My starter kit

Hi reader!

First of all, apologies for my absence. It turns out opening an online shop can be quite time consuming (who knew?!)!

This time we will be going back to basics; I’ll take you through what I consider essential if you want to roll up your sleeves and get creative.

Here is my starter kit:

Tools (Pliers) – They’re essential and definitely keep me from banging my head against the wall (not literally, of course!) in times of frustration. They make it possible to hold, cut, pull, push, twist, turn, open, close and do pretty much what I want to the tiny pieces I work with. I would recommend, as a start, a round nose pliers and a flat/bent nose pliers. If wire work sounds appealing, you may want to get yourself a wire cutter too.

Round nose pliers
Round nose pliers: Ideal for making loops in wire
Bent nose pliers: With a similar function as the flat nose pliers, great for holding wire while assembling pieces
Wire cutter
Wire cutter – as the name indicates, perfect for cutting wire. I always cut with one hand while covering with the other to avoid any bits of wire jumping up – specially when cutting a small piece of wire

Findings – Here is where the options start opening up so I’ll try to keep it simple. You may want to start off with the following: eye pins, head pins, clasps, jump rings, earrings hooks, wire and cord.

Eye pins (left) and eye pins (right): available in several sizes, these are great to create earrings and can also be used to hold pendants.
Eye pins (left) and head pins (right): available in several sizes, these are great to create earrings and can also be used to hold pendants
These come in many different shapes and sizes and are absolutely necessary with most necklaces and bracelets to offer the option to open/close.
Claps: These come in many different shapes and sizes and are absolutely necessary with most necklaces and bracelets to offer the option to open/close
These are mostly used to attach! Pendants to earrings, bracelet parts, necklace sections... They can also make a bracelet/necklace and much more
Jump rings: These are mostly used to attach! Pendants to earrings, bracelet parts, necklace sections… They can also make a bracelet/necklace and much more
Earring hooks: The image says it all: without these, how would you attach a beautiful piece of jewellery to your ear? :-)
Earring hooks: The image says it all: without these, how would you attach a beautiful piece of jewellery to your ear?! 🙂
Wire: It can be used to secure pendants, create new ones or even make some findings such as jump rings!
Wire: It can be used to secure pendants, create new ones or even make some findings such as jump rings
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Cord: Elastic or not, cord is great for bracelets, necklaces and pretty much anything that involves bead work

Stuff – This is where it gets complicated… good complicated I mean! I call this section stuff because there is a world and more of options, I couldn’t name them all. This is really where I cannot give more advice, it’s entirely up to your taste! There are beads and pendants (glass, delica, seed, acrylic, wood, pearls…) for everyone!

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If you’re feeling super confused as I often am, DEEP BREATH!

Here are a few tips to overcome the “this-is-too-much!” feeling:

– Check your local library: Yes, they will probably have jewellery related books in their craft section! I found this a great help at the beginning as not only they provide lots of information on all the tools and materials available, they also can offer great techniques and “how-to”s!

– Use Pinterest: Ohhhhh how I love Pinterest! Not only I use it as an advertising platform for my shop, I also have a board dedicated to jewellery making information, from tips to tutorials and more.

– Pay a little visit to Hobbycraft: I love it so much I think I could move in anytime! If you have the chance to, go to one, it’s beautiful! *.* Or, if you think I’m just being obsessive – yep, probably true – and you’re not too sure, take a look online.

– Beads fairs (aka jewellery maker’s paradise!): do you remember the world I mentioned before? Well, think of a beads fair like an event where all the planets in the Solar System come together… only better! Prices are usually really good and the options infinite. You may also have the chance to join taster classes and workshops and get to know suppliers. If you are in the UK, here is a very handy way to keep track of what’s happening.

– Most of all, don’t take it too seriously! This is a learning process that you chose to be a part of… remember to MAKE SURE YOU ENJOY IT! 😉

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