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Best Jewelry Making Suppliers and Tutorials

Updated on September 19, 2017
Gayle Dowell profile image

Gayle Dowell is a jewelry and watercolor artist. She currently teaches art to a homeschool co-op highschool class.

Find Jewelry Making Supplies and Resources

I'm Gayle and I have been designing and making handcrafted jewelry since 2007. I've learned my craft from classes, books and on-line websites. I started out with basic beading and am now learning techniques in metalsmithing and metal clay. It has been a steady learning experience. In this article, I've listed information that has helped me in my journey as a jewelry designer.

I've done a lot of research on-line as to the best sources of beads, findings and jewelry tools. I've made plenty of mistakes, but also some good choices when purchasing supplies for my craft. I've put this page together, not only for my own benefit so that I can refer to the sites that I use, but also for the benefit of other designers just starting out in creating jewelry. I've listed tutorials that I've found helpful and other sites that are filled with good jewelry making information.

I would encourage all crafters to investigate just how easy it is to create handcrafted jewelry as gifts for friends and family or to sell for profit.

Come back often as I will be updating my lists and adding more information.

All photos by Gayle Dowell

My Journey to Jewelry Making

I started making jewelry when my grandmother died and left behind an unfinished project...making bracelets for all her great-granddaughters. Because I was the crafty one in the family (I got it from both of my grandmothers), I inherited her craft supply collection. She had bought memory wire for her project, but no beads. I took her costume jewelry and divided it up to make five bracelets, one for each granddaughter, and gave these finished bracelets to them as a memorial of Grandma and a gift from her. From there, I continued making jewelry, teaching my daughters, and selling online.

You can see my work here: Prairie Grass Artisan Jewelry by Gayle Dowell

Bead and Finding Suppliers

This is a list of bead suppliers that I have used personally and recommend to anyone looking for a reliable business to purchase their supplies and tools.

Beadroom.com for Beautiful Glass Beads

Jewelry Making Tutorials

These are some of the jewelry making tutorials that I have found helpful in creating my designs.

Poll for Jewelry Designers

Jewelry Making Supplies and Tutorials
Jewelry Making Supplies and Tutorials

This is a short poll for jewelry artists. Please comment if you work in an area that is not listed! Thank you!

Which technique is most of your work classified?

See results

Best Metal Clay Book

PMC Technic: A Collection of Techniques for Precious Metal Clay
PMC Technic: A Collection of Techniques for Precious Metal Clay

Great book for working with precious metal clay with many different techniques including adding texture with water etching and adding color to metal clay.

 
Japanese Cross Earrings
Japanese Cross Earrings

Instant Download Projects

Download this instant project by Interweave and find more projects there:

Japanese Cross And Polyhedron Earrings


Beads on eBay

Occasionally I will find a great deal on beads and jewelry making tools on eBay. Let's see what is up for auction right now!

Have a question or comment about this article?

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    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 9 months ago from Kansas

      Thanks. I'll have to check into the website.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 17 months ago from Kansas

      Thanks for the updated information, Nancy!

    • profile image

      NancyM 21 months ago

      Fusion Beads offers free shipping for orders of $25 or more.

    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      Gayle Dowell, no problem

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 2 years ago from Kansas

      Thanks for the vote!

    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      What a great way to remember your grandmother! Also thank you for the tutorials! Voted useful!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 3 years ago from Kansas

      Thanks Kathy. I've not dealt with Antelope beads...yet. Thanks for the source suggestion.

    • profile image

      Kathy 3 years ago

      Great suggestions, looking forward to checking out some of these sites but FMG, Fusionbeads, and Auntie's Beads are also among my favorites. I also love Antelope Beads for Kazuri beads, tagua nut beads and other natural and ceramic beads.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 3 years ago from Kansas

      @delia-delia: Thank you so much! I did get a kick out of the plugging person's enthusiasm and passion for the company. It made my day.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Great lens and list for Jewelry making! I love that big photo of the silver earrings they are gorgeous!

      I wish I had time to do my jewelry...guess I have to find the time...thanks for sharing... Love your reply on the plugging comment :-)

    • profile image

      LAVin0220 3 years ago

      Why didn't Shipwreck Beads make your list? They have a huge showroom. They have a website. They will price match. They are bigger than any of the stores you have mentioned. They have been in business since the 1970's. Just because you don't see their paid ads on Google doesn't mean they aren't worth getting on everyones list. Just saying.

    • profile image

      HagUlt 3 years ago

      Thanks for the info. I have also been watching a lot of the Potomac Bead Co YouTube videos recently and have gotten some stuff from their retail site too.

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      great lens great information n how to make that jewelry it must be a knack to working with small tools

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 4 years ago

      A very informative lens. Thank you for taking the time to share all of these useful resources with all of us.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 4 years ago

      You do beautiful work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fabulous!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I can't help myself when it comes to jewelry and jewelry making, it seems to be an innate trait of mine.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Gayle, stopping back for another visit to bless this great lens. Happy Valentine's Day! :)

    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image

      Grandma-Marilyn 4 years ago

      Great work. You've been hit by Cupid!

    • BenJacklin LM profile image

      BenJacklin LM 4 years ago

      Handmade jewelry is the best, so much better than mass produced stuff.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Returning to smile once again at this resource and just discovered I only saw a part of it last time around because I stopped at the other guest book.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      It is a dream of mine to make jewelry or design it (I've done some designing... but not made much.. only a couple of pieces) :) Blessed!

    • magnetic06 lm profile image

      magnetic06 lm 5 years ago

      great lens

    • oddobjective profile image

      oddobjective 5 years ago

      Love this lens!! I want to visit all of the resources you listed...maybe this upcoming weekend. I definitely bookmarked this page.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a resource this is. I love to do jewelry.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great resource, Gayle!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ane excellent resource that you have spent hours creating with your research and desire for perfection. When I look at your creations, its hard to believe that you have been making jewelry only five years, you are a naturally gifted artisan for sure!

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 5 years ago from Florida

      Wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens!

    • BEAGOLDBUYERdot profile image

      BEAGOLDBUYERdot 5 years ago

      Thanks for your comment on my lense about gold jewelry markings. Your lense here is full of info. I have considered helping my daughter learn how to make jewelry, and this seems like the right place to start.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      @anonymous: Thanks for adding this to the comments. I'll be sure and check out the site.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello,

      Another great place to find Jewelry findings, tools and supplies is Seattlefindings.com If they are not on your list, they should be. The website is newly lauched, they are working on improving the online experience. They've been around for years. Excellent staff and customer relations and competetive pricing.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You have such a wealth of information here. Blessed!

    • profile image

      EnjoyLens 5 years ago

      Very beautiful lens!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      An excellent compilation of resources. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great resources thanks... :)

    • Loulie LM profile image

      Loulie LM 5 years ago

      Yes! Very helpful!! Will be back... Thank u. :)

    • profile image

      KabbalArt 5 years ago

      Some very usefull advice and links. Thankyou. I learnt a few skills I never had.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      I'm not very good at this kind of thing - oh but I really love to look at these unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. This is a useful resource for all those jewelry (or aspiring to be) designers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens, even though I don't make jewellery I loved looking at this lens and some of the links. I am going to share this with a friend of mine who does make jewellery

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      I'd love to see a showcase of your jewelry here -- a super resource!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hmm, very nice, contains a plethora of information I'll be able to use! Thank you!

    • jenniferteacher1 profile image

      jenniferteacher1 6 years ago

      What a wonderful way to remember your grandmother!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      very nice lens, i'll liked it to facebook

    • DianaPrice LM profile image

      DianaPrice LM 6 years ago

      Learning to make jewelry is definitely on my bucket list of things I want to do, so this is a great beginner lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beginning your research for a good jewelry making supplier should start with yourself. What style of jewelry are you creating, and exactly what are the components and findings that you need to make a beautiful piece? List your components, and then decide exactly what market you are targeting. If it is just friends and family that you are selling to, then perhaps you do not need the best quality of components; a mid-range may do for that audience. If you already have a large medium to sell to, then perhaps the top quality suppliers would be best for your business.jb robinsons jewelry

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 6 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Very informative lens! I'll be bookmarking this.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 6 years ago from Kansas

      @pheonix76: Thank you for sharing the link. My daughter and I will be back to your lens to find out which classic dramas we've not yet seen.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      This is a very informative lens and I will be sending the link to my sister, who makes her own jewelry. :):):)

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      nice lens

    • Mix Mafra profile image

      Michelle Mafra 6 years ago from Corona CA

      Loved the pictures of your work and your page is very resource

    • mekon1971 profile image

      mekon1971 6 years ago

      My wife is a beader, I'll ass this on to her!

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 6 years ago

      Very informative. Will be back to glean more info. Thanks for sharing.

    • Gary Helwig profile image

      Gary Helwig 6 years ago

      http://www.wigjig.com has over 3,000 free web pages with designs, tips and step-by-step instructions. They also have many unique jewelry tools that can't be purchased from other online vendors.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 7 years ago from Kansas

      @Margaret Schindel: Thank you. That means a lot to me as I've used many of your lenses for information in getting started in metal clay.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Terrific and really useful lens!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 7 years ago from Kansas

      @anonymous: The best thing to do is to network with other jewelry artists. Some good places to start would be social networks like indie public http://www.indiepublic.com/. Once you join you can then join a jewelry making group, ask questions and just follow some of the conversation about making jewelry. Also try http://jewelryartistnetwork.ning.com/ . It is another site similar to indie public that deals with strictly jewelry making. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for your response... Can you also recommend some good online forums that a beginner like me can join?

    • Gayle Dowell profile image
      Author

      Gayle Dowell 7 years ago from Kansas

      @anonymous: Nadia,

      Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I believe the knot you are referring to is the pipa knot. Here is a totorial that shows how to tie the knot with cord.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXk9T1gq6C0&amp...

      It looks like after you have created the knot, you add a bead at the end in the opening with smaller gauge wire. and weave the ends into the knot.

      I also found a tutorial for purchase that shows how to do it in wire and with beads.

      http://www.etsy.com/listing/60473197/wired-chinese...

      I haven't done much wire work, but I imagine that you would start with dead soft wire.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I loved your article. I have just got into the art of jewelry making and have been enjoying it so far. I am doing it as a hobby for now-atleast till I perfect it. I loved loved your article as it covers pretty much everything that someone new to the art might want to know about. Google search results are way too overwhelming. I had a question. Do you know of any tutorial that shows you how to make this knot around a bead (I do not know what it is called, so I have attached a youtube video)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfV77tLlz-c

      Thanks