Tools and Materials for you Success
A few days ago I discussed several things you can salvage from your garbage and recycling bins that make great materials for up-cycling projects. Aside from collecting these items (like clear plastic containers and cardstock from product packaging) there are certain tools and materials that I highly recommend for your journey into making jewelry.
I would say the most important set of tools for anyone who wants to make jewelry is a good set of jewelry-making pliers. Many years ago when I first started learning to make jewelry I started with some household pliers because I didn't know the importance of having good tools. Needless to say, the household pliers were difficult to work with and they even left ridges on my wire. When I finally purchased a set of pliers specifically for making jewelry, I was surprised by how easy and effortless it really was. One of the things I look for when I buy pliers are an ergonomic grip. If you love making jewelry as much as I do, you will be using those pliers quite a bit so invest in pliers that will not make your hands hurt. I would also look for a kit with different types of pliers. Make sure it comes with round, flat and bent nose pliers as well as wire cutters. Usually you will save money if you buy the set versus purchasing them separately
Another product I am very fond of and recommend to everyone is a small hole punch. It's just like a typical hole punch, but the hole is a lot smaller so it is perfect for turning your recycled pieces into pendants, earrings and other jewelry components.
Besides these tools, I also have some materials that I keep using over and over because they are so good. One of my absolute favorites is Ranger's Inkssentials Glossy Accents. Throughout the years I've bought many types of glazes and top coats for my craft projects, but I'm completely in love with this brand. It creates a highly shiny top coat without being sticky and it almost looks like a resin coating. The applicator tip is also very precise so you don't even need to use a brush with this product.
Lastly, you will also need some jewelry making basics like wire, chain, headpins, eye pins, jump rings, clasps, earring wires and some beads. A lot of these materials can be purchased in a combined kit and I recommend that for beginners, this way you can begin your jewelry-making without breaking the bank.
Have you been making jewelry for long? What are some tools and materials you can't live without? Let me know in the comments below!