Every designer starts off as a beginner, wondering how to make a wrapped loop or what the heck a head pin is used for. Techniques are perfected over continuous practice, so if you’re a beginner, just remember that jewelry making takes practice. Be proud that you’re trying something new! Designing quality jewelry takes dedication and familiarity of products and tools—that’s why not a lot of people take the time to really learn the right way to create. Even members of the Artbeads staff remember what it was like when they made their first jewelry design. Read some of the stories they shared about their first design.
“When I was 11, my sister and I picked some seeds from a bush that grows everywhere in New Caledonia. The seeds looked like lentils and we boiled them to make them soft. Then we thread them through the center and they looked like little discs! We made necklaces and bracelets, and we sold them to neighbors and friends for fifty cents. When I bought my first beads, I made a necklace with some rejected lampwork beads that Devin made about 12 years ago.”—Cynthia, Co-Owner and Chief Designer
“My first real jewelry design included 2mm Indian Jasper rounds that I strung with beautiful green jade marquise beads that looked like leaves. I loved how it looked; it was about 30 inches long. It was a challenge to thread those tiny gemstone beads on jewelry wire. I used no clasp—only a crimp to hold a fairly heavy necklace together. While wearing it at work, the crimp failed and hundreds of mini beads went scattering across the warehouse floor here at Artbeads. I immediately [started] picking up as many as I could find [and] was joined by the inventory manager. We spent a long time on our hands and knees, collecting these 2mm beads, and then she turned to me to say “You are a dedicated employee to gather these up!” I told her I was afraid someone would slip and that they weren’t inventory but my own beads. She then told me to get back to work! I’ve since restrung this design with slightly larger 3mm Jasper on heavier jewelry wire and not one but two crimps!”—Teri, Jewelry Designer
“[My first design was] an abstract cross I made in jewelry class, nearly 35 years ago: A layered, copper fabrication design [I] still wear on occasion.”—Pat, Graphic Artist/Photo Editor
“My first design was turquoise chip strands matched with Czech glass druk beads Fuchsia 6mm, framing the fuchsia with [a] TierraCast antique silver spirit bead cap and [I] used the TierraCast antique silver garland clasp set. I wanted to create a garland effect which turned out pretty good.” –Norma, Customer Service
“My first jewelry design was wrapped loop earrings with pink druks and TierraCast links (that I still have) that took practically a full bag of headpins to get right! [Artbeads co-owner and chief jewelry designer] Cynthia taught me how to do the wrapped loop herself! I found it much easier than the standard loop because I didn’t have to measure the tail of the wire as exactly. You probably wouldn’t call it a jewelry ‘design’ but I was very proud of my little wrapped loops!” –Yvette, Manager
“The first piece of jewelry I made was a blue topaz lost wax casted sterling silver ring [for] jewelry class in high school.”—Sherri, Product Coordinator
“My very first jewelry design was a pair of dangly earrings that I made at a beading party. I used dark red cubic zirconia teardrops finished at the top with ornate silver bead caps. I love the way they turned out, and still wear them all the time.”—Katie, Email Marketing Specialist
If you’re a beginning designer, take a look at our Getting Started page in the Learning Center! We show you what kind of tools and supplies you will need for whatever type of jewelry you want to create. From there you can choose one of our free jewelry ideas to try and design! Each idea features a list of products used and step-by-step instructions so you can master it in minutes. We would love to see what you can create, so please feel welcome to email us at [email protected] with a picture of your first design.