Having the right jewelry tools is essential to creating unique, well-made pieces. But with the huge amount of jewelry craft tools and supplies, how do you know what is a must-have, what you can wait on and what to splurge on?
We’re here to help! Read on for the must-have tools for any jewelry making beginner and what upgrades you can make once you’re more serious about your jewelry crafting.
Top Jewelry Craft Tools for Beginners
The first purchase every aspiring jewelry crafter should make is a pair (or two!) of pliers. There are three basic types of jewelry making pliers available, and each has its own use. Purchase one or all three depending on what type of jewelry you’ll be creating.
Round Nose Pliers are used for bending wire, making loops, rings, curves and other shapes. They’re also essential for making headpins and eyepins. This type of pliers gets their name from their rounded jaw, which tapers to a point at the end.
Chain Nose Pliers are semi-round, with a flat jaw and a point at the end. These pliers are ideal for working in tight, small spaces and difficult angles. They work as a stable second set of hands, making it easy to hold the elements, bend and wrap wire, open and close jump rings and make loops. Chain nose pliers are available in long-nose and short nose. Use long-nose pliers for more reach when working with small, tight elements and short-nose pliers for projects in which you need more stability when working.
Crimping Pliers, as the name suggests, are a must-have if you’re working with crimp beads and stringing beads. These types of pliers have two notches in the jaws, one for crimping, one for rounding, which easily secure crimp beads.
Note: Make sure you are purchasing crafting pliers, designed specifically for jewelry making. Pliers from a hardware store are not intended for this type of use and may cause damage to your jewelry or the pliers themselves.
If you’ll be working with wire for your jewelry projects, be sure to invest in a pair of good wire cutters. These jewelry craft tools allow you to get a clean, precise cut on different types of wire you’re working with. Note: Don’t use everyday scissors or even craft scissors for cutting wire. You could damage the scissors and your jewelry.
A basic ruler or tape measure is essential for measuring your projects. If you have one handy around the house, that is fine to use.
Another handy jewelry tool to keep nearby is jewelry adhesive or jewelry making glue. Some jewelry designs rely heavily on using adhesive and others simply may benefit from an extra dot of adhesive to keep things together. Either way, having a bottle of all-purpose jewelry glue handy will benefit you. Need something more specific? There are different types of adhesive for certain projects, so choose one to best fit your favorite type of jewelry project.
Jewelry Tools You May Want to Upgrade
Creating your own jewelry isn’t for everyone, but once you’ve determined it’s a crafting project you want to do more of, you can make some upgrades in your jewelry tools. These tools aren’t essential, but nice to have.
As youcollect more beads you love and other jewelry tools, it’s nice to keep them all organized and together. Jewelry Storage and Beading Organization items like a craft storage box and small plastic bags are an easy way to keep like items together and right where you want them, so you don’t have to search for tools or beads you know have.
If you work with delicate, intricate pieces, consider investing in a magnifying work light. You can purchase one that sits on top or attaches to your worktable so you can have an enlarged view of what you’re working on without sacrificing a free hand. Plus, this handy tool can save your eyes from hours of squinting and back from leaning over for hours. Crafting jewelry should be fun AND comfortable!
A Bead Board is a tool that allows you to arrange your beads as they will be in the finished product, so you can get a close look at exactly how it will look. Most bead boards include measurement marks as well as flocking so you can measure your items and keep the beads from sliding around.
There are also plenty more pliers you can invest in as you become more experienced with jewelry making:
- Wire-Wrapping Pliers, which can help create consistently sized and perfect loops. Use these for wrapping wire or for creating your own jump rings.
- Flat-Nose Pliers, which are typically used to hold beads and other components without damaging or scratching them.
- Flush-Cutters are a tool that can help you get clean, precise cuts in small spaces. Use them to trim headpins, eyepins and other small loops.
DIY Jewelry Tool
As you work with beads, visualization is key. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what the final product will look like or even what size beads to use for each project. When starting out, a visual guide to bead sizes can be helpful. And luckily, it’s easy to create your own!
Simply take an index card or piece of cardstock and glue extra beads in a variety of sizes to it. Make sure to write the size of the bead above it, and voila, you have an instant, easy to use visual size guide for beads.
What are the best jewelry tools you’ve invested in? Share below!
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