woman's hands holding jewelry pliers and beads

Where to get inexpensive (and even free!) jewelry making supplies

Don’t let the cost of starting a jewelry making hobby overwhelm you. Here are places to get cheap jewelry making supplies.

You want to learn how to make your own jewelry at home, but you don’t have the funds right now to spend much money on extra things. Or maybe you or your spouse is weary of you spending money on yet another hobby that you might lose interest in another month. 

mature woman making jewelry at home

Whatever the reason, you don’t necessarily have to shell out that much money to get started making jewelry.

Heck, you could even find jewelry beads, tools, and findings for FREE!

There are lots of resources out there where you can find most of what you need for much cheaper than you’ll find at your local craft store or even some of the websites that allow you to buy wholesale jewelry making supplies in bulk.

(Which, by the way, may cost you less per supply, but you still have to purchase a ton of supplies in order to get those bulk discounts!)

It’s just about knowing where to look.

And those some of those places might surprise you!

beads for creating jewelry at home

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure here.

Where is the best place to buy jewelry making supplies?

I don’t think there is one specific store where you can buy cheap jewelry making supplies. Instead, I think there are some really great platforms for buying jewelry supplies at a really great price. Here are some places where you can find jewelry beads and findings for lower prices.

Destash groups on Facebook

Did you know there are dedicated groups on Facebook specifically for selling craft supplies? Since these are individuals looking to get rid of their stash (hence “destash”), it’s a great place to find what you’re looking for at discounted prices. 

To find groups, go to the Facebook search bar and type in the word “Destash”. You can see what comes up for suggestions, or trying searching specifically for “Destash Jewelry” or “Destash Craft”.

Facebook destash jewery supply group screenshot

Here are a few destash groups that I found:

I can’t personally speak to the quality of these groups since I’m not yet in them, but they might be worth checking out. Also, please note that for many of these groups in order to join you’ll need to fill out their questionnaire before you’re accepted into the group. 

Facebook Marketplace

Another gem on Facebook is Marketplace. Unlike the Destash groups, you don’t need to be part of a group to buy supplies.

To find what you’re looking for, click on “Marketplace” and put what you’re searching for in the search-bar where it says “Search Marketplace”. Some search terms for this might be “jewelry supplies” or “beads for jewelry making”.

Facebook marketplace jewery supply group screenshot

eBay

I’ve had great luck in the past buying beads in bulk for a great price on eBay. I like searching for lots, meaning you’ll get a lot of supplies for your money. So, for example, I might look for “jewelry making lot” or “beads lot“. When you do the search, make sure you skip past the sponsored posts

If you have something more specific in mind — say, freshwater pearls — include those words in the search terms.

You can also use eBay to get used jewelry pliers. There are also new supplies for sale, but my guess is you’re more likely to save money if you buy it used.

eBay also gives you the option to do a local pickup, which will save you money on shipping. (Of course, always be careful when doing these kinds of in-person exchanges with strangers.) 

PRO TIP: Want even more savings? Sign up for Ratuken (formerly eBates) and get the Chrome extensionWhen you click on the little pop-up box, you can cash back at eBay (up to 1% at the time of writing this).

 

Craigslist

Similar to eBay, you can find used supplies on Craigslist

Since Cragislist is geographically-based, you want to look for your nearby city. They have an option to search by major cities or by State, or even by continent. (Top right corner of the page when you’re on desktop.) I believe the default is San Francisco.

After you choose your geographic location, click on the “For sale” section and type in what you’re looking for. Use similar search terms that you would use on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.

The downside is because it’s based on where you live, you won’t find as many options. I live in an urban area, and my guess is Craigslist works best if you don’t live in a super remote area.

Etsy

Similar to eBay, you can find some great supplies at discount prices on Etsy. Doing a quick search, there are sellers who sell lots, as well as individual supplies. I have purchased many supplies over the years through various Etsy sellers.

My favorite seller of all time is CreatingUnkamen. They’re a family-owned business and so lovely, and always include extra samples with their orders. (At least they did when I purchased from them a few years ago.) They sell a variety of supplies at great prices and can usually do custom orders if you tell them what you’re looking for.

Beadaholique

I haven’t yet personally purchased Beadaholique products directly from their website, but I do have products of theirs that I have purchased at local craft stores (such as their Flex Wire for beading).

They do have a wide variety of jewelry-making products at pretty good prices. They offer a deal of the week plus their Beader’s Reward. Get 500 points for creating account (good for  $5 off your order), 25 pointes for leaving a review (4 reviews and you get $1 off), 500 points for referring a friend who spends $25 or more. 

Plus if you use Ratuken like I mentioned previously, you can earn 3.5% cash back. 

Places to get supplies for free

There are ways you can get jewelry making supplies without spending a dime! Here are some places. 

Freecycle

Freecycle is a grassroots network of people who give away things for free. Search for your town or city and sign up. From there, you can post what you are looking for or see if anyone has posted supplies that they are already giving away. For more detailed instructions on how to use Freecycle, check out this article.

A few things to note:

  • Things go FAST! (Generally.) If you find a post that’s more than a few days old, the items have likely been claimed or picked up already.
  • If you sign up to receive e-mail notifications, you might get a lot of e-mails, depending on where you live and how active your local group is. 

Buy Nothing

Buy Nothing is similar to Freecycle in that it’s a location-based group for giving away/receiving things for free. The main difference is they are Facebook groups. You might not find anyone giving away jewelry making supplies, but you never know!

Craigslist

In addition to being a marketplace, Craigslist also has a free section. It’s tucked away in the “For sale” section. Again, things go fast here, but it doesn’t hurt to look.

woman's hands holding jewelry pliers and beads

Use what you have at home

Chances are you have broken jewelry or pieces you never wear. Consider using old jewelry for parts, such as clasps, chain, and beads. You can also use household tools instead of specific jewelry making pliers. 

Make your own supplies

Finally, consider making your own supplies using materials you have at home. 

Do you have any random wire? Use them to make wire eye loops or to make jump rings

You can also make gorgeous DIY beads with things like paper and glue. Here are just two examples:

A few notes on finding affordable supplies

Over my 20+ years experience making and selling jewelry, I’ve shelled out a lot of money on tools and high-quality materials. But when I was first starting out as a hobbyist, I didn’t have the funds to buy expensive supplies.

I found that it’s important to get creative and be flexible. For example, you might want a pearl to make a DIY single pearl necklace. But if you can’t find the right beads you want or they’re more than your budget allows try substituting other unique beads for jewelry making, like some of those handmade beads from above or ones from an old pieces of jewelry.

If you’re not having luck finding what you’re looking for, try using a different word. It’s possible the term you’re using aren’t the ones people are looking for.

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Once you have the supplies you need, check out these jewelry making ideas and start crafting your own beautiful pieces affordably!

3 thoughts on “Where to get inexpensive (and even free!) jewelry making supplies”

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