I am regularly asked for recommendations on different tools, materials, resources and services available to those learning to make jewelry.
As a result I’ve put together a list of recommended jewelry making resources that I’ve either personally used (in most cases) or which have come highly recommended to me by people I trust. I’m also including any relevant blog posts and videos where you can get more information on any of the subjects listed below.
NOTE: many of the links on this page are affiliate links and will earn JewelryTutorialHQ a small commission if you make a purchase. This adds no cost to you but helps keep JTHQ sustainable.
This is an ever-growing list of resources that I think will be useful to you in your jewelry-making endeavors! I will add to these lists as I come across more useful resources, so please check back often!
Where to Buy Supplies
➸ I recommend Amazon for jewelry making tools. I use Amazon Prime to get free 2-day shipping and although I regularly comparison shop before purchasing, I have not found anywhere with consistently better prices, online or in stores.
It’s also worth looking around for findings, beads, and other supplies. You’ll find just about anything there and you can purchase in large or small amounts from some vendors.
You can get a free 30 day trial Prime membership with this link.
➸ For precious metals (sterling silver, fine silver, gold filled, etc.) and copper wire, my first choice is usually RioGrande.com. You can purchase in larger quantities and enjoy bulk discounts. Although they do have an amazing catalog of jewelry tools, you’ll find they’re more costly than Amazon (and shipping can be a little pricier too). I believe they offer worldwide shipping.
➸ For crystals, beads, gemstones, pearls, etc. I recommend Etsy.com. You’ll find a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and I like that you can search for shop owners who live near you or otherwise will ship to your location (which is especially helpful for those living outside of North America and Europe who seem to have a harder time finding supplies without exorbitant shipping costs). You will also find tools, wire, and findings – just about any arts & crafts supplies you are looking for – listed for sale by third party vendors on Etsy.
Jewelry Making Tools
RECOMMENDED VIDEO: Essential Wire Wrapping Tools for Beginners
In this video and accompanying blog post, I show you what you should be looking for in each of the essential tools you need to get started making wire jewelry and go over what each is used for. You’ll find specific tool recommendations as well.
RECOMMENDED READING: All About Jewelry Wire – This series of articles will answer all your questions about jewelry wire. Learn about wire hardness, wire gauge, shapes, materials, and which gauge wire to use for what. You’ll also find a video that summarizes the most important aspects for you when you click the link to the series.
Recommended wire for beginners: German Style Wire
I have been using German Style wire in a lot of my demos lately, and I recommend it as an inexpensive practice wire to my wire wrapping students. German Style wire is similar to craft wire but has been hardened to the right temper for wire wrapping. It’s still soft enough to work easily, but is hard enough to hold its shape nicely (you’ll learn all about that in the article about wire hardness).
German Style wire is a plated wire, but unlike many others I’ve tried, the “tarnish proof” claim actually seems to hold true, and the plating stands up to wear and tear better than others I’ve tried. For the record, I don’t usually recommend working with craft wire or artistic wire for making most types of wire jewelry, as they’re too soft, don’t hold their shape, and show tool marks very easily.
Jewelry Making Basics
Check out the following videos and brush up on your jewelry making basics:
- How to Open and Close a Jump Ring (the right way!)
- How to use a Crimping Tool to Finish Beaded Jewelry
- How to Wire Wrap a Bead on a Headpin
- How to Make a Leather Necklace Cord
- How to Make Your Own Ear Wires
- DIY Square / Diamond Ear Wires
- How to Wire Wrap a Briolette
Selling Crafts and Jewelry Online
Etsy – Etsy is one of the largest handmade marketplaces in the world. Founded in 2005, it has grown to epic proportions, boasting 22.6 million active buyers with annual gross merchandise sales of $1.93 BILLION in 2014.
If you don’t already have a seller account on Etsy, you can get 40 free listings when you sign up as a seller using this link.
Shopify – Shopify is a platform that allows you to sell on Pinterest, Facebook, on an existing website, or build your own website to sell from. You can also use it to sell at craft shows with the mobile app!
If you’re already selling on Etsy and have been thinking about branching out or building your own website, Shopify is for you. You don’t need any coding or design skills to get set up and selling on your own beautiful website. You can sign up and try it out for free with this link (no credit card required).
I’m currently working on a more in-depth comparison between Etsy and Shopify for you. I’ll share that info here when it’s ready!
My blog friends
Let’s Learn to Sew: www.LetsLearntoSew.com – sewing tutorials and resources
Where Crafts Blossom: www.art-of-crafts.net – fun craft tutorials and resources
Here is a t-shirt store from Alex Genadinik, a popular online instructor.
Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you found this list of jewelry making tools and resources helpful. Don’t forget to check back here often, as I’ll be adding new resources and links to videos and articles as I find (or create) them.