Jewellery-Making 101: Beading for Beginners
Updated: Sep 25
If you’re looking for a beautiful piece of jewellery to add some fun to your wardrobe, why not make it yourself? Handmade jewellery is a great way to express yourself; it’s a foolproof conversation starter, and every piece is truly unique. In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics: how to get started with your own handmade jewellery, how to choose your tools, and why this hobby can be so fulfilling for people of all ages.
4 key steps to begin jewellery-making at home
1. Start with a simple design
We recommend beginning with a simple, beautiful design that you can get creative with. Try an infinity necklace or bracelet with a simple shape and knots at the beginning and end. As your skill in beaded jewellery making advances, you’ll move from beginner to pro, and your designs will get more challenging. For now, start simply and build confidence as you create.
2. Choose your beading materials
As you begin your new hobby as a handmade jewellery maker, it might be tempting to run out and purchase every variety of beads, clasp, and wire from your local craft supply store. It’s fun to build a new library of colourful materials to make jewellery with, but you’ll want to choose your design first. There’s nothing more discouraging than getting started only to realize you’ve purchased materials that you can’t use effectively. Think of jewellery making like creating a recipe. You’ll be much more effective if you know what you’re making before you purchase the groceries. If you want detailed instructions, think about joining a Boomerang jewellery-making workshop. You’ll always get a list of supplies to collect before the workshop takes place. You can also watch various jewellery-making tutorials on YouTube and purchase only what you’ll need. You may consider purchasing a stationary magnifying glass if you have poor eyesight, so it’s easier to see your work. Beaded jewellery making is an intricate art, and it’s much more fun if you aren’t squinting.
A typical beading starter kit includes:
Enough beads to cover the area of the jewellery you’re making
A set of pliers (you may already have these around the house!)
Bead stringing wire
Small jump rings or bead tips, crimp beads
A clasp or toggle to keep your jewellery on.
3. Learn the basics: knots, technique, and crimping
We recommended starting simply with beaded jewellery making because even the simplest design requires learning some new skills. The great news is that once you learn a few simple basics, you’ll be set to create most beaded jewellery designs. Feeding the bead through the wire is the first and most simple step. After this, you’ll want to secure the bead in place with a technique called crimping; you’ll slide a crimp bead onto the wire and squish it firmly with pliers to keep the bead in place. At the end of your row of beads, a clasp and bead tip will be fastened to secure the beads in place and allow for easy securing. Simple techniques like this are essential for beginners. This is why we recommend our online classes! You’ll have a chance to learn basic skills and ask questions as you go, all while connecting with a group of novice beaded jewellery makers.
4. Make it meaningful
It’s so special to wear jewellery that you’ve made yourself, or to give a gift that’s handmade to a friend, niece, or grandchild. But before you begin, why not add special thought or meaning to what you’re beading?
When we were kids, we often wore friendship bracelets knotted together with string. The colours in these bracelets were often significant. Add meaning to your jewellery by choosing colours that remind you of the ocean, wooden beads for a tree-loving friend, or including significant numbers or letters that spell out a word like “patience” for days when you find your energy is low. Adding meaning to your jewellery making takes you from beginner to beading artist. Looking to connect with loved ones? Create several matching bracelets and mail them with a letter. Every time they wear theirs, they’ll be thinking of you.
Get ready to bead your way to something beautiful
A beaded jewellery making class is a perfect place to start. Our Boomerang beading classes are perfect for jewellery making beginners. Rather than trying to figure out how to fasten a clasp on your own, or figuring out the perfect crimping technique, why not get started with an expert instructor? Not sure how to choose the right beads to create a pleasing pattern? Our Boomerang jewellery making instructors will know just what to do. You’ll go from losing your beads to feeling quite pleased in just one session.
Learn more about our creative workshops
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.