Dazzling pearls and sparkling gemstones are just some of the beautiful materials you could be working with when you enter a crafting emporium of jewellery making. And, with it being such a personal and unique craft to each and every jeweller, there’s no bounds to what you can create in your craft.
From bracelets and necklaces to earrings and hair clips, you could be bringing to life the mundane and boring by hot glue gunning a montage of gemstones, sand art or pearls. And, that’s why it has earned a place here in the library of ultimate beginner’s guides at The Hobby Kraze.
Our team here at The Hobby Kraze have the awesome job of bringing you the wonderful world of jewellery making and it doesn’t involve artisanal gold or special soldering equipment. Unless, of course, you’re wanting to take it to the next level and become a diamond setting expert, but that’s for another ultimate beginner’s guide.
Without further ado, here’s all the different aspects the beginner’s guide to jewellery making be covering this inexpensive home craft:
- What is Jewellery Making?
- Why is Making Personalised Jewellery a Good Hobby to Have?
- What is the History Behind Jewellery Making as a Hobby?
- A Glossary of Terms and Know-How
- The Vast Array of Ideas for Types of DIY Jewellery Patterns
- The Range of Tools you Should Have in Your Jewellery Making Kit
- Choosing Your Pendent or Accent
Finding a passion through craft can sometimes be difficult, having small components, missing items and always needing to get another pair of the newest shaped tweezers. Often it can be overwhelming, too. With so many different avenues of personalisation you could try. But, that’s why we’re here to bring you the ultimate beginner’s guide to jewellery making. We’ll be setting out the basic jewellery making kit while talking through the different ways you can create and adorn pendants.
And, we’ll never suggest going at it all at once. While you’re reading through this beginner’s guide to jewellery making, think about which of these methods stands out to you most. Then, head to your nearest craft store such as Hobby Craft or online megastore such as Amazon and pick up the bare essentials.
Try a few different designs and see if they stick. If not, take back what you can and exchange for a new array of jewellery making basics. Jewellery making doesn’t have to be daunting; it is supposed to be fun while empowering your creative abilities!
What is Jewellery Making?
Jewellery making is – quite simply – the act of using materials in order to shape, match and create special DIY jewellery patters into personalised jewellery. These are made to become part of someone’s thoughts, feelings, emotions and personality; when shaped into something beautiful they help to echo these feelings. In reality, however, there are two types of jeweller out there: the metalsmith and the beader.
Those who work with metals such as gold, silver, titanium, steel and so on are metal smiths. This is because they need to adapt their workspace to account for special soldering equipment and setting stones into the metal itself.
This takes years of practice and careful administration. It is also quite confining when it comes to creative empowerment; you’ll always need your soldering iron, there will always be a higher cost and you’ll always need to be attached to your metalsmith’s workspace.
This is why this ultimate beginner’s guide to jewellery making wanted to focus on the wonderful and relaxing world of the beader. A beader is someone who works with beads and other pendants alongside wire in order to create a personalised and unique piece of colourful embellishment.
We wanted to focus on these types of jewellery making basics for their relaxing properties, creative liberties, locational freedoms and accessibility rights. It can be much more safe, simple and affordable to become a beader. If you decide you love this hobby as a passion, you can begin to invest in precious metals and gemstones in order to uplift your new jewellery making kit and brand.
Why is Making Personalised Jewellery a Good Hobby to Have?
Making personalised jewellery can be an add-on from many other hobbies you might have. And, it opens up doors in the jewellery making world. For example; you could simply keep all your personalised jewellery to yourself, or you could expand your jewellery making kit to make unique gifts for those you love.
If you’ve really got the DIY jewellery patterns bug of crafting with finished pieces bursting out your doorway, consider opening an online shop through stores like Etsy, Not on the High Street, Shopify, Amazon or Instagram.
Nevertheless, jewellery making basics are not about what you can do with the finished piece. After all, The Hobby Kraze pair people with past times and hobbies that bring true joy and lasting happiness. So, we’d like to focus on the making process.
No matter whether you’re here form The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Rock Tumbling and Collection or if you’ve worked your way over from The Ultimate beginner’s Guide to Quilling, there’s always going to be other hobbies that you can meld and merge with jewellery making. Then, you can make a mega past time enjoyed with those around you.
Here’s just some of the benefits a jewellery making kit and hobby has in store for you:
- Unleash your creativity
- You can make jewellery out of anything
- You can make any jewellery you’d like
- You can incorporate many hobbies into one
- You can make as much or as little as you’d like
- There’s no limit to the size of the jewellery you make
- If you want, you can make special piercing jewellery for around the body
- With a compact jewellery making kit, you can craft anywhere
- It is a craft you can enjoy with friends and family
- Young teens are able to join in on the fun
- You can apply jewellery knowledge and knots to other walks of life
- You can make money with your hobby
- Being dexterous with your fingers keeps arthritis at bay
- As you continue to use your imagination you can prevent Alzheimer’s
- It is a very relaxing hobby
- You don’t have to be at organised events or with a team
- It is a fluid activity that can be picked-up and put-down whenever
- You can make personalised jewellery at any time of the day
- You can make something unique to the world
- You can use it to create a brand
- There’s no stopping you from creating seasonal personalities with jewellery
- Using DIY jewellery patterns can help to relieve anxiety and depression
- Doing something you love releases endorphins and the happy hormone
- It is a very freeing hobby with its unlimited possibilities
What is the History Behind Jewellery Making as a Hobby?
Before we can think about jewellery making as a hobby, we have to think about how it was used throughout history.
In prehistoric civilizations, there was no option presented for clothing. Instead, bodies were covered in trophies and findings. For example: those who lived near the shore would use shells, feathers, fishbones and coloured pebbles to adorn the body with natural ties that grow in crops and trees.
Those who would live inland, on the other hand, would embellish their bodies with the ornaments from the animals they would kill for food. For example: antlers, tusks, horns and other bones. These would be attached to the body through make-shift holes in the skin.
These were critical to ancient tribes, whereby trophies and ornaments of jewellery stayed on their person throughout their lives; they would even be buried with them. This is a trend that continued throughout history and into the realm of Ancient Egyptians who famously buried their dead with treasures to pleasure the afterlife.
However, by this time, clothing had developed and so had other materials to adorn the body. So, marble, gold, gemstones and other precious materials were crafted into a wearable design to cover the head, ears, chest, cuffs, waist, legs and feet.
Despite this, it would later become the meaning of ‘ownership’ and ‘belonging’. For example: slaves would wear bracelets, wives would wear rings after marriage and tribes would wear denoting plugs to show respect to their tribe.
Then, looking to the middle ages, the crusades would bring new ideas from the Eastern world to the West. And, it was here where early European settlers became acquainted with such rare and beautiful pieces of jewellery. This rarity ensured it would only be the ‘blue bloods’ and royalty cultures able to afford such fine materials.
Looking to our very own Queen Elizabeth I, she had over 2000 dresses handmade and beaded with jewellery and pearls. This fashion became very popular in other countries such as Spain and France. Other individuals such as noblemen in the middle classes who couldn’t quite afford the precious materials would use makeshift beading and cheaper materials to mimic style and wealth.
Through time, these cheaper materials became more and more accessible, with plastic beads being created, newer strings entering the market and tools having safer options for at-home use.
It was this vast flooding of affordable materials that would walk us into modern jewellery making as we know it today!
A Glossary of Terms and Know-How
When it comes to personalised jewellery, there is a small glossary of terms you should probably know. It relates to the tools and methods you’ll use when crafting pieces of unique design.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll need them all in order to enjoy jewellery making basics, but here at The Hobby Kraze, we wanted to ensure the beginner’s guide to jewellery making has got you covered.
So, whether it’s heading to the jewellery making kit section of the hobby store or sourcing all of your materials for the hobby that suits you, here’s what you might come across in your travels:
- Accent Gold
This is a paint or paste that you can source at hobby stores. It’s a 24K gold solution that, when mixed with the amount of water specified on the bottle, can be painted onto silver or other metals to create an accent gold finish.
Alloy is the mixture of precious materials with other metals in order to create a more affordable option with the desired effect. The most popular examples include: any gold under 24K, sterling silver and rose gold. These are all common alloy metals found on the high street.
A bead is any piece of material shaped to a small size. It can be made out of any material such as: resin, plastic, rubber, cloth, gemstone and so on. However, in order for it to be classed as a bead, it would need to have a hole that goes right the way through. This hole doesn’t have to be a certain size or in a particular place, but in order to be used in personalised jewellery making, it needs to allow wire or thread to pass through.
- Bell Cap
A bell cap is a small metal or plastic ‘cap’ glued onto a bead to create a pendant. A small hole at the crown of the bell cap allows the thread to pass through. This gives a lovely drop effect for necklaces and earrings.
- Bezel Setting (Use A Bezel Rocker)
A bezel setting is used with jewellery you’d like to set a gemstone into. There is a small rim at a point on the piece and a bezel rocker is used to gently push the gemstone into place. Then, it down-turns the rim onto the gemstone to secure.
Burnishing is a very specific type of metal polishing you can do to any of the metals that you’ll be using in your jewellery making kit. Instead of opting for sandpaper or polishing tools, you can place your metals into a special tumbler and burnish without worrying about scratches or abrasion.
- Chandelier Component
A chandelier component refers to a specific type of metal cap or hood where you can turn one link into several in order to hold beads, gemstones or pendants. These are very popular with earrings where one loop attaches to the finding and the following 6 or 7 loops below hold pendants.
A charm is a type of pendent holding value or sentimental attachment. While you can begin a charm bracelet to sell, the idea is that subsequent charms are bought individually and added onto the bracelet or necklace. These are simply added by threading the metal bracelet through the hole in the charm. The charm often dangles – much like a pendent – and will sometimes have engravings to signify a memory.
This is the name given to the way light reflects off a gemstone in your DIY jewellery patterns. Often, personalised jewellery holds unique light effects, especially when rocks are hand-tumbled. When light reflects off part of the gemstone, it will show varied colours. The most recognised chatoyancy is the cat eye effect where there appears to be a line through the gemstone.
- Chip Beads
Chip beads are the result of varied tumbling of precious gemstones and rocks. While you may need to revise The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Rock Collection and Tumbling, there is an array of gemstones you can tumble at home. However, ‘chip beads’ refers directly to the inconsistency and impurity of beads. Adding them together can create a beautiful and personalised jewellery effect.
- Claw Setting
Much like the bezel setting, the claw setting is a type of metal barrier attached to jewellery. Such as: the top of a ring. This will have four to six protrusions of metal designed to be pushed over the gemstone once set into place. You’ll likely find these on diamond engagement rings.
- Coin Beads
These beads are pretty much what they say on the tin. Instead of being spherical, they are simply shaped like coins with a rhetorical diameter. Sometimes, you may find naturally occurring freshwater pearls in the shape of flat coin beads so they’re not always man-made. But, if you’re feeling frisky, look into your purse and knock a hole into a coin it to create a bead.
- Epoxy Glue
This is a setting material used to secure the position of beads and pendants into their caps. The strength of this glue is substantial and will last; it often needs to be mixed before usage.
A faceted stone is a gemstone with a specific cut to give a flat surface and a point. The most commonly faceted stone is a diamond used within simple clasp settings in an engagement ring. You’ll need to buy ready-faceted stones as a tumbler won’t be able to do this task for you. However ‘raw’ gemstones are vastly increasing in popularity in recent years, so you may not even have to!
Filigree is an artform in its own right referring to the bending of fine metal strips to create a specific design or pattern. Very beautiful for bespoke chest pieces, this method of metal turning is also seen in furniture and general house decorations. This type of jewellery making basics is for the patient and finickity-minded!
A finding is not something you’ve found, so put down your collection goggles for this one. It is the name given to all metal components of your personalised jewellery. For example: the jump rings, clasps, bead caps, head pins, dividers and fasteners. Yet, it is a word most commonly used to mean the fasteners.
- Fire Stain
A fire stain is the leftover black marks a metal after being heated to a high temperature. For example: in the case of the beginner’s guide to jewellery making, you may find yourself coming across a stiff jump ring that can’t be opened with normal tools. So, you may want to have a gas torch to hand, find a safe environment and heat the metal. This makes it far more malleable and allows you to use the jump ring as you wish.
A hallmark is a specific engraving on a piece of precious metal (such as silver) to allow tracing to original makers and date of manufacturer. It also confirms value in an auction or sale. In some countries, such as England, it is a legal requirement however other countries such as Australia are far more relaxed.
A head pin is a long needle with a loop or flat head at the end. This allows you to gather a number of beads at once without falling off the other end. This can be very useful when trying to create batch or bulk orders of personalised jewellery.
- Jump Ring
A jump ring will be your most commonly used piece of arsenal in the jewellery making kit. This is because it is a small metal loop with an incision. This allows you to open and close the loop with jewellery pliers whenever you want to add or remove other pieces of metal or beads. These can be used across the board from earrings to belly button rings and from necklaces to toe rings.
When you’re making your own pendants, you may be using paint, nail varnish, polymer clay, origami, quilling or anything. However, to set all of these with a clear coat while giving a sheen, you’ll need to pour resin over the top. These can be bought and mixed from most craft stores, but they’re best used alongside a small UV lamp for fast drying emulsion.
- Safety Pickle
This is a chemical compound that comes in the form of a powder. It is used to remove unwanted oxidization from the surface of your metal DIY jewellery patterns. However, one thing is that you need to use plastic tweezers to handle the object and place into the powder. This is because metals like steel can alter the chemical composition and cause detriment to the jewellery.
Tarnish is a reaction that happens to a metal face when it is exposed to oxygen and ‘oxidises’. This can discolour the metal. However, you can use the safety pickle to get you out of this pickle.
- Tumble Polished
This simply refers to the action of a rock being polished using a tumble machine. When a stone or rock is tumbled, it is tumbled for extended periods of time with an increasing grit. As the grit increases, the finer the polish of the stones while tumbling.
- Wire Wrapped
Wire wrapping is when a wire is used to tighten and secure the position of a pendent or gem onto the bracelet or necklace. It is also used to increase durability and lasting power of the jewellery, so it’s highly recommended if you’re not after a minimalist finish!
- Wraptite Setting
This is a design of wire wrapping used to secure a gemstone. Often the wire wrapping can be done with filigree style. The technique is used with gemstones without holes to attach directly to the bracelet or necklace. So, a ‘cage’ is formed using the wraptite method.
The Vast Array of Ideas for Types of DIY Jewellery Patterns
When it comes to choosing what to do, your options are limitless. For one, there’s the types of DIY jewellery patterns, the styles and then the finished piece.
For now, let’s consider all the routes of personalised jewellery that you can explore before even beginning to open the jump rings. From creating something out paper lying around to finding a way to generate beauty with a 3D printer.
We’re here to say that your hobby doesn’t necessarily demand heading to the craft store and filling your basket with an array of beads. Although, if that’s something you want to do, there’s nothing to stop you!
When it comes down to it, the beginner’s guide to jewellery making will always suggest trying one method at a time to see which style you enjoy most. From making a piece of art with coloured resin on a coin bead to encasing a gemstone in filigree. Here’s a list of the crafting aspects you can enjoy and create prior to soldering them to your endeavour with DIY jewellery patterns:
- Rock Tumbling
- Clay Sculpting
- Pearl Shucking
- Wood Cutting
- 3D Printing
- Calligraphic Engraving
- Resin Art
- Glass Ball Sand Art
When you’ve found ‘the one’ and believe it will look good embellishing your outfit, all you need to do is: take your dremel rotary tool and screwdriver, make a hole in your pendant, open a jump ring with your chain nose pliers, thread the ring and close it. Suddenly you’ve already completed your way through most of the jewellery making basics.
In the meantime, to know more about these hobbies, have a look at our other articles here at The Hobby Kraze:
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Knitting
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Rock Collection and Tumbling
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Origami, Quilling and Paper Toys
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to 3D Printing
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Clay Sculptures
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy
The Range of Tools you Should Have in Your Jewellery Making Kit
Building the ultimate jewellery making kit can be a personal endeavour. With your unique way of making jewellery, who’s to say you will need extra paper or a 3D printer? In fact, there’s nothing to stop you from using acrylic paint on a coin bead and creating a true piece of artwork unique for every recipient.
With this in mind, it would be quite the task for this ultimate beginner’s guide to list every single possible piece of equipment you may or may not need in your hobby adventure.
Nevertheless, the team here at The Hobby Kraze couldn’t let you dive head-first into the jewellery making basics with a pair of pliers, some jump rings and no clue of what else you might need. So, we’ve put together some of the key components and familiar faces you might find yourself handling no matter which creative avenue you decide to go down.
While this list might seem extensive, it is filled with small necessities you can reach for at your local craft store. And, there’s no guarantee you’ll use them all. Don’t feel as though you have to spend a fortune; it’s an affordable hobby where small businesses see a high return on investment!
- Bead Tips
- Bell Cap
- Bezel Rocker
- Bolt Ring
- Carabiner Clasp
- Chandelier Component
- Round Nose Pliers
- Chain Nose Pliers
- Anvil and Bench Peg
- Side Cutters
- Silk Rope
- Jump Rings
- Gas Torch
- Plastic Tweezers
- Polishing Paper
- Cutting Board
- X-Acto Blade
- Bead Stopper
- Stringing Wire
- Hot Glue Gun
- Glue Sticks
- Bead Board
- Crimping Pliers
- Crimp Beads and Covers
- Easy Knotter
- Safety Pickle
- Head Pin
- Bell Cap
- Claw Setting
- Coin Bead
- Needle Files
- Dremel Rotary Tool
Choosing Your Pendent or Accent
We’ve mentioned a few times about choosing the path of least resistance to suit your needs as a personalised jewellery maker. But, there are some of the most common activities the beginner’s guide to jewellery making should cover. For example, how to use wire to create a separated bead piece. Or, how to attach the clasps at the end.
So, we’re going to walk you through some of the common steps:
- The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out where this piece will go on your body. Then, measure out the length of wire you’ll need, adding an extra 10cm for flexibility.
- Cut the wire to size using clippers and get your jewellery making basics out on the table. This will include: wire, beads, a pendant, crimping pliers, a finding, a jump ring, a bead stopper, two crimp beads, two crimp covers and dividers.
- Place the bead stopper 5cm away from one end of the wire.
- Add a bead to the wire, then a divider, a bead, a divider and continue with the pattern. Around the middle of the wire, add your pendant with a divider either side.
- Taking the end of the wire without the bead stopper, thread the wire through the crimp bead. Thread the finding on and then loop the wire back on itself to go through the crimp bead again and lock the finding on the wire.
- Slide the crimp bead to the finding and, with the crimping pliers, place the crimp bead in the divot and press in order to securely fasten.
- Trim the excess wire off with the clippers.
- Go to the end of the wire that has the bead stopper, allow the beads to fall to the end of the wire with the finding and remove the bead stopper.
- Thread the wire through the second crimp bead, add a jump ring and thread the wire back through the crimp bead.
- Pull the loose wire to tighten both the crimp bead and jump ring to the end of the beading trail.
- Place the crimp bead into the divot of the crimping pliers and squeeze to fasten. Trim the remaining wire with clippers.
- In order to make crimping beads slightly more presentable, take two crimp covers and fasten above the crimp beads with crimping pliers. These will then create the effect of tiny round beads.
If, instead, you want to enjoy wire work with beads, you can always take the approach of creating your own wire loops to attach to one-another in a chain-like pattern. In order to create a loop, simply take some wire and some round nose pliers. Clasp the wire with the pliers, turn the wire 90-degrees to create a corner, then move the wire slightly downwards in the pliers. Wrap the wire around the round nose pliers in the opposite direction and then wrap around the bottom of the wire three times to secure.
And with that, we are closing the jump ring to this article. So, whether you plan to sell online, gift to others, keep a hoard to yourself, take pictures for socials or even teach others, make sure you choose the right path for the pendant and create some personalised jewellery that brings your personality to life.
Don’t forget to check out our other ultimate beginner’s guides here at The Hobby Kraze to discover new past times and hobbies you may never have even considered. And, always be sure to share your hobby adventure and jewellery making kit success stories with The Hobby Kraze team on social media!