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These DIY jewelry makers want to inspire you

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

DIY tips from the pros

We spoke to some of the top DIY jewelry makers spotted on Craftgawker and got their tips for picking up a new hobby. Read on to get inspired, and get crafting!

Kia Nishimine – With Lovely,

With Lovely necklace

Photo credit: Kia Nishimine, With Lovely,

DIY jewelry piece you're most proud of:

"I think I'm most proud of my Shrinky Dink dog necklaces because they turned out pretty much identical to the images I used, and you'd never guess by looking at them that they're made with a children's craft material."

DIY jewelry tutorial to try first:

"I'd recommend my Fancy Candy Jewelry tutorial because it's really fun, it's not too difficult, the supplies are very affordable and the jewelry is temporary (and delicious), so there's not too much pressure to make it 'perfect.'"

Tips for beginners:

"Find a friend or two to start the hobby with you. It will keep you motivated, you can help each other out if one of you gets stuck and it's fun to work on projects together while marathoning your favorite reality TV show (I'm partial to Project Runway and The Bachelor)."

Learning new techniques:

"If you're relatively comfortable with the skills involved (e.g., you're an experienced knitter learning to crochet), or the hobby seems pretty straightforward, there are a ton of great resources online (Craftgawker, blogs, Skillshare, YouTube, etc.), which can definitely give you a good handle on the basics. If you're jumping into an expensive hobby, something totally new and specialized (like calligraphy or glass blowing), or just feel more confident with in-person learning, a class can definitely be the way to go."

Erin Pruckno – Thanks, I Made It

Thanks, I Made It ring

Photo credit: Erin Pruckno, Thanks, I Made It

DIY jewelry piece you're most proud of: 

"This DIY crystal spike necklace was a designer-inspired piece that took a bit more involvement to make, but I love the result. It's so luxe looking, and splurging on real crystals was worth it!"

DIY jewelry tutorial to try first:

"For beginners, nothing is easier than some earrings that just require gluing and no other tools, like these pearl and spike earrings. Also, a delicate string bracelet is a cinch to make. Once you've learned the most basic skill of opening and closing a jump ring, this necklace is a breeze!"

Tips for beginners:

"Don't be intimidated. DIY can be really, really easy, sometimes as simple as stringing something onto a string or sticking stuff together with glue. Also, know that even if something doesn't quite work out, you don't have to give up. Stash it away, come back to it later and your project might become something entirely different or better!"

First skill a beginning DIYer should master is:

"For a jewelry maker, learn how to properly open and close a jump ring. It's probably the most basic of skills to learn!"

Learning new techniques:

"There are a lot of great websites that share knowledge for free, whether you want to learn jewelry making or quilting. YouTube is also a great source for seeing techniques in action. If I'm trying to teach myself something new, I usually just search online and figure it out. If you want to try out jewelry making, I've found a lot of community bead stores offer classes, or just friendly, jewelry-loving staff who are often eager to help answer any questions."

Vanessa – Cafe Craftea

Cafe Craftea ring

Photo credit: Cafe Craftea

DIY jewelry piece you're most proud of:

"My favorite project is the pearl stud earrings. Super easy but looks so expensive!"

DIY jewelry tutorial to try first:

"I recommend trying the No-Sew T-Shirt Scarf first. It only requires scissors, and you're bound to have an old shirt or two lying around."

Tips for beginners:

"Don't get discouraged if something doesn't work out. I can't tell you how many times I've attempted disastrous projects, completely different from what I envisioned the end result to be. I know it can be frustrating, but take it as a learning experience and try again later with a clearer mind."

Learning new techniques:

"Ask questions, discuss and collaborate. I've come across some really great projects that use unfamiliar techniques. Bloggers are typically very friendly and willing to explain the supplies and techniques used in more detail, so don't be shy about leaving comments! Try out new craft projects with friends; bounce ideas off and help each other when someone's stuck."

First tool a beginning DIYer should get is:

"You don't need to go out and buy special tools or materials to DIY. Use what you already have; look for things around the house that you can reuse or upcycle!"

Lana Red – Lana Red Studio

Lana Red Studio name necklace

Photo credit: Lana Red, Lana Red Studio

DIY jewelry piece you're most proud of:

"I am most proud of making my shrink plastic name necklaces. For this DIY, I used shrink plastic and nail polish to make name necklaces, and I used them as personalized thank-you gifts."

"The whole project brought back so many memories because I used to make things with shrink plastic when I was younger, and I remember loving it. And I was very excited to have found a way of using it for jewelry that I would wear right now."

DIY jewelry tutorial to try first:

"I would definitely recommend making the DIY Button Rings. They are extremely easy and fast to make. I always love making tutorials that can be altered to someone’s own taste. And, with this particular DIY, you can choose to look at home for a pretty button or go out and thrift a vintage one. Either way, it will always look unique."

Tips for beginners:

"Don’t worry too much about perfecting something in the beginning, just make things and have fun making them. I learned a lot in the beginning by just starting many projects and figuring things out as I went along. Some projects turned out completely different from what I had in mind, and I realized that I could never have designed what I just made because it transformed during the process."

First tool a beginning DIYer should get is:

"It depends on what you would like to make, but I almost always use different kinds of pliers when making jewelry. There are always so many tiny objects when making jewelry that pliers will make it a lot easier! And they come in handy with different crafts as well, so it’s definitely a win-win purchase."

Learning new techniques:

"I think it always helps to see what other people do and learn from them. I see it as setting a base for yourself with the help of others and finding your own style along the way. It can be so much fun to find new tutorials and be inspired by them, and maybe you even come up with a better technique or different end result with your own twist."

More DIY inspiration

A yearly calendar in crafts
DIY Painted wine cork wreath
Make an ice cream sandwich postcard

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