As a creative who loves creating jewelry, you may be wondering if your work is good enough and, more importantly, what it will take for you to create the very best jewelry designs that would eventually sell and make good money for you.
Understandably, you may have the most creative mind, but are you able to execute your designs in the best way? In other words, do you have the tools needed to make the best homemade jewelry designs?
Well, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about making the best homemade jewelry. So, let’s get right into it!
What do you need to make homemade jewelry?
To create the best earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc., you need some of the best basics, including nose pliers, among other wire wrapping tools.
These don’t have to cost too much, but the quality of the tools you spend your money on has to be of the very best quality. So, what are some of the tools you must invest in?
When it comes to making the best of homemade jewelry, the flat nose pliers are a necessity, and you need them for just about everything from opening jump rings, finishing the wire-wrapped ends, and even completing several other tasks like fixing the clasps, etc.
Given its importance, you’d want to invest in at least two pairs of the best quality flat nose pliers. This will allow you to easily grasp anything you need without having to leave some kind of crimp on the metal. All you will have to do is to find a pair of pliers that has the smoothest surface in between the jaws.
This is the other necessity you need to be able to make the best homemade jewelry. You need the round-nose pliers to make the wire loops, the bends, hoops, clasps, and also the jump rings.
The design and the size of these round nose pliers also mean that you can reach them easily and make sure you get the best and the smoothest nice curves.
You need to invest in the best quality wire cutter for jewelry making. While there are many cheap options out there, we recommend spending a little more on the pricier options because they will break apart too soon, and also, they are not the best for cutting through the thicker wires.
When cutting through the thin wire pieces, you may have to use nail clippers instead, but only if the wire is very thin and the clippers are durable, sharp, and smooth. This would be ideal when you are starting out, but as you enhance your craft, get the best wire cutters.
To be the best creator of elegant, high-quality, homemade jewelry, you must learn how to bend the wires for the jewelry. Essentially, you need the smoothest wire parts for jewelry making, but you also need to reduce waste, and this type of pliers makes that possible.
The nylon-tipped pliers will guide you on how to bend the wires and to practice using the wires to get rid of kinks in the wires and the materials you will be working with.
So, instead of having hard days when making your jewelry, you should reach out for your nylon-tipped pliers. To use this pair of pliers, you’d be required to simply grab the pliers on one end, then use it to tightly grip the pliers, then pull it through the wire, smoothening it out. In other words, you wouldn’t have to worry about bends in the wires you are working on.
As you learn new wire cutting techniques, you will need to invest in the best wire cutters that also help in enhancing your wire-wrapping techniques.
For this, the flush cutter comes in handy. The flush cutters look just like the regular good quality wire cutters, but the magic around the cutters lies in the name of the wire cutter and the fact that the cutters will never leave any loose ends.
All you need to do is to consider the size of the wire you intend to cut – the reason for this is that the flush cutters are designed to handle only a specific wire gauge. This specificity ensures that you cut the right ring size. Just don’t use it to cut wires that are too thick.
You need the ruler to create the best jewelry pieces. You only need the standard ruler, although you could also use a graphing ruler that gives you a better visual representation of what you are working on and the surface or materials you are dealing with.
You will have to practice a lot for you to be able to eventually make the very best quality of your handmade jewelry. The first ‘drafts’ will not look that good or close to anything imagined, but with time, you will be able to create better-quality pieces. To be able to from novice to master or just someone who is really good at it, you need to get good quality practice material.
Some of the best options when it comes to the practice materials include copper wire or any other kind of base metal wire that will help you to learn without having to worry about wasting your money on expensive supplies, even as you sharpen your skills.
This is the other tool you must invest in as you learn how to make the best homemade jewelry. You need the disk punch to cut shapes like circles, hearts, animal shapes, and squares, among other shapes.
The punch allows for even shapes for the jewelry repeatedly, meaning you can count on the consistency of the disk punch.
To use the disk punch, you only need to sandwich the sheet of metal you wish to cut between the 2 layers, then insert the proper circle or shape to cut, and then hammer it out with the disk.
You could use the brass hammer, which works well because it is heavy and also gives you the extra power you need while being soft enough to land the blow with very little bounce back. Just make sure that you are investing in the best quality disk punch.
For those small details, intricate cuts, and generally the jewelry designs that feature small parts, you need to use a jeweler’s saw. This is a versatile tool that will give you the freedom to work on the pieces in question easily, regardless of the complexity of the designs.
The power of this saw lies in blades and the fact that these blades come in various sizes, from the thin blades that are specific to small and thin parts to the strong and bigger blades that cut through metal easily while removing more metal, as needed.
You should also know that there are other blade frames that come in the standard sizes while others have much deeper throat depths. And the blades with a deeper depth are the ones that allow you to easily make longer cuts, especially if working with longer pieces of metal or just larger metal pieces.
That said, opt for the smaller jeweler’s saw because the pieces of jewelry you will be working on are obviously very small pieces, and the small size of the saw gives you better control – which is essentially what you need when you are making jewelry and need the best tools.
Of course, you need wire when making jewelry. The jewelry type doesn’t really matter; you must have the best quality wire if you are making jewelry. What matters, however, is the size and type of wire you use.
Keep in mind that the wires meant for jewelry making come from different materials like rose gold, sterling silver, gold-filled materials, copper, or aluminum. And more importantly, the wire sizes or gauge sizes differ too and are the most important quality of the wire.
Note that the thinnest wires have the largest gauge size and vice versa. The main wire sizes that you need to be aware of are as follows:
20-gauge wire – this is pretty much the standard wire size for most kinds of jewelry, and it meets many of your jewelry-making needs, including wire wrapping. It is what you would use for pendant necklaces, earrings, bracelet clasps, etc.
24-gauge wire – this is a very thin wire that you need for the project that calls for some extra strength or perhaps beads with a large hole.
26-gauge wire – this thin wire fits through many bead sizes, and we recommend using this wire size for wire wrapping. Just make sure that there is enough wire left over to secure the beads, and be careful not to bend or crimp this wire too many times because it is not the sturdiest.
28-30 Gauge wires – when working with really small stone beads made of precious materials and known for their teeny-weeny holes, you will need the extra thin wires on hand, and the 28 or 30-gauge wires will do the job. Such thin wires are, unfortunately, not suitable for wire-wrapping of the stones onto the bracelet or pretty much any other pieces that may get jostled around because the wire is very delicate.
Other tools needed are as follows:
- Crimping pliers
- Assorted ear wiresfor use as earring backs
- Assorted headpins plus eye pinsto create connectors with
- Assorted claspsfor connecting the ends of the necklaces and bracelets
- Strong adhesivesfor gluing parts together
Specialty tools include;
- Beading boardsfor accurate measurement of the lengths of the jewelry you are making#
- Memory wire shearsfor the memory wire to stop ruining the work done or other wire cutters
- Bead and/or pearl reamerfor enhancing the holes in the beads and also smoothing out the beads’ textures
- Metal hole punchfor punching holes in metals
- Anvilfor flattening out metals and also adding texture to the metals
- Metal stamping toolto stamp different patterns and designs on the metal
- Wire pin vise, which you will use to curl the metals – allows for the smoothest curls.
So, if you were thinking of the thing you will need to improve your homemade jewelry project, the listed things above are some of the essentials you want to invest in.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.