Jewelry Craft Supplies- Tools, Beads, and Findings
Jewelry making is a craft form that has been around for thousands of years. It is a form of personal adornment, manifesting itself as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Jewelry has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings and many more types of jewelry. While traditional jewelry is usually made with gemstones and precious metals, such as silver and gold, there is also a growing demand for art jewelry where design and creativity is prized above material value. In addition, there is the less costly costume jewelry, made from lower value materials and often mass-produced. Other variations include wire sculpture (wrap) jewelry, using anything from base metal wire with rock tumbled stone to precious metals and precious gemstones. As the evolution of jewelry making has grown, so has the availailty of jewelry craft supplies.
Common Jewelry Craft Supplies
- Silk thread - 100% silk thread typically used to thread pearls and other soft porous beads.
- Steel wire - ideal for stringing seed beads, ceramic, glass, metal and stone beads.
- Copper wire - typically coated with color and used with jewelry wrapping.
- Silver wire - most commonly used with wire wrapping and ring making.
- Hemp cord - strong and durable, it is excellent for making belts, necklaces, bracelets and more.
- Leather cording - known for its smooth finish, consistent color and supple texture.
- Rattail cord - 100% rayon cord, can be used for jewelry, trim, embellishment, and more.
- Chain - usually made of symmetrical metal links that are joined together.
- Seed beads - tiny glass beads that are used in the most delicate of jewelry and embellishments.
- Pony beads - larger hole plastic beads that are commonly used in jewelry and hair braiding.
- Glass beads - can include Czech glass, lampwork beads, or dichroic effects.
- Plastic beads - beads in a variety of shapes and sizes from molded plastic. This category covers inexpensive perler and pony beads for kids, as well as fashionable and interesting pendants for costume jewelry.
- Wood beads - natural wood beads, normally carved, made from a multitude of woods.
- Pendants - similar to beads, but they have a jump ring to be strung and the decorative piece dangles.
- Eyepins - metal pins of varying lengths and finishes with an eye closure at one end. Used to hold beads.
- Headpins - metal pins of varying lengths and finishes with a flat closure at one end. Used to hold beads.
- Clasps -closures for necklaces and bracelets, and includes toggle, lobster, barrel, standard, magnetic, etc. Comes in various finishes.
- Jump rings - made of multiple sizes and finishes. Used as connectors and with chain maille jewelry.
- Earring findings - includes fishhook, hoop, post, lever back, etc. Comes in various finishes.
- Miscellaneous findings - includes barrettes, headbands, tiaras, bar pins, stick pins, base rings, etc.
- Wire cutters - comes in side- and end-cutting versions.
- Knotters - used to knot beading string for even and consistent knots.
- Chain nose pliers - used to form wire, close bead tips, crimp clasps, and attach findings in close spaces.
- Round nose pliers - used to round the ends or loop and shape craft wire.
- Flat nose pliers - wire forming pliers, used to create circles, angles, and distinctive wire forms.
- Split ring pliers - used to open split rings.
- Wire looping pliers - top jaw has three tiers designed specifically for forming three loop sizes. Lower jaw is concave and fits over the looping jaw to allow for easy bending.
Jewelry Making Techniques
Sometimes, just having simple jewelry craft supplies is enough and it is all about proper technique. Here are a few jewelry craft supplies that can help achieve a custom and one of a kind piece:
Use wire as a decorative element in your jewelry. Wrap it around your pliers to make spirals and shapes. Create kinks and angles in the wire by gripping the wire tightly with a pair of needle nose pliers and bending it. Wire can be wrapped around itself or other objects for creative jewelry. Use a wire wrapping technique to create a unique pendant out of an ordinary object.
String beads in any order you wish. Create knots to keep them in place. Beads come in all shapes and sizes and can be made out of many different materials
Use hemp, rope, or embroidery floss to create beautiful knotted jewelry. There are many different knots available for a unique look. You can easily add a bead stringing it onto one strand, and then continuing the knot.
Purchase a chain as is and add pendants with jump rings for a handmade charm bracelet or necklace.
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Check out various jewelry making craft projects and using jewelry craft supplies at our Think Crafts Blog.
By: Billie G. Henson
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