How to Make
Your Own Jewelry

A Step-by-Step Guide to Beading, Wire Wrapping, Mixed Media, and Chainmaille Jewelry Creation.

Let's Make Some Jewelry!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to make your own jewelry! If you've ever been captivated by the artistry and beauty of handmade accessories, you've come to the right place. Potomac Beads is here to unlock the secrets of creating stunning jewelry pieces that reflect your unique style and personality. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced enthusiast, our hundreds of  step-by-step video tutorials,  jewelry patterns,   jewelry making kitsmonthly subscription boxes, and thousands of products and materials will equip and empower you to craft beautiful pieces of wearable art.

From necklaces and bracelets to earrings and rings, we will cover it all. Our expert tips and techniques will guide you through each stage of the process, from selecting the perfect materials, tools , and beads to mastering the intricate art of wire working . Explore the vast array of design possibilities, from traditional and vintage styles to modern and minimalist trends. With our guidance, you'll learn how to fuse different techniques and materials, ensuring that your creations are as unique as you are.

Join our vibrant community of jewelry enthusiasts on Facebook, where you can share your creations, seek advice, and be inspired by the breathtaking pieces crafted by fellow artisans. From beginners seeking guidance to seasoned jewelry makers looking to refine their skills, we welcome everyone who shares our passion for crafting beautiful jewelry.

In this guide you will learn the basics of beading (including stringing and beadweaving ), wire wrapping , mixed media , and chain maille techniques to design unique pieces that showcase your personal style. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions, videos, patterns, essential supplies, and helpful tips to get you started on your jewelry-making journey. ..

Friends Creating Jewelry together and sharing ideas and supplies

Sharing Ideas
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Basic Techniques of Jewelry Making

There are several methods to making handmade jewelry that we will introduce you to and guide you through. It's time to dive in!

Sharing Ideas

Beading (Stringing & Bead Weaving)

Beading is a versatile craft that involves the art of assembling beads to create decorative designs and jewelry. It is a creative process that allows individuals to express their personal style and imagination. Beading encompasses various techniques, including stringing and beadweaving, each offering unique possibilities for design and craftsmanship.

In its simplest form, beading through stringing involves threading beads onto threadsilk, or wire to create jewelry pieces such as necklacesbracelets, and earrings. The beads can be arranged in a particular pattern or randomly strung together, allowing for endless combinations and customization.

Beadweaving, on the other hand, takes beading to a more intricate level. It involves using a needle and thread to stitch beads (namely seed beads) together, creating elaborate patterns, textures, and shapes. Different beadweaving stitches like peyote stitchright-angle weave, and herringbone stitch enable artists to weave intricate designs to achieve remarkable pieces of jewelry.

When creating with beads, you have the freedom to design and customize your pieces. You can choose the types of beads, including the size and material of the bead like metalglass, bone, resin, etc, the arrangement and combination of colors, the weaving or stringing technique or pattern, and the overall style. Whether you follow detailed instructions or create your own designs, beading provides a platform for self-expression and individuality. The process of creating with beads can be meditative, relaxing, and fulfilling, allowing you to focus on the present moment and immerse yourself in the artistic process.

Visit our stringing and beadweaving guides to get started!

Wire Wrapping

Wire wrapping is a versatile and popular jewelry making technique that involves using metal wire to secure and manipulate stones, cabochonsbeads, special keepsakes such as sea glass,  and other decorative elements. It offers endless creative possibilities and can be used to craft a wide range of jewelry pieces, including a lovely necklace, a simple bracelet, a pair of earrings, a wire wrapped ring, and more. 

The process of wire wrapping begins with selecting the desired stones or beads to be incorporated into the jewelry design. These elements are then securely held in place by wire wrapping around them, creating intricate and decorative patterns. Different gauged wire and types of metal can be used, such as sterling silvercopper, or gold-filled wire, each lending its unique aesthetic to the final piece. Wire can be bent, twisted, and shaped to create various designs and effects, ranging from simple and minimalist to complex and elaborate. It enables the artist to showcase the beauty of the stones or beads while adding their personal touch through the wirework design.  


Chainmaille jewelry making is a fascinating craft that involves creating intricate designs by linking metal rings, together in various patterns. The origins of chainmaille can be traced back to ancient times when it was primarily used as armor to protect warriors in battle. However, in contemporary times, chainmaille has gained popularity as a unique and versatile art form for creating stunning metal jewelry pieces.

Chainmaille jewelry involves connecting metal rings, known as jump rings, to create unique pieces. These jump rings are the foundation of chainmaille jewelry and are used to craft distinct and one-of-a-kind designs.  Chainmaille jewelry projects require patience, attention to detail, and a creative mindset. Using pliers, the jump rings are opened and closed, and they are connected to one another using different weaving techniques and patterns.

The primary materials used in this process are high-quality metal rings, such as stainless steel, aluminum, copper, silver, or gold. Split rings and jump rings are commonly utilized jewelry supplies to ensure secure connections in other jewelry projects. To enhance the aesthetics of the chain jewelry, you can incorporate gemstones, beads, and charms into your designs.You have the freedom to create a variety of chain jewelry pieces, including a necklacebracelet, or earrings earrings, using the chain maille technique. 

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of chainmaille in your jewelry projects. Explore the endless possibilities of jump rings and unleash your artistic potential by mastering this ancient technique and enjoy the fulfillment of crafting beautiful jewelry.

Mixed Media

Mixed Media Jewelry is a cool and versatile art form that revolves around blending and pairing different materials together to create unique and eye-catching pieces. It involves using a combination of materials such as resin, polymer clay, and metal clay. Resin, for instance, allows for the creation of clear or colorful parts in jewelry, offering the opportunity to incorporate small objects or attractive designs. Polymer clay, on the other hand, is a malleable material that enables artists to craft intricate and vibrant jewelry with ease, adding a playful touch. Metal clay, a mixture of metal powder and a binder, provides the means to integrate precious metals like silver or gold into the designs. 

With mixed media jewelry, both beginners and experienced artists can acquire new skills and explore their creativity. By blending various techniques, one can fashion pendants with resin-filled bezels or mold polymer clay into charming earrings. This art form opens up limitless possibilities for experimentation, allowing artists to incorporate natural elements, explore different textures, and generate fresh design ideas. The result is a collection of beautiful, personalized jewelry that reflects individual style. So, if you're looking for an exciting artistic outlet, consider delving into the world of mixed media jewelry. 

Color Beads

Materials Needed for Jewelry Making

Before you begin making your own jewelry, it's important to have the right materials on hand. In addition to beads, and high quality stringing materials, there are also essential tools every jewelry designer needs. Here is everything you'll need to get started.


Beads come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. The most popular bead materials used in jewelry making today include seed beads, crystals, gemstones, pearls, and Czech glass. *Beads are needed for most styles of jewelry-making.

Stringing Materials

Depending on the type of jewelry you’re making, you may need stringing materials such as elastic cord, wire, or nylon thread.


Beading needles are necessary tools for all bead weaving projects and most stringing projects. There is a wide array of brands, lengths, and size needles available for use.


Findings are the components that connect the different parts of your jewelry together, such as clasps, jump rings, and ear wires.

Pliers/Scissors/Thread Burners

You’ll need a few basic tools to work with your materials, including wire cutters, pliers, scissors, and a ruler or measuring tape.

Jeweler's/Craft Wire

Wire is used to create the structure of your jewelry, and it comes in different gauges and material, such as copper, silver, and gold. You’ll need wire cutters and pliers to work with.

Bead Boards and Mats

You may also want to have a bead mat, bead board, or trays to keep your beads and supplies organized and tidy while creating. Bead mats provide a smooth and consistent work surface.

All Jewelry Supplies

There are an array of other tools and supplies such as bead scoops, bead vacuums, storage solutions and more to enhance your jewelry making experience. Check out all jewelry making supplies here.

Shop Our Supplies and Materials to Get Started.

We are here help and want to provide you with everything you need to start making your very own beautiful jewelry.

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Jewelry Making Tips and Tricks

Practice Basic Techniques

Start with simple projects to practice basic techniques before moving on to more complex designs.

Experiment with Color and Texture

Jewelry is a great way to express your personal style, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors, textures, and materials.  Check out this excellent blog entry to help guide you in choosing colors - 6 Color Theory Tips to Enhance Your Beading Designs!

Stay Organized

Keep your workspace organized by using a bead mat or tray to keep your beads from rolling away and keeping your tools within reach.

Stay Organized

Keep your workspace organized by using a bead mat or tray to keep your beads from rolling away and keeping your tools within reach.

Plan Your Design

Before you start creating your jewelry, sketch out your design and gather your materials. This will help you stay organized and ensure you have all the materials you need.

Take Breaks

Jewelry making can be time-consuming and requires a lot of focus. Take frequent breaks to avoid eye strain and hand fatigue.

Don't Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Making mistakes is part of the learning process. If you make a mistake, don’t be discouraged, take it as an opportunity to learn and improve your skills.

Share Your Creations

Share your creations with others by wearing your jewelry, giving it as gifts, or selling it online. It’s a great way to get feedback and improve your skills.

How To:

Creating Your First

Piece of Jewelry

Now that you have a basic understanding of the materials and techniques used in jewelry making, it’s time to create your first piece of jewelry. Here’s a first step-by-step guide to making a simple beaded bracelet or necklace.

Blue Bayou SuperDuo

If you don't want to purchase supplies individually, the Beginner Stringing Kit is a great option if you're just getting started! It also makes an excellent gift for a crafty person in your life! It contains all the necessary supplies for a basic project along with bead storage, a rulers, a bead scoop, and more.

Instructions for a Basic Necklace

striking kit

Step 1: Choose the Beads and Clasp

Lovely beads are included in the Beginner Stringing Kit, but you can use any single-hole beads from your collection!

Step 2: Determine the Length of your Bracelet or Necklace

You can accomplish this by using a bead board (included in the Beginner Stringing Kit) or wrapping the stringing material around your wrist to the desired length and snipping with wire cutters.

Step 3: String the Beads

You can choose to follow a specific pattern or mix it up with freeform that follows no order. You're the artist, you choose!

Step 4: Add Crimp Tube and Clasp

After stringing your last bead, you'll need to sting on a crimp tube and a clasp. After these have been added, you will string the wire back, down through the crimp tube and two to three beads and pull to shorten the wire. When you have pulled down (not too tight), snip the wire as close as you can to the bead that it is exiting. Using flat nosed pliers, flatten the crimp tube, making sure the wires are not overlapping.

Crimp bead

Step 5: Check the Length and Make Adjustments

Before finishing off the opposite end of the bracelet or necklace, be sure to check the length. If too long, you can remove a few beads and if too short, you can add. Remember that the clasp will add some length!

Step 6: Add Second Half of Clasp or Jump Ring to Opposite End

If you are using a toggle as a clasp, there will be two components included. If you choose to use a lobster clasp, you can use a jump ring or split ring on the opposite end to finish. You will follow the same steps on this end as it step 4. Add crimp tube, add clasp, pull wire back down through crimp tube and a few beads, snip. Flatten the crimp tube.

striking kit
Blue Bayou SuperDuo

Potomac Bead is host to a Beading and Jewelry making group of over 80 thousand members of all skill levels. Share projects and ideas, get advice and inspiration from fellow artisans, and see what others are making. Creating is better with friends!

Jewelry Making Tutorials

Get inspired with hundreds of FREE do-it-yourself jewelry making tutorials. Browse projects for bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, and more. Also be sure to check out Potomac Bead's Better Beader episodes for useful information for all things jewelry-making.

Bracelet Projects

Create beautiful bracelets custom fit to you!

Necklace Projects

Check out endless tutorials for necklaces of all styles.

Earring Projects

Make a pair of simple, everyday earrings or a colorful set to make a statement!

Pendant Projects

Nothing makes a statement like a gorgeous, hand crafted pendant.

Ring Projects

Wrap a beautiful stone in flexible wire or weave together lovely beads for an eye-catching ring.

Seasonal Projects

New seasons spark new creativity! Browse our exclusive projects for any holiday or time of year.

Want to get started making your own jewelry today? 

Here are two great places to start:

Making your own jewelry can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the right materials, tools, and techniques, you can create unique pieces that reflect your personal style and taste. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced jewelry maker, there’s always something new to learn and discover in the world of jewelry making. So, grab your materials and start creating today!

Jewelry-Making Kits

PotomacBeads Kits are the perfect place to start. Each kit includes a printed pattern, video tutorial, thread, needles, and all the beads and findings you need to create a unique do-it-yourself piece. It is simple, easy, and fun!

Monthly Beading Subscriptions

The Best Bead Box Kit Edition & Treasure Edition subscriptions are perfect for beginners and experienced beaders alike! Get new beads, supplies and inspiration each month.

See what your fellow PotomacBeaders are saying!

"HI guys, I just wanted to thank you for your incredible service! I received the beads I ordered from you so fast. I was so impressed and excited!! Just had to thank you and let you know I will be back. Cheers and stay safe."

PotomacBeader via email

I was instantly hooked with beading. PotomacBeads was right there with beautiful designs, hundreds of hours of YouTube content, and the best and nicest customer service. Being able to sit down with some beads, and be told what to do and how to do it, and end up with something beautiful to show for the time spent is just the perfect counterbalance for the stresses of life.

Thank you all so much for bringing some extra joy and peace into my life! I am so grateful. 💚"

PotomacBeader via Facebook

"I've tried other boxes, but they don't hold a candle to Potomac's Best Bead Box! I received my first box and I must say, you can see the care that went into this box. From the lovely magnetic box that holds all the goodies, down to the patterns and items in the box, I felt like I was opening a gift that was made especially for me. Other boxes that I have tried had the beads wrapped in tissue paper and a list. I had to spend time guessing what items were what as nothing is labeled. PLUS the boxes are similar in price, but only Potomac's screamed quality. I cannot recommend this subscription highly enough!"

PotomacBeader via Instagram

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Founded in 2005 from a love of all things jewelry-making, PotomacBeads is a family-owned business located in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Founders Nathan and Allie Buchman travel the world designing new beads, creating stunning free video jewelry-making tutorials on YouTube, and fostering a sense of community with fellow PotomacBeaders through their group for Beading and Jewelry-Making on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitch.

At PotomacBeads, you will always find the highest quality Potomac Exclusives Czech glass beads, Potomac Crystals, premium Zamak metal beads, plus all the jewelry-making brands you know and love that allow you to be your best creative self. With the fastest shipping and best customer care team in the industry, you will always feel like family at PotomacBeads!

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