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How do I Become a Costume Jewelry Designer?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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Costume jewelry is an inexpensive alternative to traditional jewelry that economizes through the use of semi-precious or synthetic stones and cheaper types of metal. Despite the less expensive materials, costume jewelry can still be very beautiful and artistic. Learning to become a costume jewelry designer can be a fun and exciting way to learn new skills or even start a small business.

There is no set course of study or formal training for people who want to become a costumer jewelry designer. Many take jewelry making classes offered by community centers, local craft stores, or even community colleges. These classes can teach basic and advanced design techniques, familiarize new students with typical materials used in costume jewelry, and lead students through the creation of one or several new pieces.

People who prefer to learn to become a costume jewelry designer on their own have a wealth of opportunities available. Check local bookstores for craft books that give detailed information on jewelry design, or look on the Internet for tutorials in different techniques. Using books and guides to become a costume jewelry designer allows a student to progress at his or her own pace and focus on developing a personal style.

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In order to become a costume jewelry designer, it is important to become familiar with what supplies are needed and where to purchase materials. Many purveyors of semi-precious and imitation stones operate websites or send catalogs of materials out to subscribers. Some cities offer occasional gem or jewelry shows at community centers where materials can be seen first hand before purchasing. Typical supplies needed include beads and stones, wire or metal chains, charms, clasps, and tools that help with shaping or wrapping.

Once supplies are obtained and techniques have been mastered, an artisan is off on the road to become a costume jewelry designer. As more pieces are made, the designer can help determine personal style and taste, as well as get a feel for what materials or types of jewelry he or she prefers to use. Some jewelry designers like to study vintage jewelry designs and make beautiful replicas of period pieces. Others like to use specific types of stones, such as colored quartz or painted beads, to make stunning, one-of-a-kind gifts or show pieces.

Learning to become a costume jewelry designer can turn out to be a wonderful hobby and may provide a source of marvelous gifts for friends and relatives. Handmade pieces given at special occasions may be treasured forever, as the work and care will be evident in the finished piece. Even those geared toward opening a costume jewelry business can benefit from giving away pieces to friends; people wearing the creations of a designer can essentially serve as advertisements for the designer.

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