How to Make Handmade Jewelry by Doug Davis
Making your own handmade jewelry is a fun and easy way to make some extra money, and is a wonderful way to promote personal expression. If you are looking for a new creative gift for the person who has everything, you may want to consider making some customized jewelry instead of going to the store. Handmade gifts are making a comeback with the current economic situation, and most women enjoy receiving new jewelry to accompany their various fashion choices. When hand making jewelry you also have the option to use whatever materials you like, thus eliminating the possible instance of an allergic reaction to the materials or an unsuitable color choice.
Earrings can be made relatively easily with hook style ear wires and charms or crystal beads. One of my favorite pairs is one I made using only sterling silver fish hook ear wire with a coil and a sterling silver celtic triquetra knot work charm attached to it. To make an simple pair of earrings in this fashion, you will need a small set of pliers and matching charms that have loops on the top. I like to use the 25mm fish hook style ear wires with the coil that I mentioned above for their ability to stay in while remaining comfortable. To secure the charm, use the pliers to open up the small loop at the bottom of the hook and then slide your charm on so that it will face forward when it is being worn. Use the pliers again to close the loop, and you now have a new pair of earrings.
Making necklaces and bracelets basically consist of using the same steps with the exception of adding a main charm to a necklace, and obviously the difference in length. There are two ways that are the most effective for the novice jewelry creator to make bracelets and necklaces. And the styles are determined and defined by the materials used in their respective creation, these are hemp and wire. Using hemp is a wonderful option for those seeking comfort and a more bohemian style. Main charms on necklaces are usually glass beads or mineral specimens that have been wire wrapped or mounted in some sort of backing. Hemp braiding is basically the same concept as macrame, just applied to a different set of materials. There are many designs you can learn to make hemp pieces with, but the most popular method is known as the spiral.
To make a choker style spiral necklace or a bracelet you will need two strands that measure approximately 10 feet for a necklace and five feet for a bracelet. Start by taking the two strands and fold them in half, then tie a knot at the middle. Take one strand and make the shape of the letter “p” over the two middle strands. Take the fourth strand and drape it over the end of the “p” shaped strand. Take it under the two middle strands and through the loop of the “p”. Pull tightly and repeat the aforementioned steps using the string that is now in the leftmost position. Do this until you reach the point where you want to add your first bead. Then string the bead onto the two middle strands and loop the p around the bead so that it connects at the base of the bead, continue until you reach the middle and then add you main charm in the same way,. When you have finished the necklace make another knot at the end to secure the necklace and glue the knot with fabric glue. Allow the glue to dry and then soak the necklace in water so that the hemp will soften, improving the comfort level for the wearer. Use the same steps listed above to make a bracelet, you may choose not to include beads or to use two different colors of hemp for additional personalization.
To construct bracelets and necklaces of a different style, purchase some wire, wire cutters, clasps, jump rings, crystal strands and crimp beads. Substitutions can be made of course, you may choose beads over crystal strands. First you will want to measure out the length of your wire according to the length of the bracelet or necklace you want to make, leaving a little extra room. Then cut the wire and thread a crimp bead onto the wire through the hole.Add the jump ring to the wire and thread the end of the wire back through the crimp bead and close it over the wire using your pliers. Cut the excess wire with the wire cutters.
Now take the crystals or beads and lay them out in the order that they will go onto the necklace or bracelet and string them on accordingly. If you are adding a charm to a necklace, stop halfway and attach it to the necklace. You may need to use a split jump ring to do this. If this is the case, close the jump ring around the wire and proceed by stringing the remaining beads or crystals until you reach the end. At the end of the wire add another crimp bead, then add a clasp onto the wire and thread the wire back through the crimp bead and close it. Cut the excess wire again with the wire cutter and your task is complete.
About the Author
Doug Davis is writer working for JewelryPayless.com an online retailer specializing in sterling silver jewelry.