Resources for making handmade jewellery (earrings)
April 25, 2011 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Looking for information about making handmade jewellery (earrings) - resources, tips, help, suggestions, etc.

My girlfriend has started to get into the craft/hobby of making handmade jewellery, specifically earrings. She has been doing this for about a year now and is quite interested in it. She is completely self taught and I must admit, fairly good.

She has some of the basic tools, a small selection of material (beads) and the basic techniques. She would like to advance and learn more. She checked into any classes, etc in our local area for this and there are none. She has a birthday coming up in the coming months and I would like to get her some stuff related to this hobby.

If anyone has ANY suggestions of resources that I might be able to look into for this (and possibly a gift), that would be appreciated. Again, she is only interested in earrings and not getting into making rings, chain mail, etc, or other types of jewellery. I am looking for books, resources, guides, websites, message boards/forums, supplier lists for beads, etc...

Any assistance would be helpful. Thanks.
posted by dbirchum to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Starting out, I would've thrilled to a copy of The New Beadwork with a catalogue and gift certificate from Fire Mountain. If she wants to go beyond beads: Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing (and to go with it, gift certificate and catalogue from Rio Grande -- yes, the catalogue is worth the refundable $10 they charge for it).

If she has been getting her supplies just from local shops those two catalogues alone will be mind-blowing, and very instructive on their own.

You might get better advice if you could sneak a picture of some of her work on here -- 'beaded earring' covers quite a lot of ground. Does she want to know how to source better-quality gemstone beads? Learn new techniques for weaving Delicas? Learn wireworking techniques to make her own findings? Etc.
posted by kmennie at 4:59 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I recently started making jewelry. I've found the following websites useful: Beadage, How to Make Jewelry,, About.Com's Jewelry Making, How To videos, and and lots of free projects. Also, Artbeads is a good place to get beads and findings (and if she signs up for their emails she will get regular discount info).
posted by la petite marie at 5:09 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Something I've always wanted to get into (but never had the money) is precious metal clay. Here is a quick example with earrings, you can also make beads for earrings from it.
posted by anaelith at 5:18 AM on April 25, 2011

I'm liking the stuff at Ornamentea lately. I know they only have part of their stock on line, but the earrings I've put together using their findings and such always get compliments.
posted by jvilter at 7:45 AM on April 25, 2011

Oh, and I meant to add, they have a lot of tutorials on site for different techniques.
posted by jvilter at 7:45 AM on April 25, 2011

For next year (or for this year's birthday, if she can handle a long wait), you two could go to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. More jewelry-making things than should be allowed -- 4,500 vendors and 50,000 visitors each year. Here are photos of the last one. Here's the website for the next one (February 2012).
posted by Houstonian at 12:56 PM on April 25, 2011

This website has stuff for sale but also inspiration projects and techniques... can be a good resource.
posted by lockstitch at 4:32 PM on April 27, 2011

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