How to Make Costume Jewelry - Getting Started

**Making costume jewelry from beads of all materials, wire, metals, stone, string, elastic and hemp is something I have been doing on and off for the last 12 years. I learned by watching other people make them and asking questions. Mostly, I am self taught when it comes to this hobby, so if there are experts out therew who disagree, please leave your comments below. But from one hobbiest to another, here's some beginner's tips:

**My first suggestion would be to find a local bead store where you can make your own necklace. You get to look at what's out there for types and price and let your imagination go. Also, watch the workers as they help the customers complete a necklace. They will show you how to make a loop with your wire using a crimping bead so that you can attach your fastener. Ask questions if you have any and observe for a few times.

**After that, it's time to get materials. Craft stores & hardware stores plus the unconventional places I mentioned, like home goods stores, are where I've found all my materials.

-I bought a bead board, crimping beads, fasteners and plain spacer beads at the craft store. They also often have sales on the more expensive fashion beads and I try to look out for those.

-But beads and "beading" and bead stores are a thriving, lucrative business. There's even conventions. (Honestly! Google "jewelry bead convention" and you'll get hits for expos, shows and conventions galore).

-You also need wire cutters and pliers. I bought a combo at Ace hardware and I love the thing. But I also have little pliers and wire cutters, purchased at the bead store, for the wire wrap jewelry and for the more delicate necklaces.

-The bead board is very useful. I have the baseball game on in the background as I sit on the couch and arrange the possible patterns. This is my favorite part.

-I have my beads arranged in four sorting boxes, again purchased from the craft store. They're sorted by size, material and color. I have neutral color spacer beads-gold, silver, black, white, clear, etc- in one box. The more high end, chunky beads in another. The high end small beads in the a third and the plastic ones are in the forth.

I love mixing the materials, too. Glass with wood with stone with plastic.

**I will use another blog most to get into the particulars of the general things I blogged about in this entry. Look for future posts with pictures, showing how to do the particulars.