The Jewelry Maker’s Starter Kit

As you enter the world of jewelry making, having the right tools can spell the difference between a stunning ornamental piece, and a fragile one in danger of unraveling. However, a great set of tools is the first step toward ensuring your creations are the former. Here are a few essentials for the start of your jewelry-making hobby; as you continue on your path, you can add to this starter kit.

To Organize

A Multi-Compartment Bead Storage Box

Whether you decide to use a prefabricated box for your beads and tools, or decide to repurpose something like a tool or tackle box, this will quickly become a loved home base for your new hobby. You can add supplemental boxes as your collection grows, but for now one will suffice.

Bead Guide

The natural sidekick to your storage box, a bead guide gives you an idea of what beads you have. You can create your own by taking a picture of your box’s contents and taping it inside, or you can create a manual one by hot gluing one of each bead you have to an index card. In either case, it is a great and easy tool to track your inventory.

To Build


There are three types of pliers that are essential to success when crafting new jewelry pieces:

Round-Nose Pliers (“the coilers”): These tapered pliers are useful for creating loops,

bending wire, and creating spirals

Chain-Nose Pliers: Ideal for opening and closing loops, they look very similar to round-nosed pliers, but are flat and ribbed on the inside to provide grip

Crimping Pliers: To finish a project, you’ll need these pliers to crimp your crimping beads at the start and end of each piece. Without these, you’ll have a difficult time keeping beads and fasteners on your thread or wire.

Wire Cutters

When beading on wire, you’ll need something stronger than scissors to cut the proverbial canvas for your beadwork. Depending on the weight and thickness of your wire, you may want to have a strong set; however, the precise strength is up to you. Additionally, be careful—though they are designed for wire, these can cut skin as easily as scissors can. So be careful!

To Measure

Ruler or Tape Measure

Ensure that, whichever you use, it can measure in millimeters. The ability to measure this precisely will prove invaluable to ensure your jewelry ends up even. A clear plastic ruler may provide more flexibility as you measure; a bendable ruler (available most often during back-to-school season) could also be useful.

Bead Board

If you’re seeking a little more precision, especially when working on designs intended to be symmetrical, a bead board can help by providing a reliable center point and the ability to measure from either side.

These basic tools are only the starting point of your jewelry journey—from here, you can let your imagination take over, and we look forward to playing a part in those visions coming to life!