If you’re looking for a fun hobby that will save you money, relieve stress, and help you discover and express your own unique style, jewelry making is a fabulous choice. Even if the idea of making your own jewelry is new to you, it’s easy to do with the right tools and accessories. From beautiful handmade necklaces and earrings to bracelets, rings, anklets, and more, creating your own DIY jewelry is an extremely fulfilling hobby. Read on to learn a few tips for jewelry making so that you can go from a casual, leisure hobbyist to a seasoned pro in no time.
The benefits of DIY jewelry
Although learning to make beautiful, trendy jewelry takes some skill and patience, there are plenty of wonderful benefits to this amazing hobby that makes the learning curve well worth navigating.
- Fun and recreational. Making jewelry at home is a fun way to spend your free time. You’ll enjoy learning new skills and discovering new techniques to help you create gorgeous pieces of jewelry that you can wear, sell, or give as gifts to family and friends.
- Keeps you focused and relaxed. When you’re in the jewelry-making zone, or “flow,” as that super-engaged state of mind is officially called, you won’t have time to worry about the stresses of everyday life. This hobby is a fantastic way to help you relieve stress and feel more relaxed, and it lets you take breaks from “real life” and worrying about the things that are keeping you awake at night.
- Find your unique style. Much like drawing or painting, designing and creating your own custom jewelry is a great way to help you discover your own personal style. Whether it’s funky and bold, glamorous, or classic, this hobby is a creative way to help you discover something new about yourself and what makes you tick.
- You’ll save money. By making custom jewelry at home, you’ll save untold amounts of money on buying new accessories. Buying jewelry parts and tools or using recycled bracelets is much less expensive than purchasing brand-new jewelry from a retailer. You won’t have to pay the markup that many jewelry sellers charge, and you can find many jewelry-making supplies in bulk for an even bigger discount.
- Personalized gifts. There’s nothing quite as special as a handmade gift made by someone you love. Design your own personalized jewelry that you can give to friends and family members for birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations. It’s a wonderful gift that the recipients will treasure for years to come as they show off their custom jewelry made just for them, by you.
- Easy to do anywhere. Making jewelry doesn’t require a lot of space, which means you enjoy taking part in this hobby virtually anywhere. All you need is a small area to work and a portable storage solution to store and organize your jewelry-making goods.
- Take pride in your work. When you wear a piece of jewelry that you made yourself, you’ll be able to proudly announce that it’s something you created on your own. Wearing something that you made is a great way to show off your skills and to show pride in your hard work, and there’s nothing like a complete stranger coming up to you and asking where on earth you got that spectacular necklace.
What you need to get started
Now that you know about all of the amazing benefits of making your own jewelry, here’s what you’ll need to get started on your newfound hobby.
- The right workspace. Decide where you want to set up your jewelry-making station. You’ll need a quiet place with ample light and a sturdy work surface, such as a desk or table. Ideally, you should have a separate part of the home where you can work on your craft so that you don’t need to tidy up and put everything away every single time you call it a day. If you don’t have a separate room, just find a comfortable corner or nook where you can set up a table, chair, and light. Make sure you choose a supportive chair so you can work as long as you want comfortably.
- Gather your essentials. To make your own jewelry, you’ll need some basic materials and tools. Ideally, you’d make sure to source your materials ethically too. Start with some foundational items like string, wire, beads, and stones to create your custom jewelry. You’ll also need a wire cutter, a good pair of scissors, pliers, and a crimping tool. If you’re making rings, you’ll need a mandrel. Depending on the kind of jewelry you’re making, you may also need a soldering iron. Of course, you’ll need jewelry findings, which are the raw pieces, like clasps, jump-rings, earrings, pins for brooches, ring bases, and other foundational items that you’ll make the jewelry from. Once you have your tools and materials, keep them organized by placing everything in separate bins or boxes with a label. It’s much easier and a lot more fun if you can easily grab what you need within reach.
- Get inspired. If you need some ideas and inspiration, turn to jewelry bloggers, Pinterest, or watch a few tutorial videos to help you learn the ropes. A virtual jewelry-making class is a great way to start out, or you can turn to some fellow jewelry-making friends for ideas and advice.
Types of jewelry you can create
Here are some examples of the types of jewelry you can make, and what you’ll need for each:
- Necklaces. Most DIY necklaces are made using string, wire, or chain. Add your own touch by creating a beaded necklace or make a custom charm to hang from the end. Jewelry findings Wire cutters, clasps, crimping tools, and pliers are also recommended.
- Earrings. Gather some hooks, clips, and studs to make different types of earrings. Embellish your DIY earrings with beads, stones, or make a few simple pairs with metal or wire to start out.
- Bracelets. You can learn how to make friendship bracelets with colorful string for a fun and easy jewelry project. For fancier jewelry, try a beaded bracelet or a wire bracelet accented with a few cute charms.
- Rings. Making DIY rings can range from easy to complex, depending on the materials you choose. Start with a simple wire ring embellished with a stone, and you can eventually work your way up to metalsmithing after you feel confident in your jewelry-making skills.
- Other jewelry. You’re not just limited to designing rings, earrings, or necklaces. Try your hand at other custom pieces, like a hand-stamped metal charm or a jewelry item made entirely of found objects. Custom embellished hair clips are another fun alternative.
How to keep everything organized
You’ll enjoy making custom jewelry much more if your work space and growing collection of pieces are neat and tidy. Here are some ways you can keep all of your materials and tools organized for easy access.
- By type. Arrange your jewelry components and tools by type—place all of your necklace, earring, ring, and bracelet-making items in separate containers so you know where everything is to make specific pieces.
- By color. If you’re making jewelry with lots of beads or colorful components, organize everything by color so you can make the perfect jewelry based on color scheme and tone. Get a plastic bead container with lots of different compartments to store your beads and other items by color.
- By stones. Separate your jewelry materials by stone type. For example, keep rhinestones, beads, and natural stones separated so you can easily access your material of choice.
- By occasion. Maybe you like to design both fashion jewelry and formal jewelry, but it depends on the occasion. You can keep casual-style jewelry accessories, like string, inexpensive wire, and plastic or glass beads in one area, and more formal or high-end components, like silver and gold wire and precious gems in another so they don’t get mixed up.
Jewelry organizing solutions
Having an organized space will make designing your custom jewelry much easier. Here are some ways to organize your jewelry-making tools, accessories, and completed pieces.
- Bins. Place everything in clear plastic bins with a lid to keep everything secure. Separate the items inside of the bins by type and label each with the contents so you can easily grab what you need without having to rifle through drawers and loose containers.
- Stands. A beautiful jewelry stand is a great way to display your finished pieces. Use the stand for photographing jewelry you plan to sell, or simply enjoy them in your bedroom for a beautiful display.
- Drawers. If you prefer to keep your accessories and tools in drawers, add a handy drawer organizer. These compartments will keep everything nicely separated so that small items don’t get lost in the shuffle.
- Special jewelry boxes. Organize your finished jewelry in beautiful boxes made for specific types of jewelry. You’ll find a range of jewelry organizers dedicated to keeping specific types of jewelry in place or those that have separate compartments to help you keep different styles of jewelry together in one location.
How to Keep Your Jewelry Clean
Once you make your jewelry, it’s important to keep it clean and shiny so it’s beautiful for years to come.
- Special cleaners. Look for jewelry cleaners made for specific materials, like silver or certain types of stone. These special cleaners are made to be gentle on certain surfaces while cleaning and protecting your hard work.
- Homemade cleaners. You can make your own DIY jewelry cleaner with a few simple ingredients. Try a mixture of dish soap and warm water to keep silver sparkling clean. Mix the dish soap with sparkling water to get gemstones and semi-precious stones bright and clean. A paste made of baking soda and water does an excellent job of gently removing excess tarnish.
- Store your jewelry properly. To protect your jewelry, keep it stored in a cool, dry place away from excess humidity. Separate your jewelry by metal type, and always make sure that pieces aren’t touching each other. Fine jewelry should be kept out of direct sunlight, but fashion jewelry can be hung from hooks on a wall or stored in special compartmentalized boxes.
Involve Your Family
Learning how to make your own jewelry is fun, but it’s even more exciting when the whole family gets involved.
- Activities with the kids. Arrange a fun jewelry-making session with the kids, and show them how to make their own friendship bracelets, clay bead necklaces, and more. Gather some simple materials together, and let the kids have a ball as they learn how to make jewelry they can show off to their friends.
- Activities with friends or as a couple. Schedule a couple’s night where you and your partner can make a matching set of jewelry. This is also a fun activity you can do together with some friends. Have a double-date night of creative jewelry making, complete with some adult beverages and great tunes.
You don’t have to be a master jeweler to enjoy the process of making your own beautiful, stylish jewelry. With the right tools, a good comfortable workspace, and some fun accents like colorful beads and stones, you’ll be able to make your very own custom jewelry in no time. This fun hobby is a great way to relax and relieve stress while creating something truly unique, so you can show off your personal style—and maybe even find a new career.