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Supplies You Want

The Jewelry Making Tool Box  -- What Jewelry Supplies Will You Need?

Picture of jewelry making supplies and jewelry tools.Once you have all of the Jewelry tools you need, you will also want to consider the jewelry making supplies that you should have on hand.  Here are a list of the jewelry making supplies that you will want to have available for making jewelry with jewelry wire and beads. 

  1. Practice wire in 18, 20, 22 and 24 gauge.  Before you use your good jewelry wire, ALWAYS make your jewelry wire components in practice wire several times.  Even advanced wire workers do this. 
  2. Jewelry wire for finished pieces.  Silver-plate, gold-plate, gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry wire.  18, 20, 22, 24 and possibly 26 gauge.  We recommend sterling silver or gold-filled jewelry wire for upscale pieces and non-tarnish silver-plated wire for inexpensive pieces.  For beginners, we recommend that you start with 20 gauge jewelry wire for making jewelry wire components and 22 gauge jewelry wire for making wrapped bead links. 
  3. Beads.  4mm, 6mm, 8mm and others.  For upscale pieces consider Swarovski Austrian Crystal beads.  For economy pieces consider Fire Polished Glass Beads.  For some beads with larger holes it is helpful to also have metal accent beads in 2, 2.5 or 3mm available that match the jewelry wire you selected.  By placing one of these metal beads on either end of a lampwork bead with a large hole, you effectively decrease the size of the hole to match the size of your wire or stringing material. 
  4. Findings -- headpins, clasps and ear wires.  Headpins to match your jewelry wire for the finished pieces are very important.  1 1/2 inches or 2 inches long seems to be the most common sizes.  With clasps, we currently prefer the magnetic clasps in 6mm and 8mm to match the jewelry wire that you selected.  Magnetic clasps for bracelets make that bracelet very easy to put on and remove with one hand, but we do recommend that you use a guard chain when using a magnetic clasp on a bracelet.  The reason for this is that sometimes the bracelet can get snagged or caught and will come off without the guard chain.  Finally for ear wires, we frequently make our ear wires, but at times we also like to use commercial ear wires.  The ear clips style of ear wires has become very popular because they are secure, won't come off accidentally, and they are easy to put on and take off.  Many upscale designers are using these ear clips now. 
  5. Commercial chain.  Use fine chain for a guard chain on bracelets.  Use medium chain to make bracelet and necklaces links.  Obviously, select the chain to match your jewelry wire. 
  6. Bead stringing thread.  For bead stringing projects we recommend Soft Flex or Soft Touch instead of using thread.  Soft Flex and Soft Touch are made with a stranded stainless steel base jwire that is very resistant to breaking.  You will also need crimp beads to use with this bead stringing wire.  We recommend 2x2mm tube type crimp beadsCutting beadstringing wire will also require a special cutter with extra hardening. 

Summary of what jewelry making supplies are required:

Having the above set of jewelry making supplies available will allow you to make many jewelry projects without running to your local bead store.  As you become more proficient in making jewelry you may find that you want to make your own ear wires, clasps and sometimes your head pins.  For beginners, using pre-made clasps, ear wires and head pins is recommended. 


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