Making your own jewelry opens up a world of possibilities. With the wide array of jewelry-making supplies available in specialty and craft shops and materials that can be adapted for use, you have several options for jewelry designs and compositions. Having an assortment of materials and tools will allow you to create original and artistic jewelry.
Metals used in making jewelry include precious and non-precious metals and sheet metal for creating original designs. Standard metal findings include beading and wrapping wires, bails, bead caps, crimp beads, eye and head pins, and jump rings. Clasps are available as hooks and eyes or spring rings, or more elaborately designed S-hooks, lobster claws and toggles. Working with metal findings requires hand tools such as assorted pliers for opening, closing and attaching findings as well as wire cutters. Use a rotary tool equipped with sanding, polishing and cutting accessories for finishing larger pieces of metal. Use a rotary tool equipped with a engraving accessory to etch fine, decorative details into the metal.
Polymer and precious metal clays make one-of-a-kind jewelry items. A clay pasta machine or acrylic roller prepares the clay. Bake polymer clay in a toaster oven and use a kiln or compact torch to fire the precious metal clay. Use a rotary tool with a fine drill bit to drill beading holes. A sanding accessory will sand edges smooth. Carve details into the finished clay piece with an engraver accessory. Various sizes and shapes of cutters and molds are useful for making shaped pendants. Use texture sheets, stamps, mica and pastel pigments to add detail and texture, and bead roller trays to create various shapes and sizes of beads.
Numerous sizes, colors and shapes of precious and semiprecious stones are available for stringing or adding to metal and clay pendants and necklaces, including crystals, pearls, turquoise, jasper, moonstones and other gemstones. String stones on beading wire or monofilament cord with a beading needle. Cut stones into original shapes to use as pendants or as focal points with other stones or beads using a rotary tool and applicable accessory. To use natural stones, polish them with a rotary tool equipped with a rubber polishing point accessory and wrap with wire to create unique pendants.
Beads are the focal point for necklaces and bracelets. Beads are available in glass, metal, acrylic, wood, shell and pearls. Combine various shapes, colors and textures, such as a focal bead and tiny seed beads to create unique jewelry. Make your own unique beads using small wood objects. As an alternative to stringing beads, set flat-backed beads into wood, leather or plastic materials by creating an indentation use a wood burning tool and gluing with jeweler's glue.
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