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Jewelry making remains a very popular craft as it can be adapted to suit different skill levels, tastes and budgets. Jewelry can be created by anyone, from children and beginners to experts and artists. Some jewelry designs are simple, while others are ornate. Jewelry making supplies range from inexpensive to expensive.
An important thing to know about making jewelry is why you're making it, since this knowledge will guide you in choosing your design options and supplies. For instance, when helping young children to make jewelry, larger inexpensive plastic beads with large holes for easy threading tend to work best. On the other hand, if you've decided to go into the jewelry making business and create jewelry to sell, totally different supplies such as fine Swarvoski crystal beads and well planned-out, original yet popular designs will be needed.
Another important consideration when making jewelry is where to buy supplies and how much to spend. Starting with a budget in mind is essential whether you're making jewelry for fun or for profit. With many sources of jewelry making supplies available online today, comparing prices isn't usually too time-consuming. Plus, if you live near a craft store, you can check out prices in person as well. Plan purchases in advance, as the total can add up quickly and you want to be sure to have all the supplies you need for creating the jewelry you want.
If you're just beginning to make jewelry, find supplies that are available in smaller packages to keep costs down. If you make a point to regularly visit different jewelry supply websites and/or craft stores in your area, you can keep up with what supplies are available, the sizes they're sold in, and their prices. As you create more pieces of jewelry, you'll get a better idea of what jewelry making supplies you're likely to need and will probably even be able to design your pieces to best utilize the types of beads and other items that best suit your budget.
Popular bead types include wood, glass, metal and crystal. Combining more than two or three different materials of beads usually doesn't give a very polished look to jewelry, but of course this will depend on your design and vision. If you're making jewelry to sell as part of your business, your designs must be original. Although they may be inspired by other pieces of jewelry, pieces that are creative and unique yet still in style will help make you stand out as a jewelry designer. If you want to learn how to make jewelry as a hobby only, however, there are many beading books and patterns with jewelry making ideas available through craft stores.
Don't forget to have the appropriate sizes and types of jewelry findings on hand for your earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or other pieces. For example, earring backs are needed to make earrings and clasps are required to fasten necklaces and bracelets. Different sizes, styles and colors of finishes are available so that you can use findings that best fit with each piece when making jewelry. Fishing line or beading thread may be used to string beads and some people even use dental floss when creating beaded jewelry.
For more advanced jewelry making techniques, tools such as needle-nosed pliers may be used to bend fancy shapes from beading wire such as to create links for bracelets, earrings or chains. A jewelry making jig offers another way to create intricately bended wire shapes. The jig is a pegged board and when wire is wrapped around the pegs in different configurations, many interesting metal pieces to use in making jewelry may result.
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