Have you wondered what you need to make those beautiful jewelry that you buy in shops. Not much. With some easy findings and tools and some creativity peppered in, you can make jewelry that rival those in shops. Findings include all the metal things you need to make jewelry like clasps, connectors, etc. Here are the names of those things you may need at somepoint in your jewelry making adventure.
Fasteners – clasps /catches
Fasteners keep your jewelry closed. There are so many different types of clasps – here are the most important types used for making necklaces and bracelets.
This clasp looks like a lobster, hence the name. It is similar in action to the bolt ring clasp but is slightly bigger and more decorative. Carabiner clasp is a similar but slightly tapered type of clasp
This is a common clasp used to close chains.
Barrel screw clasp
This is a clasp that looks like two barrels which are then screwed together to fasten the jewelry – it is usually used in necklaces.
Fish Hook Clasp
This clasp is used on necklaces – the clasp looks like a fish hook and this is fastened to a jump ring.
Bolt ring clasp
This is a ring-shaped clasp – it consists of a circular tube which when opened slides in the jump ring which attaches the jewelry
Toggle bar clasp/ Ring and toggle clasp
This is a type of clasp used in bracelets. It consists of a large ring on one end and a t-bar shaped toggle which is inserted onto the ring to fasten.
Other clasps include push & lock clasp, Lanyard Clasp/Albert swivels clasp, donut clasp, foldover clasp, Magnetic clasps, Trigger clasp, Box clasps, Paddock and ball clasps, C-Clasp, floating clasp, snap clasp, spring clasp, Tube clasp, locking clasp, screw clasp lock
This is a small ring-shaped finding with an opening – it is used to join more than one component together – like two or more pieces of chain, beads, or other findings, etc. You can buy them in many sizes – and they are usually round or oval-shaped.
This is a double coiled ring-shaped finding used to join two or more pieces of chain or other findings. The keychain ring is a split ring.
Headpins and Eye pins and Ball pins
These malleable pins are used for attaching beads- they are also used to dangle beads. They can be bent and twisted into any shape. Ball pins have a small ball at one end.
Eyepins are straight pins with a loop at one end – they can be used as a linking element to other components
Up eye finding
This is a finding that looks like a big straight pin with a loop – like a big eye pin – it is used to attach stones without a hole.
Bead separators/spacer beads
These are small metal beads shaped like a disc used in between beads as separators.
Spacer bars serve a similar purpose of separating beads – it also helps to align multiple strands.
Crimp ends / Ribbon clamps
This is used to finish the ends of ribbons or flat woven seed beads
Prong bails/pinch bails/Icepick bail
They are used to attach stones pendants without holes to your jewelry wire/chain.
This is a round-shaped finding used to hide knots on the thread used to string beads.
This is a bell-shaped cap that is used to cover a bead or stone – This is usually used to cover beads, knots, etc. It can hide anything unpleasant over the bead or knots at the end of strings. It can also be used to turn a holeless stone into a dangler
Chain ends/End Caps/Crimp ends
This is used to finish the raw edges of cord. It will have a loop on one edge and this is attached to a clasp or a jumb ring.
Bead stoppers/Tension beads
This is a coiled wire finding used to keep even tension while beading and prevent beads from falling off.
Crimp beads/crimp tubes
Small tube-shaped metal beads – they are used to hold beads in a stationary position in a wire or thread.This is a finding used at the end of jewelry to attach a fastening. You will need to use thick thread or tiger tail thread with crimp beads – a thin thread can be cut off easily.
Crimp bead covers
Crimp bead covers are used over the crimp bead to give it a more refined or decorative look.
This is a crimp bead used for leather or other thick stringing material.
Brooch pins and brooch converters
Useful in making brooches
This is a base in which a gemstone or bead is placed – it will have a groove to correctly display the stone.
Common Earring findings
Earring stud findings
This includes earring post, cup, post, and ball. Post is the straight wire that is inserted through the ear hole. A flat back earring post consists of a base for attaching beads, stones, or other wires with an earring post. You can also get just that straight wire without the base. Earring cups/claws consist of a setting for a stone attached to an earring post. The other type is a ball-type stud.
Scrolls or backs are used to fasten the earring on the ear at the back.
French hook wire
This is a hook-shaped wire used to make dangle earrings
This is a plain hoop earring
Others are Kidney wire earring finding, Leverback finding
This includes Coloured aluminium Beading Wire, colored copper wire (craft wire), brass wire, Sterling silver wire, gold-filled wire, gold plated wire, german wire (sterling silver coated over copper), beading wire coated with nylon
Bead stringing wires
These are usually thin aluminium/stainless steel/copper wires in different gauges used to string beads. It is supple enough to be manipulated into different shapes and can also be knotted. You can buy bead stringing wires in many colores
This refers to thicker wires used to make jewelry. They can be bend with the help of tools.
This is a coiled stiff wire which springs back to its original place when stretched – it is used to make bracelets
Bullion wire (gimp/french wire) is used over beading wire for a decorative look as well as to make it strong.
This can be made by connecting several metal links together to your desired length.
Check out this post to know more about the 50+ different types of beads.
Normally a strong synthetic thread like a nylon thread is used for stringing beads but if you want more durability you can use a waxed nylon thread which is stronger and durable. Another option is to use a clear monofilament thread which is lightweight and almost translucent. Silk threads come in very attractive bright colors and can be used for stringing beads but it is quite delicate and maybe cut off by sharp edges of glass beads.
A beading cord made with flexible wires is used when you need really strong stringing -No danger of cutting the thread. Tiger Tail is a wire which is covered with Nylon – it is a good choice for stringing heavy beads and also sharp beads.
Rattail Rayon cord is a smooth and silky fabric cord found in bright colors. It is used in braiding and can be used to string large beads. You will need to use thick cordings with larger beads – waxed cotton cord, leather cord, etc are used.
A thin elastic cord (covered elastic) is used to make bracelets – the stretch of the elastic is perfect for that.
Related post : 16 different types of cords.
Adhesives are used in jewelry making to adhere to beads and gemstones, to secure knots, etc. The usual glues can do these but only for so long. After some wear, the thing you have attached will come off. You will need a fast-drying solvent-based glue for this. You can use super glue to adhere gems, beads, etc to your jewelry but it needs some other reinforcement. Epoxy glue (like Araldite) can be used for a very strong permanent waterproof bond – but some epoxy glues have a problem -if they leak to the outside it can look yellow there after some time. You will need glue that will dry clear. There is commercial jeweler’s glue that can be used. Buy one with a fine applicator tip for those tight spaces.
Jewelers Tweezers/Jewel picker
These tweezers have very fine tips which are very useful in picking up small things like beads or catching hold of strings. You can get straight tweezers or ones with slanted jaws. A jewel picker does the same job but with more efficiency because of its silicon tips.
Chain Nose Pliers
This tapered plier is with round jaws which is flat on the inside where it joins the other side. It is a holding and cutting plier – the flat side helps to grip wire, etc firmly. Bent Nose Pliers is an alternative to this with a bend jaw.
Round nose pliers
This is a tapered plier with fully round jaws. It is very useful in bending wires in jewelry making.
Wire nippers /Flush cutters
You need a fine point sharp cutter to cut wire
Used to squeeze crimp beads in place – this plier will have channels on which the beads can be placed and tightened without crushing them
This tool is used to make the holes inside beads bigger or for straightening the holes suitable for your stringing material.
The size of the needle used to string beads depends on the size of the bead or the hole on it. A twisted beading needle is a stainless steel wire twisted into a beading needle with a loop at the top as the eye of the needle – this eye can be manipulated to the size of the eye of the needle.
Tambour beading hook
This is a special needle used to attach beads easily on large areas. You can learn more about the tambour needles here