Here you’ll find what you need to get started making beautiful jewelry at home.
Imagine the sense of pride you’ll feel when you leave your house wearing a necklace you created with your own two hands — and when people stop you on the street and ask you where you bought it. Or the smile on your friends’ and family members’ faces as they unwrap a beautiful pair of earrings that you made.
In this guide for beginners, you’ll find:
- Jewelry making projects
- Recommended tools and materials and how to organize your supplies
- Some resources on starting your own jewelry business
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
How do you make jewelry step by step?
I firmly believe that the best way to learn to make jewelry is to start simple.
Most of the jewelry you’ll find on this blog is jump ring jewelry made using the Spiral Method. You’ll learn this simple technique in my free mini video course, Jump Ring Jewelry.
Another great place to start is learning how to make a Mobius Spiral. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll have the skills needed to make beautiful necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. (Like the beautiful spiral earrings pictured below.)
Or check out the full library of free jewelry making instructions, perfect for beginners. Each easy to follow tutorials includes a materials list and step-by-step directions with images and text. Most of these pieces of jewelry are surprisingly easy to make while also incredibly elegant.
It’s worth repeating: jewelry making doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful!
easy Jewelry making projects
Here are three of the most popular jewelry ideas you’ll find on the blog. All of them use the Spiral Technique and even the newest hobbyist can make them.
You’ll also find simple handmade jewelry gift ideas, all which require five materials or less.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board full of some jewelry making design ideas.
jewelry making classes
Looking for a more in depth look at how to make homemade jewelry? Here are my top recommendations for classes:
- Metal to Masterpiece– A beginner level course where you’ll learn the tools, materials, and technique to master first
- Jewelry Making & Metalworking — Walks you through how to make a pair of teardrop earrings while you learn metal gauge, metal forging basics, making custom ear wires, and a few tools. wire wrapping
- Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals & Clusters — Really in-depth course, making wire loops, eye loop above a bead, and common mistakes.
Bluprint offers a wide array of classes, whether you want to learn metalsmithing skills, wire working, or beading. They offer a free course on MicroTorch basics which gave me the confidence to start doing metalsmithing at home.
Books to Help You Make Jewelry
Just like making jewelry is about making something tangible, nothing compares to the feeling of flipping through the pages of a book. Here you can find some of the best jewelry making books. Many of these are great reference guides to have on hand.
How to actually get your hobby started
Whenever you learn a new craft, there’s a lot of fear around getting started. In fact, even after years of selling jewelry, I still worried that I wasn’t that talented. Give that this craft has been around for over 100,000 years, it’s hard not to feel inadequate!
The trick, as I mentioned, is to start simple and master a few skills at a time.
Metal to Masterpiece gives you the confidence and understanding to make your own jewelry you’ll actually want to wear by building up a few skills at a time.
If you find you’re having a difficult carving out time in your busy day, check out these tips for making creative time a priority. Finally, if you’re like most creative people out there, you might think you lack the time. I teach a work Organize Your Life: A Class for Disorganized Creatives.
What do you need to make your own jewelry?
The beauty of making jump ring jewelry is you don’t need much to get started.
Jewelry making supplies
The top supplies I recommend people buy first are:
- Jump Rings
- Freshwater pearls or other beads
- gauge wire for making ear wires and 16 gauge wire for making other findings
I purchase the majority of my supplies from Rio Grande and Hoover & Strong (which supplies Harmony Metals and Gems: Recycled precious metals and ethical gems). However, you do need to be a business owner to purchase from these companies.
I personally love the Etsy shop CreatingUnkamen for most of my jewelry-making needs. When I first started making jewelry they were my go-to place for supplies. They make jump rings in all sizes, colors, and gauges.
(And if you aren’t sure what gauges means, it’s something you’ll understand by the time you finish my beginner level video course, Metal to Masterpiece. There’s also a bonus in there, the Jewelry Maker’s Toolbox, where you’ll find links to the exact materials I use to make all of the jewelry found here.)
Have a tight budget? You can find cheap jewelry making supplies. A lot of these are places you might not think to look and you might even be able to find some for free!
Jewelry making tools
These are the tools I regularly use for my own handmade jewelry designs:
- Wide nose pliers. I don’t use the Wubbers brand specifically, but these are the closest to the ones I use. They have a cushy grip and make chainamille a breeze. They are a bit pricier than other flat-nose pliers, but totally worth it for me! If you want a less expensive version to start out with this style is also great. Make sure you purchase two pairs of these pliers!
- Xuron Micro-Sheer Flush Cutter. Great for cutting beading wire and thin metal wire (I use it for up to 18 gauge sterling silver wire).
- Multi-Size Wire Looping Pliers. Great for making eye pins and jewelry findings. I actually prefer it over a round-nose plier.
- Bent Chain Nose Micro Plier. With their fine point, these pliers are really helpful for closing up pieces in tiny, hard-to-reach places.
- Chasing Hammer. I use this guy with a stainless steel block for adding texture and work-hardening my pieces.
- Dual Drum Rotary Rock Tumbler. I purchased my tumbler in late 2013 and it’s still going strong! Use it with steel shot, some water, and a drop of Liquid Dawn dish detergent, and your designs will come out looking shiny and bright!
I cover many of these tools in more depth in my beginner-level course, Metal to Masterpiece.
How to organize your supplies
One of the most common challenges I see among jewelry makers — myself include — is disorganized supplies. I’m personally a huge fan of the Sterlite Layer Stack & Carry Box. It is compact, has trays with compartments, and can lay them all out flat. Plus you can add additional trays if you find you need more storage.
You can also use recycled jars to store loose beads and supplies. (I do this in addition to the sterlite box.)
And if you’re short on space like city-dwellers such as me, you can create a portable jewelry making workstation.
How do you start a jewelry business?
Perhaps you want to learn how to make jewelry to sell. It’s tough to make a living, but staring your own business can be a great way to learn new skills and bring in extra money. I put together a guide on GoDaddy blog that walks you through the process of selling crafts online.
If you want to sell in person, hosting a jewelry trunk show in your home or someone else’s home is an inexpensive way to start. Or learn how to host a virtual a trunk show and sell your products through a free platform such as Facebook.
Selling at craft shows is another way to gain exposure, but they often require you spend money,
If you are considering starting a jewelry business or are new to the process, you’ll find some resources on creative entrepreneurship to help you get started. Here are some top ones:
- 5 lessons I learned after surviving my first craft show season
- How to rock your handmade business: Tips from 15+ Creative Entrepreneurs
- 15+ online tools to help your creative business thrive
Finally, this one is important: START A NEWSLETTER! Even if you are on social media, or you think you have nothing to e-mail people about, you NEED to collect people’s e-mail addresses. You can get a free account on MailChimp, or you can try ConvertKit (what I use) for free.
How do you price homemade jewelry?
I think one of the most challenging parts about selling your jewelry is knowing how to price it. When I was selling my jewelry, I used this pricing calculator from Etsy. My biggest tip is do NOT undervalue your work. Make sure you pay yourself for your time and not just for materials.
Also, when you undercharge for your own work, you undervalue the work of other crafters.
Once you set your prices, try to resist the urge to give into requests for discounts unless you are running a sale.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to send me an e-mail at bev(at)linkouture(dot)com, and I will do my best to respond within two business days.
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