Five Things You Should Do Before You Design & Make Your Own Jewelry

1.    Go through your old jewelry. Put aside broken pieces and earrings that are missing their matches into a baggie and make a pile of any outdated or never worn pieces.  Note what jewelry you’re wearing more often and put those aside. Keep the broken pieces and one-earrings, you may be able to incorporate these into your personally-made jewelry.  Also, you may be able to use the outdated or never worn jewelry’s components to make your next, or first, piece of jewelry.
2.    Determine the piece(s) of jewelry you need. Do you have a necklace to wear with that little black dress? Do you need a statement piece? Are you lacking simple, delicate jewelry? Do you want a sentimental piece, maybe with your birthstone?
3.    Get ideas. Go through various magazines, websites, and catalogs and find what kind of jewelry you want to make. If you’re not feeling very creative, find a piece you want to copy. At most bead stores, they should offer some sort of free pointers and tips. If possible, go to a store that will let you work on your piece there. It will be a lot easier to copy a piece that way.(The Crazy Merchant, Inc. offers free beading tables and free tips from our expert designers.)
4.    Find a store. Use Google as your guide. Type in your location and the phrase “bead stores”, in quotations. This is the easiest way to find the stores near you. Then research each store.  You want to find a place with a wide variety, free work tables, trained staff (not just employees, a good rule of thumb for this is check to see if they make their own in-house jewelry), sells beads by the strand and per bead, carries alternative metals to sterling silver such as pewter (great way to get the look of silver without breaking the bank) or other base-metals, a place that sells the tools that you need at a good price (if they don’t, you can buy your own at a large craft chain such as Hobby Lobby or Michael’s) and (if possible) a place that will allow you to bring in your own beads (so you can bring your broken and outdated/never warn jewelry too, which is another great way to save).
5.    YouTube it and make a list! If you live somewhere that doesn’t have a wide selection of bead shops or don’t have a nearby place to take classes, like The Crazy Merchant, Inc., watch a YouTube video about how to make a certain piece of jewelry. If you want to make a simple necklace, watch a video about how to crimp and close a necklace. Do this BEFORE so you know all the tools and findings you will need for your project. Nothing is more frustrating then getting home and finding out you’re missing one piece. A shopping list before you go is highly recommended! If you’re a beginner beader and just want all the basics, here’s what we suggest you put base your shopping list off of:
Bead Board
Tools:
Crimper
Flat Nose
Round Nose
Wire cutters
Stainless steel wire (we prefer Softflex®)
Crimps (we recommend sterling silver)
Finishing balls (we recommend 4mm silver plate)
Jump rings (we recommend Snappeez®)