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Homemade Jewelry


Article by Jessica Fitch

Photography by Stock Photos

Homemade jewelry isn't just for your nieces and nephews anymore. Not only can you make some really gorgeous statement pieces, making jewelry is a centering, calming task to keep your family's hands busy.

Some of the simple supplies you'll want to start with can be found at your local craft stores. You'll want to have both stretchy and non-stretchy string. For your kid's pieces, you can let them use plastic beads and yarn, or even pipe cleaners. Charms and pendants are optional for your kiddos, but buying some letter beads is a good idea.

Your kids will get a chance to spell words with their letter beads, or make statements on things they need to remind themselves of ("Have Joy" or "Be Still" are good quotes to put on bracelets). Encouraging them to carefully thread beads through string or pipe cleaners will improve their hand-eye coordination, and finishing the project will give them some pride in a job-well-done. It's also an easy craft for kids to bring out when they are hanging out with their friends.

Beading jewelry is also a good settling technique; if you find your child lashing out or getting anxious, have them do a small task to distract their hands and mind (this works on adults, too!).

For adults, the process can be a little more time-consuming to create truly pretty jewelry. To craft wearable pieces, you'll need to buy greater quality of products. Avoid obviously plastic beads and trade for glass beads. You'll likely want to use leather string or chains for beading. Tassels, pendants, and charms can be bought and placed on the ends of these without beading and they still make great statement necklaces. Be sure to think about how you'll get the product on and off and whether it will need a clasp or will need a stretchy band inserted.

Layering is important when it comes to handmade jewelry. Often, beaded jewelry looks better when there are multiple pieces brought together to highlight each other. Bringing together solid colors and patterned beads will make the layering look natural.

Play around with some combinations, and know that you can always choose to start over if you don't like your end result. Finding a statement piece for your wardrobe might be as easy as making one!