1. What do I need buy to make my own handmade jewelry?
If you are doing this as a hobby, many craft stores offer a basic beading kit. You can start out with this and then buy more professional equipment later on.
The kit typically includes beads, pendants, round nose pliers, flat pliers, 1 or 2 packages of wires, clasps, and other findings. You can make about a couple of necklaces, abracelet, and earrings from the kit.
2. What beads should I use?
It all depends on how you want to design your handmade jewelry. Seed beads and light weight beads are best to start with. For beginners, consider making smaller pieces that you will be comfortable wearing yourself. That way if you decide to sell them later on, you can guarantee that your handmade jewelry is functional to the wearer.
3. Where do I get beads?
You can get beads at any store that sells arts and crafts. You can even find some at Wal-mart. However, if you are looking for more variety stick with the craft stores.
4. What wire should I use for my handmade jewelry project?
There are various types of wires. For stringing, you can use a stringing wire such as tiger tail, 49 strand, 7 strand etc. As a beginner, try using tiger tail or 49 strand wires for small bead projects. These wires are flexible and easily manipulated.
As mentioned, a jewelry kit will normally have stringing wire included in it. You can start out with those wires and purchase new ones once you get the hang of it.
5. Which toggle or clasps should I use?
This would depend on your jewelry design. I would suggest to start out with the lobster clasp as it is the most popular clasp for jewelry. You can also start with toggle claps, but I found that it was easier using the lobster clasp when starting out. Either way, both clasps will do well in all your handmade jewelry projects.
Making your own jewelry should be fun. Try not to sweat out the details too much as only practice will perfect your handmade jewelry craft.