Making Beaded Jewellery Part 1
Making your own beaded jewellery can be lots of fun and a great way to set your creativity loose. With the help of the internet, you can become a great designer very soon. Plenty of websites list step by step instructions to make beaded jewellery – or you easily give shape to your own dreams and create a unique look- different from the run-of-the-mill ideas! Before embarking on a beaded jewellery making mission, it would help to understand that although the designs shown on the internet sites look easy, making a piece that looks similar to the one on your computer monitor can take several attempts. Patience and lots of practice will help you perfect the art of making professional looking beaded jewellery from home.
Making your own beaded jewellery can be lots of fun and a great way to set your creativity loose. With the help of the internet, you can become a great designer very soon. Plenty of websites list step by step instructions to make beaded jewellery – or you easily give shape to your own dreams and create a unique look- different from the run-of-the-mill ideas!
Before embarking on a beaded jewellery making mission, it would help to understand that although the designs shown on the internet sites look easy, making a piece that looks similar to the one on your computer monitor can take several attempts. Patience and lots of practice will help you perfect the art of making professional looking beaded jewellery from home.
There are some basic tools required for crafting beaded jewellery and many online stores sell sets of tools required for this purpose. As one gets adept and more adventurous with beaded jewellery making, specialized tools can be bought.
Everyone has probably handled or at least seen pliers at some point in time. These are easily available at the nearest hardware store and are the most important tool for making jewellery. Several types of pliers are used in creating jewellery pieces – for making loops, for opening loops, for closing loops for crimping and for cutting.To make perfect, professional looking beaded jewellery, a variety of pliers are required. For a novice, investing in just the basics – like a chain nose plier, wire cutter etc. is essential.
While buying pliers handle them once or twice and pick the perfect size with easy grip handles – some even have foam handles for comfort. Pliers are the most used implement and must feel comfortable in your hands.
Chain Nose pliers
The most basic pliers are the Chain Nose pliers – these pliers are inexpensive and can be bought either at a local hardware store or ordered online or you might even find them in your toolset at home. These are great for almost all the jewellery making work – bending, holding and turning the wire required for making jewellery. These pliers have narrow arms and flat edges making it useful to pick up findings or beads also. Another variation of the Chain nose pliers are the Bent Nose pliers with slightly bent tops making it easy to work with more intricate smaller loops and for putting wires into bead holes.
Round Nose Pliers
look similar to the Chain Nose pliers are but are used to give a professional finish to the jewellery. These may not be readily available at the local hardware store since these are specialty pliers created for the jewellery industry. Making perfect loops with chain nose pliers is tricky, the round nose pliers with their ends finer (measuring 1 to 2 mm at the tip) than the chain nose variety make it easier to turn wires into loops, make more perfect round loops, smaller loops and also to open and close jump rings. These pliers are also great for winding wire which is required in some designs. It is not advisable to use these pliers for holding or gripping wire since the plier can leave visible marks on the wire (unless they have nylon jaws which do not leave any marks)
Flat Nose Pliers
This is another plier used by professionals. These pliers like their name have flat tops and are smooth on the inside making them perfect for gripping or holding wires while you bend them with a round nose plier. The smooth insides make them ideal for holding beads, straightening or opening wires and jump rings.
Long or Needle Nose Pliers
Long or Needle Nose Pliers are similar to Flat Nose Pliers with a difference in their arms. Unlike the flat nose pliers, these have long narrow flat tips. The advantage is that it makes it easier to reach crevices and the increased length of the arms gives more control to the artist than the ordinary flat nose pliers.
Closing pliers help in closing loops, links, rings etc. These specialized closing pliers can make the difference between an amateur jewellery piece and a professional finish. With smooth insides, these pliers are available with and without grooves for crimping. The smooth insides ensure wires are not dented while closing the loop. Bent Closing pliers serve the same purpose but have angled jaws for easy leverage to work with smaller loops and jump rings.
Crimp beads need Crimping Pliers to even out the beads. The crimping effect can be achieved with other pliers, but they sometimes leave unsightly sharp edges. The crimping pliers usually have small arms which have grooves in them. They are available in several sizes and the one you should buy will depend on the size of the beads used for creating the beaded jewellery piece.
It is important to invest in a pair of good Cutting Pliers for snipping off the wire ends. Depending on the stringing material used to thread the jewellery, cutting pliers can be bought. Often inexpensive, it is advisable to buy a pair which will give a smooth cut wire. Some cutting pliers leave sharp ends which have to be filed manually. Cutting pliers can also be used to trim findings and other flexible beading wires. Some of the common types of Cutting pliers are Side Cutters, Diagonal Flush Cutters, etc.
Most of the above pliers now come with nylon jaws which do not mark the wires or beads. Although slightly more expensive, nylon jaws ensure that your beaded jewellery pieces do not have ugly scars or dents on them. Intrepid manufacturers offer combination pliers For eg. Round nose, Crimping and Closing pliers in one plier or half flat nose and half round nose pliers. The varieties are many and it is up to the beader to decide how many pliers will suffice!
For children, special hobby pliers without sharp edges are also available. Other than the pliers mentioned above, there are specialty pliers for setting gemstones, straightening wires, making chain, working with split rings and plenty more. Most of the jewellery making work can be accomplished with just the basic pliers – Round nose, cutting, crimping pliers etc.
Most manufacturers list the uses of pliers, so before you buy make sure you have a requirement for the specified plier!