Lets start with your equipment. These are must have items, things that you will use with almost every project.
The first is your pliers, I suggest starting with these three.
From left to right; round nose pliers (pink handle), wire cutters (lilac handle) and flat nosed pliers ( green handle). You can buy these at any bead shop and hardware store. Amazon also has them as sets. Feel free to order full kits as we will cover all types of pliers along the journey.
What are they used for:
The round nosed pliers will be used when you need to curl wire to make loops or even make your own jump rings.
The wire cutters are exactly that they are used to cut you tiger tail and other wire products you will use in future projects.
The flat nosed pliers are used to open and close jump rings and working with wire.
In the beginning I used my flat nose and my round nose to open and close jump rings, as you grow your jewelry making you will often find that you will acquire two or more (like me) of everything. I will show you how to open your jump rings in the next tutorial. This week is all about your tools.
You now need a storage box, a smallish plastic sorter works well and can be stacked when you have limited space.
|Available at most hobby, craft and bead stores|
Here are some different ideas for storage.
|Available at stationary and hardware stores|
|clear sorter (found at craft stores, grocery stores and even stationary stores)|
|small draw tool box (found at hardware stores)|
I also use tubs from salads and food bought from the store and washed after the food is eaten, this is a great way to recycle.
The next thing you need is your findings, there are a lot so you will need to plan your products or keep a lot around.
Jump rings- these come in different sizes, thicknesses, shapes and colors. The most common are silvertone and goldtone round split rings.
These can be used to complete projects or be the main ingredient in a project.
How do you finish off your work? Depending on what you want to make and what materials you used to make it will decide how to finish it off.
The very minimum you need are
|Left to right : crimp, crimp cover, jump ring, claw clasp|
Next are your strings, depending on what you are stringing i.e. crystals, pearls or glass beads etc. Will depend on what type of line you will use.
I mostly use tiger tail and elastic. In America I know it is called beading wire/ beadalon and it is available in clear or color.
Tiger tail is finely woven metal beading thread and works best with heavier beads as it is strong.
Beadalon/pearlon thread is a plastic thread also very strong and durable, it is not something I use often as the equivalent available where I get my beading supplies from is too thick and they don't have other sizes.
Elastic is a great and durable way to may simple easy to wear jewelry and is a favorite of mine, it comes in varying thicknesses. 0.6; 0.8 & 1 are the sizes I use based on the bead and project and it is relatively cheap.
|This is a thick colored elastic, it is great to use when the elastic will be incorporated into your design as is meant to be visible.|
This is the elastic I use on most of my projects, especially my watches, it is durable and last a long time. It is also available in colors. Elastic is great when making bracelets and necklaces for kids and family members who have arthritis and tremors and are unable to manipulate clasps.
And last but not least, Super glue or Crazy glue, E6000 are all great, but cannot be used on the elastic as it makes it friable (breakable)
All these items for your jewelry are available through online craft supply shops, from places like Glitterama Crafts on Etsy, beadaholique and Fusion beads online shops, in the USA or Beaddirect or House of Beads in South Africa.
Next week we will talk about choosing your beads.