Hobby-craft has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence of late, helped along by people like television’s Kirsty Alsopp, who has made crafting fashionable. This, combined with the economic downturn (meaning we have less to spend), has resulted in increased numbers of men/women making their own stained glass windows, cushions, clothes and food.
One of the biggest ares within the hobby-craft arena – one in fact that has always been popular throughout the years – is jewellery making. Whether to save some money, make a gift or design a piece that meet exactly your requirements, once you’ve got the few basics, you’re ready to make earrings, necklaces, tiaras and bracelets until your heart’s content!
What do you need to get started with jewellery making? Here are the essentials:
While it’s easy to thread a chain, wire or piece of leather thong with your fingers, you’ll need some tools to affix clasps, etc. Round nose pliers are perfect for making loops or spirals in wire – they can often cut the thread, too. Flat nose pliers are similar, but allow you a firmer grip. Chain nose pliers are useful for opening and closing connecting jump rings. Crimping pliers, meanwhile, will effectively squish a crimp bead (used to….) securely at the end of a wire to prevent the beads falling off and attach to a clasp.
Findings for the uninitiated, findings are all the useful and vital elements that are needed in jewellery making, including clasps, earring butterflies, ring backs, mounts, spacers, chain fittings and cuff links. They are the bare bones upon which the beads rest or attach. Available in a range of materials, you will most commonly find silver or gold findings.
Beads without which, what’s the point? There is such a huge range of beads available, you’ll be completely spoilt for choice: from tiny pearls to heavy glass barrels, crystal rondelles to wooden orbs. There are acrylic seeds, ceramic discs, shell ovals and metal charms. The options and combinations are endless.
Once you’ve assembled you kit, start getting creative. Get inspiration from your favourite film stars or maybe design a piece to go with a particular outfit. Just know that once you start making your own jewellery, it’ll be very hard to stop!