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Tuesday Tips & Tricks :: Building Your Basic Jewelry-Making Kit

So, you’re ready to begin your jewelry-making journey. You’ve been to the bead store, fondled nearly every strand of beads that hang on the walls, and even have a favorite pendant that you just KNOW is the one you’ll use when you make your first necklace.

But whenever you arrive to put together your first jewelry-making kit you get overwhelmed! It’s easy to do with aisles of tools and materials to choose from. I’m here to tell you not to worry, dear novice beader. After reading this post you’ll know just what you need so that you can arrive home with everything necessary to make your first piece of jewelry!

To keep you on track while you’re shopping, I’ve included this printable shopping check list. 

From left to right: crimping pliers, round-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, and flush cutters

From left to right: crimping pliers, round-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, and flush cutters

Your most basic tool kit starts with the fab four:

  • crimping pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • chain-nose pliers
  • flush cutters

To complete your jewelry-making kit, add:

  • a bead mat (a slightly fuzzy work surface that keeps beads from rolling all over your table)
  • a second set of chain nose pliers; the pros know they’re great for opening and closing jump rings without damaging that circular shape
  • a ruler or tape measure
  • bead stoppers
  • scissors for cording, leather, or other fibrous stringing materials

Basic supplies that you need to get started include:

  • flexible beading wire, stretch cord, or fiber for stringing
  • crimp tubes
  • clasps
  • jump rings
  • head pins
  • eye pins
  • BEADS–the most fun thing on the list to buy!

As you practice and develop your skills, you’re likely to find that you prefer certain tools and certain types of findings and stringing materials. Try out everything you can get your hands on, and stick with what feels right to you. Add to your basic jewelry-making kit as your skills grow and you develop your own style.

Happy beading,




Molly Schaller

About Molly Schaller

Molly Schaller loves beading, knitting, gardening, bookbinding, and being with her family of creative kids and her handy husband. She's always on the lookout for new ways to express her creativity and help others learn ways to tap into their creativity as well!