It’s Time to Start Making Jewellery Again + Sunday Reflections Link Up

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

What feels like a lifetime ago (but was actually about fifteen years ago) I did a series of jewellery-making courses. I’d experimented with beading at home but wanted to make rings, so I enrolled on a mixed media jewellery course. I ended up buying some tools and equipment, so I could continue at home, but I haven’t done any silver work for years now. I’ve continued the beading, albeit sporadically, which is a lot less time-consuming (and easier on the hands and nails!) than metal work.

I feel like it’s time to start making jewellery again on a regular basis. Maybe it’s the imminent arrival of Spring that has stirred the desire to be creative. You may have seen some of the jewellery I’ve made before on the blog; it’s a total coincidence that I posted about my handmade jewellery almost three years ago to the day. After the wrap dress February flashback last week I’m beginning to think I’m seasonally programmed!

I’ve always been drawn to big, bold jewellery, so the chunky semi-precious gemstone necklaces and bracelets are my favourites.

To kickstart my jewellery making I gathered up some pieces that I’ve made over the years for inspiration. I’ve always been drawn to big, bold jewellery, so the chunky semi-precious gemstone necklaces and bracelets are my favourites. I have so many beads in various colours and shapes just waiting to be made into something – I just need to get organised and start creating again!

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

Making beaded jewellery is actually a lot easier than you might think: if you can tie a knot and thread a needle you can make a necklace or bracelet. The rest is all about design. You just need a few basic tools like small pliers (unless using elasticated thread) to close the bead end caps. If you’d like me to do a tutorial let me know in the comments.

I’ve bought loads of necklaces in charity shops and recycled them into new pieces.

You don’t have to spend a lot on beads and findings (the metallic pieces such as clasps and bead end caps). I buy beads, findings and thread from various sources, including eBay, Hobbycraft, Jewellery Maker and even charity shops. I’ve bought loads of necklaces in charity shops and recycled them into new pieces. The gold pendant on the purple necklace above was an old, odd earring, and the centre piece on the bracelet was originally on a necklace.

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

The bronze ring and stick pin above were some of the first pieces of metal jewellery I made in class. We worked in copper first before moving on to silver. I really like copper jewellery, although it does tarnish very quickly. The silver bezel set rings in the photo below are among my favourites. They require a lot of time and patience to make, but they were very satisfying to finally finish.

The ring under the crossover bangle is a plain silver band, still waiting to be finished after all these years!

Working with metals is much easer when you have a workshop as you need a blowtorch and heatproof brick to solder, plus an acidic solution to remove the oxide released during annealing (heating to make pliable). You also need various shaped files, hammers, mallets and a bezel setting tool to push the metal over and hold the stone in place. The ring under the crossover bangle is a plain silver band, still waiting to be finished after all these years!

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

Below is some of the more delicate jewellery I’ve made using Swarovski crystal beads and glass pearls. The bangle was a bit of an experiment; my original plan was to have three hoops to attach beads to, but after a few unsuccessful soldering attempts I stuck with one and used a scorper (engraving tool) to creat a frost-like pattern. It could do with a bit of refining and a proper polish…maybe a job for a rainy day.

One of the best things about making jewellery is being able to choose your own design and colours…you can guarantee no-one else will have one the same!

There are so many different techniques to learn with making jewellery, and maybe one day I’ll take classes again. They don’t come cheap, but there are residential courses in beautiful countryside locations that look very tempting. Making things is very satisfying and often relaxing. Of course things go wrong, that’s all part of learning…it requires lots of patience! One of the best things about making jewellery is being able to choose your own design and colours…you can guarantee no-one else will have one the same!

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

Speaking of learning new techniques…I recently picked up my knitting needles after a two-year hiatus and made my first ever hat! I was very apprehensive about knitting in the round but now I love it! Maybe next time I’ll try a jumper!

Do you love to make things? What’s your favourite craft? If you’d be interested in some simple jewellery tutorials let me know in the comments…I might even get my act together and do some for YouTube 😉

hand made bobble hat


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28 Comments

  1. February 18, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    You made some beautiful pieces! I love them 🙂

    • February 18, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Thank you Jacqui! You too 🙂

  2. February 18, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    Ate you going to sell them too?

    • February 21, 2018 / 9:53 pm

      The plan is to make some to sell Nancy – I just need to find the time!

  3. February 18, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    No Etsy shop? you should be selling these Emma! Those first three are just stunning. What a talent.
    Laurie xx

    • February 21, 2018 / 9:56 pm

      Thanks Laurie! I should really make some to sell…never enough time to do everything I want!

  4. February 18, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Oh you are a creative one, Emma! So many beautiful pieces. I have so many ideas of things that I would make if I had the patience to do so…but I fear I would get too overwhelmed with buying the beads and then I never would get to it any of it. But I do love that you are getting back in touch with your creative side in time for Spring! My creativity tends to flow through my writing…and I am good with that! I look forward to seeing more beutiful pieces from you.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    • February 21, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you Shelbee! I have loads of beautiful beads, I just need to get organised and schedule some time for making jewellery. I have to be in the mood though!

  5. February 18, 2018 / 10:15 pm

    Wow, Emma, these are fabulous! I absolutely love beaded necklaces and buy them any chance I get! I especially love chunky beads in all shapes and colours! I’ve never thought about making them myself because I thought it would be too complicated! I am definitely interested in watching a simple jewellery tutorial! XXX

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:01 pm

      Thanks Sasha! It’s quite easy really – the only bit I find fiddly is knotting the thread, but you can get a special knotting tool 🙂

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you Tina! Hope you’re enjoying Thailand!

  6. February 19, 2018 / 8:25 am

    You’re super talented, Emma! All that jewellery is absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had the patience for such things but that is not thing I’m not so good at lol. I’ve tried knitting – I can just about manage scarves 😉
    Hugs
    Suzy x
    http://www.suzyturner.com
    P.S Your hat is fab, by the way!

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:04 pm

      Thank you Suzy! I love knitting too, but I can only do simple patterns. A lady I work with knits the most amazing fairisle jumpers – often while vision mixing the news when she gets a few minutes during the reports!

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you Charlotte 🙂

  7. February 19, 2018 / 12:38 pm

    You are so talented! Love your creations. Yes, I love to make things, I do a lot of arts and crafts. Paper crafting is my speciality. I have dabbled in jewelry making and would love tutorials.

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:08 pm

      Thanks Amy! I’ve never tried paper crafting – I think my daughter would enjoy some simple projects. I will look for some ideas on Youtube or Pinterest 🙂

  8. February 19, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    Oh this looks so fun and it is my style of jewelry! I love it! Happy Monday!
    Cheryl

  9. February 20, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    What a wonderful hobby, Emma!! It’ is the best when you can customize it to your heart’s content.
    I’m a knitting fiend, and love that I can create my own pieces!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      Thanks Jodie! I enjoy knitting although I can only follow verey basic patterns. I’d love to learn to crochet too.

  10. February 20, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    You are so talented! I really love all of these pieces…you should do an Etsy shop!

    • February 21, 2018 / 10:12 pm

      Thank you Suzanne! I need to set myself a goal and open an Etsy shop this year – I’ve procrastinated for far too long!

  11. February 22, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Nice! I had a brief active interest in jewelry-making, mostly beadwork. Well, REALLY mostly reading jewelry-making books and magazines and buying beads! I only made a couple simple stretchy beaded bracelets, those were challenging enough, so I’m really impressed with the lovely pieces you’ve shown here.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!

    Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

  12. February 27, 2018 / 6:03 am

    I adore the idea of upcycling and recycling the components of outdated jewelry into pieces that are modern and more suited to my current tastes. I’ve got a whole mess of items I’d like to take a go at once I find the time to do so. Thank you for sharing your creativity and for adding your post to my Fine-Whatever link up.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

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