Lately I’ve been revisiting one of my first loves, jewelry making. It’s so addictive! I have this thing for what Emma and I call “art teacher necklaces,” which are basically just big, quirky statement necklaces. We liken that style to a cross between Ms. Frizzle (from The Magic School Bus) and our mom, who was an art teacher herself while we were growing up.
I’ve been buying supplies like crazy, and it’s feeling really FUN. Hobbies are refreshing like that, you know; they come and they go, and then years later they come back. I love it.
But before I get all crazy, I thought it might be helpful to share a few of the bare bones of jewelry making. Here’s what you need to get started and create your first, simple beaded necklace!
Supplies needed: Beads, bead-stringing wire, wire cutters, needle-nose pliers, bead crimper, crimping beads, chain, and jewelry findings (closures and hoops to finish off your necklaces). You can get a lot more fancy in the future, but this is all you need to get started!
Next, use the crimping beads to attach the ends of the three wires to one jump ring on each end. This is super easy—just loop the wire back through two beads (as you see above), and then use your crimping pliers to crimp the beads, flattening them until they permanently hold the two wires together. Then use wire cutters to trim off any excess wire. Repeat that with the end of every wire until all ends are attached to jump rings.
Once you’ve practiced these basics and you have them down, you’ll instantly know how to make a lot of the jewelry you see in stores! My home ec teacher in high school always said, “Why buy it if you can make it?” I still think of her words when I’m out shopping today.
I think with jewelry it’s really worth it to invest in the basic tools and learn to make it because the possibilities are literally endless. Plus it’s really fun. Jewelry making is a great girls’ night activity with a bottle of wine and friends.
Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with Stella and Jean from The Signature Collection.