- Arts and Design»
- Crafts & Handiwork
Best Jewelry Making Suppliers and Tutorials
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.
- Art Beads
Artbeads has always been prompt in shipping my orders, and the beads have always come in great condition. Art Beads offers free shipping within the U.S. for orders of $10 or more. I like that I can order small quantities of just what I need.
- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
This is another faithful source for beads, findings, tools, jewelry displays of all kinds. Be sure and check your order carefully. I've had to send back some things that were mislabeled but have always had great customer service.
- Fusion Beads
Although Fusion tends to be higher priced, I've never been disappointed with the beads I've ordered. They offer free U.S. shipping on orders over $25.
- Supplies for hand made jewelry.
Great selection of vintage style findings and beads. I get most of my brass components at this site. I've been pleased with the service and the products.
- Evie's Tool Emporium
Wonderful place to get personalized service for jewelry tools. Have had nothing but great service and products from them.
- Zeelver Wholesale Silver Jewelry, Beads and Findings
Specializing in Thai and Bali Silver products, Zeelver sells directly from those countries. Shipping is free via registered air mail. I recently ordered from them and received my order within two weeks. The beads were beautiful and of great quality.
- MKSupplies on Etsy
Vintage Beads, Czech Glass Beads, Findings and more! Great selection of unique beads and findings. I've always had positive experiences with this seller.
- Cool Tools
I get all of my precious metal clay and tools on this site, including my paragon kiln. They had the best price at the time. They sell cubic zirconia and gemstones that are safe to fire in the kiln. They offer free shipping on $150 or more.
- Rio Grande
A very reliable and quality source for beads, metalsmithing supplies, PMC, Bronze and Copper clay, fused glass supplies, and findings. Rio also takes scrap sterling silver, gold and other precious metals for store credit or cash.
- Aunties Beads
So far, I've been pleased with the quality of their items. They have a Beader's Advantage program...for a $30.00 membership, you get 10% off every order and free standard U.S. shipping on every order.
- Rings and Things
Great source for unique beads. Shipping of $7.95 flat rate available with insurance included. Other shipping options available. I've always had quick shipping. I love their honest gemstone index online giving the facts on the gemstones they carry.
- Dreamland Jewelry
Great source of sterling silver chain necklaces, finding and beads at wholesale prices. No minimum purchase required and $5 shipping. Be sure to get on the mailing list for specials.
They only sell wholesale with a minimum order of $100. Sign up for their coupons that come straight to your e-mail. I've ordered several times from them and had only positive experiences. Great customer service.
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.
- How to Make Wire Jewelry Necklaces
A great video showing how to make simple beaded adjustable necklaces.
- Making a Bail From a Head Pin
A video tutorial that shows how to make a bail from a head pin to make any bead into a charm or pendant.
- How to Wire Wrap A Briolette
A video tutorial showing how to do a simple ire wrapped briolette.
- How to Open a Jump Ring Properly
One of the most basic things to learn in jewelry making, this video shows you exactly how it's done so you do not distort the shape of the jump ring.
- How to Make a Wrapped Loop
Another basic step in learning to create handcrafted jewelry, this video shows you how to make a wrapped loop to securely attach beads to earwires, charm bracelets and more.
- Metal Stamping Video
This video from Artbeads.com has some great tips for stamping on metal. I think I need to try this!
- Basic Sawing
Good video showing how to use a jeweler's saw for cutting metal.
- Silver Soldering by Andrew Berry - Jewellery Repair Bench Tips Techniques Part 1
Part 1 of a series of soldering videos by Andrew Berry
- Silver Soldering by Andrew Berry - Jewellery Repair Bench Tips Techniques Part 2
Part 2 of a series of soldering videos by Andrew Berry
- Silver Soldering by Andrew Berry - Jewellery Repair Bench Tips Techniques Part 3
Part 3 of a series of soldering videos by Andrew Berry
- Silver Soldering by Andrew Berry - Final Part - Jewellery Repair Bench Tips Techniques
Final part of a series of soldering videos by Andrew Berry
- Andrew Berry Jewellery Repairs Bench Tips Keeping Stones Safe
Keeping Stones Safe by Andrew Berry
- Andrew Berry Jewellery Repairs Bench Tips Making Buff Sticks
Making Your Own Buffing Sticks
- How to Anneal Metal by Wendy Edsall-Kerwin
Learn the art of annealing metal for your hand forged jewelry creations.
- How to Make Jewelry Head Pins and Ear Wires
Free tutorial on how to make jewelry head pins and ear wires.
- Recycled Glass Earring Tutorial
Free tutorial on making earrings from recycling glass beads.
Poll for Jewelry Designers
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?
Best Metal Clay Book
Great book for working with precious metal clay with many different techniques including adding texture with water etching and adding color to metal clay.
Instant Download Projects
Download this instant project by Interweave and find more projects there:
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!