Have you ever looked at the word ‘findings’ and wondered what this is referring too?
Starting a hobby and learning new skills can feel daunting, but jewellery making doesn’t need to be difficult.
Making jewellery requires a basic grasp of industry terminology.
Understanding different tools and components will make the design process much easier and set you up for success.
Whether you are making jewellery at home, looking for a new career or simply interested in making jewellery to better suit your style - our beginners guide is here to help.
Jewellery making at home can be made a lot simpler by following a few basic tips:
1. Organisation – Have your essentials in a storage box that can be easily packed away. Keeping the basics all in one place will speed up the jewellery making process and prevent you misplacing things.
2. Bead Mat – A microfiber bead mat will keep tiny components in one place. The material prevents beads from rolling away or getting lost in the carpet.
3. Bead Scoop – Yes a teaspoon will work, but we think a bead scoop is better. They are perfect for picking up multiple beads all at once and a useful tool when separating or counting specific amounts.
When learning to make your own jewellery, start with the tools.
ROUND NOSE – Used for making loops in soft wires such as eye-pins, head-pins and craft wire.
CHAIN NOSE – Tapered at the end. Use for gripping small items with precision.
FLAT NOSE – Wide Tips for squashing crimps, gripping, opening jump rings.
SIDE CUTTERS – Cut soft wires such as head-pins and craft wire. Use to cut nylon coated wire such as Beadalon.
FLUSH CUTTERS – Tapered, thinner snips for extra precision. Use with soft wire.
MEMORY WIRE CUTTERS – Memory Wire is hardened steel and will blunt normal pliers. Memory Wire cutters are specially designed to cut through tough metal. They can be also be used for other hard wires and chains. An investment item that should last a lifetime.
CRIMP FORMING PLIERS – A two part process that folds and flattens the crimp.
NYLON JAW – Pliers covered with a Nylon coating to protect the plating on metals. Used the flat nose style to straighten out craft wire or grip during wire wrapping projects. Nylon coated round nose pliers allow loop making without the risk of damaging soft wires.
Making your own jewellery can be a great way to create personalised accessories that suit your own personal taste and style.
However, if you’re new to the art of beading, it can be difficult to know where to start.
‘Findings’ is a jewellery term to encompass all jewellery components; the skeleton of the jewellery, such as wire, fastenings, connectors or hooks. To see this in more detail click here.
Choosing which beads you like is the easy part. Selecting the right findings, however, can be a difficult task for beginners.
Here are just a few of the most popular jewellery findings to consider using on your next creation:
JUMP RINGS – Small metal rings with opening. Use to link component’s together such as end fastenings or earring charms.
HEAD PINS / EYE PINS – Soft wire pins for adding beads. Head Pins have a flat base, Eye-Pins have a looped end. Use to make drop ear rings, rosary style necklaces.
CRIMPS – Tiny little balls made from soft metal. These are squashed to form wire loops at the ends of nylon coated wire, necklaces and bracelets. They can also be flattened along flexible beading wire to secure beads in specific places.
EAR WIRES – Used in pierced ears. The looped end allows easy attachment of charms or beads (on headpins).
EAR STUDS – Used in pierced ears. Allows items to be glued to the flat frontal pad to create ‘stud’ style earrings.
A common mistake when starting out is not taking into consideration the width of the bead hole in relation to the thickness of the stringing material.
Always make sure the string you choose is slightly smaller than the hole in the bead.
For example - a 1mm bead hole would fit strings up to 0.8mm.
Decide the look you are aiming for.
For an organic look choose natural materials such as cotton, leather, faux suede and hemp.
Do you need something strong with a good selection colours? Go for rat-tail synthetic cords or shamballa thread.
Looking for quick, easy and cost effective bracelets? – choose something stretchy such as stretch magic or our alternative economy brand. These do not require a clasp, stretch on and off with ease and come in a variety of thickness.
Have fun, start with the basics and your jewellery design skills grow.