Jewellery making is a popular and easy -- and fairly cheap -- hobby. But newcomers may stumble when it comes to gathering up the materials they need for their first project. Bearing that in mind, here's a list of the absolutely essential craft supplies you should buy before you start work on your first bracelet, necklace, etc.
When asked what the most important aspect of jewellery making is, most people will think of 'beads' before they think of anything else. Beads are available in a vast variety of colours, shapes and sizes, and some beads are even works of art in their own right.
They can be purchased from most good craft stores or websites, but often people prefer to buy them secondhand from market stalls or save old beads from broken necklaces to make them into something new.
What the beads are usually strung onto! Threading materials can be anything from monofilament (a transparent thread that can add a 'floaty' effect to necklaces) to nylon or ribbon. Tiger tail is also popular as it is very strong, very versatile, and available in different colours. For children's jewellery, simple elastic is recommended, as it's easy to slide elastic jewellery on and off.
Threading materials are usually available in both sewing stores and general craft stores.
'Findings' is the term used for components that make pieces of jewellery connected and wearable -- things like earring posts, clasps and pins. Here is a brief rundown:
- Clasps - metal pieces used to connect one end of a necklace or bracelet to the other.
- Head/eye pins - used to string beads onto. The end of the pin is then usually made into a loop and connected to another component.
- Crimps - used to close lengths of threading material.
- Ear wires - the part of the earring that sits inside the ear piercing.
- Jump rings - used to connect components, such as two headpins, together.
Findings are available in most good craft stores and online. They usually come in just gold and silver, but other colours can be found in some more specialist stories.
Chains are often important components in creating bracelets and necklaces -- and like beads, they're available in many different styles and colours. Both chunky chains and thin, elegant chains are very popular in modern jewellery making.
They're available in most good craft stores, but some people also like to upcycle old chains from belts, jackets or even machinery parts.