Jewellery has long been considered the ultimate romantic gift, and most people have one or two pieces that are particularly meaningful for them in their collection, whether symbolic of a happy memory or passed through the family as a special keepsake.
The right piece of jewellery can complement an outfit and reflect an individual’s particular taste – so it’s no surprise more people are turning to jewellery making to let their imaginations run wild and to create pieces that are completely unique. If you like to get creative, jewellery making might be just the hobby for you.
Get started with beading
The term jewellery can encompass everything from a leather bracelet to diamond earrings, so the first thing you’ll need to do is narrow your focus and decide what type of jewellery you’re most interested in making.
Most beginners start with beads – they are affordable and easy to find from online craft stores like Hobbycraft, and offer a nearly endless range of possibilities to get creative and express yourself.
To make a basic beaded bracelet or necklace you’ll need a few essential tools. They are:
- Pliers – To fasten and manipulate your wire and attach a clasp
- A bead mat or tablecloth – So beads are easy to see and do not rollaway
- Beads – Make sure you have enough to complete your project
- Wire cutter – To cut your wire when making necklaces, bracelets and earrings
There is a huge range of wire and beads available and they are used for different purposes, so take some time to pick out what you need for your project. Online retailers like Beads Direct also offer useful guides to understanding the different types of wires and cords, as well as a guide to different types of beads.
Jewellery kits are also an easy way to begin if you’ve never tried it before; you can purchase a set of tools and a kit complete with beads and wire that will come with everything you need, along with a handful of project ideas to get the ball rolling. Once you’re more comfortable and confident you can stray from the kits and create designs straight from your own imagination.
Take some time to get organised before you start – because jewellery making can be very intricate work, you’ll want to make sure all your tools are set out and within easy reach so you don’t have to stop mid way through to find what you need.
Advanced jewellery making
Once you’ve mastered the basics of jewellery making you can start to take on more advanced projects or use more expensive materials like sterling silver, gold or precious gems. A great way to advance your skills is through jewellery making courses; many local bead shops offer evening and weekend courses where you can meet others and learn some new techniques, or if you’d like something more intensive, institutes like the London Jewellery School or the Holts Academy of Jewellery both offer short courses where you can learn everything from design to working with diamonds and gemstones.
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