Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tuesday Tutorial

Welcome to my first Tuesday tutorial.
I thought a good place to start is with the basic tools you need to make beaded jewellery.
When I bought my first kit to make 6 pairs of earrings, I had no jewellery making tools in the home at all, so I had to make do with a pair of tweezers and a pair of my husbands wire cutters from his tool box- not ideal.
Things have moved on since then and this is what I use today.

This is my trusted tool case, I take it with me whenever I can
This is why..... 

Everything I need all in one place, brilliant!
You won't need all of these tools, especially if you are new to beading, so I will only show you the most useful ones for now!

A pair of snippers, for a neat cut of beading thread you will need a good pair of sharp snippers or small pair of scissors, I actually have both.

Wire cutters, a pair for soft wire and one for hard is ideal but 1 pair to start will be fine.
I use these for earring making and any wire work jewellery items, but I also would use these to cut tiger tail wire for floating necklaces.

Two pairs of pliers, the first and most useful are these- snipe nosed pliers. they are flat on the inside and rounded on the outside, if you can only afford one pair of pliers, these are the ones to start of with, some come with a wire cutting section incorporated into them too- even better!  I carry a pair of these in my handbag at all times

The second pair of pliers are these round nosed pliers, if you want to make a perfectly round loop for earrings for example, then you will need these.

Crimpers, You can manage perfectly well without these and I did for quite a few years, but now I do use them regularly so I thought I would include them in this.They are used when pinching crimp beads to wire.The result is a more rounded looking crimp instead of the flattened crimps which as well as not looking quite so neat, can can also irritate the skin easier as they aren't so smooth.
They do have a habit of breaking the crimps, well they do when I use them, so a great deal more patience is required with them

A work tray, I have several of these, so I can have a number of projects on the go at a time!
This is great for planning your necklaces and bracelets before stringing your beads onto the thread or wire especially if you have a set length required for your necklace. I find the compartments very useful too so look for a board with compartments.
I know you are itching to get started, well you have a month to get prepared, I think itis so important to have the correct tools 
Next month the fun will start in earnest, I will start by showing you how to make a pair of simple earrings.
By then you will need at least a pair of snipe nosed pliers and some wire cutters if not incorporated into the pliers.
In the meantime, if you have any requests for tutorials in the future please let me know!