Sets. There is a necklace, bracelet and earrings in this set.
Materials Used for Earrings:
2 Antique Bronze 11 x 15 Leverback earrings
8 Antique Bronze 5mm 20 Gauge Jump Rings
6 Antique Bronze Ballpins
6 Antique Bronz 8 x 9 mm Decorative Bead Caps
6 Antique Bronze 1.5×4 mm Beaded Rondelles
6 Pink 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
6 Light Rose 5 x 9 mm Flower Beads
Materials Used for Bracelet
10 inches of Antique Bronze Colored Buddy Braids
1 Antique Bronze 15 mm Thick Rope toggle Clasp
2 Antique Bronze Crimp Beads
2 Antique Bronze 4 mm Crimp Covers
12 Antique Bronze Ballpins
12 Antique Bronze 3 x 9 mm Decorative Bead Caps
12 Antique Bronze 1.5 x 4 mm Beaded Rondelles
12 Pink 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
12 Light Rose 5 x 9 mm Flower Beads
26 Peach 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
13 Pink AB 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
Materials Used for Necklace
26 inches of Antique Bronze Colored Buddy Braids
1 Antique Bronze 14 x 8 mm Lobster Clasps
1 Antique Bronze Split Ring
2 Antique Bronze Crimp Beads
2 Antique Bronze 4 mm Crimp Bead covers
4 Antique Bronze 5 mm 20 Gauge Jump Rings
7 Antique Bronze Ball Pins
7 Antique Bronze 2 x 9 mm Decorative Bead Caps
48 Antique Bronze 1.5×4 mm Beaded Rondelles
10 Antique Bronze 4 x 5 mm Bicones
12 Antique Bronze 8 mm Bicones
72 Pink 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
18 Peach AB 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
7 Pink 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
7 Light Rose 5 x 9 mm Flower Beads
Gypsy’s Price: $60 (includes FREE shipping)
Purchase Gypsy here: Carmilita’s Earrings