Wednesday

JEWELRY BASICS: TOOLS AND MATERIALS

Years ago I wrote a Jewelry Basics Tutorial. I wanted to put together another basics tutorial--but on materials and tools.

It doesn't take much to start making your own jewelry (or more specifically, earrings). It's the options afterward that are endless. I started with a little kit which slowly over years expanded into a collection that is in no way portable.

These are the bare bones basics. Even if you don't want to start making your own earrings, these will be nice to have if you want to do any repairs.


TOOLS

There are many, I only use two.




I've found for my style of jewelry, these two are the only ones I need. 
  • Round nose pliers so that I can make my loops and close my jump rings
  • Cutters to snip wire & too long pins

Of course, there are specialty tools such as crimp pliers, etc. But for what I do, these are all I need.




MATERIALS

  • I prefer ball headpins in different lengths.
  • I use wire to wrap: make my own eye pins.
  • Earring hooks: I love this shape, I also have studs I use frequently.



  • If you work strictly with beads, you won't need chain. I use chain frequently, so I'm adding it as a basics must.
  • Again, if you work strictly with beads then you might not need jump rings. I use them all the time, especially to add on charms and to connect other pieces together.


BEADS. BEADS AND MORE BEADS.

My favorite part. This is where I go a little crazy, this is where the options are endless. Of course, it took me years to get to where I am 'collection' wise in terms of beads.

But that's about it. If you're trying jewelry-making out, it doesn't have to hurt your wallet. 

You can always take apart jewelry you already have and then run to the craft store for anything you're missing. Use Michael's coupons for the tools/headpins/jumprings. I'm an avid thrifter in general, and I always peruse the jewelry to see if there are any chains/beads I like. 

Creating gives me great joy, I hope this helps you find the same.

Good luck.

- Alyssa

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