I have invested in a lot of beautiful beads and jewelry making supplies. I love wearing and buying costume jewelry as well as expensive pieces. Every time I set it all out I don’t know where to start. Can anyone suggest how I can get the creativity flowing?

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22 Answers

  1. avonlady wrote on :

    Take a jewelry making class at Michael’s or buy one of their jewelry making kits.

  2. Marcia Mason wrote on :

    I read all the suggestions here first, and they are excellent. Especially “chill out.” Don’t get uptight about it. Very important. Find just one thing to embellish first, like a lampshade, ballcap, or T-shirt, and practice the threading work. If it were me, I would likely do a table sized sculpture, but even a small zipper pull would be fab. Then specialize and learn to do just that one thing very very well and fast. Then go on from there… jewelry is harder than you think to make. Go there last.

  3. Dee Russell wrote on :

    chill out

  4. Cheryl Wilson wrote on :

    I have to ask: Why did you buy all those beads and supplies if you didn’t know what you were going to do with them? You must have loved the way the beads sparkled, their colors, their shapes, etc. I’d start by laying them out by color, ensuring the deep reds are adjacent to the lighter reds, etc. Now, how could they fit together? Are any of the shapes able to be juxtaposed against others? Now, lay them out in the shape of a necklace, bracelet, ring, etc. What looks beautiful to your obviously artistic eye? There’s your start! Now, do you have a clean, bright place to work? Somewhere that is your little corner of the world where you can let your creative juices flow? If not, make one but make it cheerful and all about you! Voila! You will be selling in no time!

  5. AnnettePiper wrote on :

    Diane, do you love the beads just because they’re beautiful or did you have a design in mind when you bought them (even if you can’t remember what it was?) If the latter, then the need to create with them is there, but if it was the former, maybe you need to look at alternate things to make with your beads that isn’t jewellery.
    Personally I get inspired by colour, patterns and texture – art, landscape, fabrics etc., if that isn’t enough to kick start, I can often get the muse back by doing something boring eg. a jewellery repair or some basic stringing. I get so bored that my mind starts racing and wanting to do something creative instead! If you don’t have something to fix, perhaps you could follow a basic tutorial to shake the cobwebs out?

  6. Julia Ray wrote on :

    I started from scratch and taught myself many moons ago when there were no jewellery making classes or teachers, especially for threading pearls and beads.
    If you have all the tools and no skills there is not much chance inspiration will hit anytime soon or, of you making something that will hold in place so you can wear it. Go to YouTube where you will find a DIY video on making a necklace. Otherwise let me know..and I will make one.

    Just as a guide however. Most people start with a centre piece….then let things flow outwards from there. I start by just threading my first bead then the inspiration just flows. You can get a necklace beading board from a craft supplier and place the most appealing bead (to you) hopefully a large one, in the centre, then work your way outwards on either side of that middle piece. This is a good way of teaching you balance…but many beads today are strung without perfect symmetry, it’s all a matter of taste. First go and learn the skills whether in a classroom situation or via you tube. Then inspiration will follow.

  7. ladycarol wrote on :

    Hi I know how you feel! Here is my secret I will look at others designs and kinda use that as a base to get started because you will not have exactly what they do so you know your design will come out beautiful. The other thing is look at clothing and the prints and colors this helps a lot. Remember this is to relax you so clear your mind put on some soft music or just quiet. Oh yes have a hand mirror at the ready so you can see what it looks like on you. Hope this helps.

  8. Amber Lear wrote on :

    Consider things beyond jewelry for you. How about napkin rings, beaded drops on curled wire off lampshades or shower curtains or even just in a window. Make beaded ends for shoe laces, embellish denim, headbands, key chain drops, book marks on beautiful ribbon, wrap around vases or candle holders, gorgeous dream catchers (look to etsy for inspiration of innovative), etc.. I used to create table settings for a charity luncheon (11 years) and did not have the funds that most of the ladies had. I really had to push myself creatively and think outside the box. For an example….I did a table title ‘A passage to India’, when it came to napkins I ended up at an East Indian store looking for ideas, I saw that the cotton fabrics had a gold stamp from the supplier which is usually cut off and tossed, I asked to buy 8 ends to her surprise and made beautiful napkins. Find something beautiful and push push push yourself to recreate it a bit differently. Look at a tree in autumn, then create the beauty of the leaves for example. You have the ability to find your gift, maybe it is just a bit different than you thought.

  9. Debbie Garant wrote on :

    Start with your favorite outfit. then determine the perfect length for necklace and drop length for earrings. try closing your eyes and picture you in that outfit and think about your bead selection. I bet something smashing will come to you!

  10. stefwriter wrote on :

    For me, fashion magazines. I see the pic and think wonder how I can make that with what I have? Fusion bead (www.fusionbeads.com) has an exceptional inspiration section complete with components list. Another form of inspiration is my closet – how can I make a necklace to tie in this whole outfit. It increases my wardrobe!

  11. Jzmtazz wrote on :

    Aha! There’s someone else in the world like me! I collect vintage and antique jewelry and I have so many bits and pieces from broken jewelry. I thought it would be a good idea to make something nice out of it. I know nothing about making jewelry, and therefore all those beautiful bits and pieces are still there staring at me! Now my suggestion: Pick a bead or beads that are special standouts to you and then take pencil in hand, with the beads in front of you, and start sketching what you think you would like to make. That way, if you don’t like it halfway through, you can erase and perfect your idea! Sadly, I’ve been too busy with my collection (I’m downsizing, too much!) to put that idea to work, but I’ve done it when planning a quilt in my long ago quilting days.

    Good luck!

  12. pat atwell wrote on :

    How about by color, putting beads of different colors together, then shapes. Play around with them. Look at the colors your drawn to. Maybe an outfit, that just needs that over the top piece. One thing I do is after I pull the colors I like for what I’m working on, (also I do this with threads before I start an embroidery design, or fabric before a quilt). I lay everything out, take a picture of it and send it to the computer, where I can enlarge it and also walk away from it for a bit and when I walk past it make sure it catches my eye and nothing stands out in a negative way to distract from it. Most of all just have fun and play with it!!!

  13. Mrsfitz wrote on :

    Try starting with what you like and what sold well….what can you embellish or take away? Also see if there’s a beading society that is local to you. When I make cards I always find working with someone else inspires me…I may not copy but take their creations as a starting place.

    Also try doing your favorite pieces in fashion forward colors. Jewel tones and “acid” (bright pink, yellow and green)colors are very “in” this season. Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel! There’s nothing more annoying to me than finding a style I really like and not being able to get it again as a gift or in a other color.

  14. Jane Haspel wrote on :

    I agree with Splenderosa about art, creativity, and inspiration, but I don’t think you have to be an artist to enjoy jewelry-making. And sometimes the originality comes later, after you’ve made a few things. Whenever I see a piece of jewelry I like in a catalog, I pop it in my idea file. Pick something you like, and try copying it (for your own use, of course, not to sell). That will give you a feel for sizes and shapes and patterns that look good together. Having a model can get you started. When I start like that, inevitably I start getting my own ideas about how to change things up, so that I end up with my own piece. Take a class at a local bead shop on the basics–stringing, knotting, chain-making, clasps, etc. They’re usually very inexpensive, half-day classes. They can also recommend the appropriate stringing material for different projects, so you can start learning best practices. I also recommend Rio Grande for supplies and how-tos. Rio has a lot of good information on how to use their products, including videos.

  15. Moushka wrote on :

    Consider taking a class or decide what gaps there are in your jewel case and make something to fill it. Write down a description of yourself and then think about what colours, textures, shapes and styles suit you. Take a look in high end jewellery catalogs or at jewellery on-line at Bergdorf’s or Nieman’s and see if anything pops into your head. While Splenderosa is right about the hard work in becoming a professional jewellery artisan, simple stringing is within everyone’s reach. I started with bracelets and earrings because they go fairly quickly. Try choosing a favourite colour and pull out all beads and findings that work with that colour. The hardest part is giving yourself permission to PLAY (sorry, not shouting, just emphasizing). If you don’t like your first effort, just take the beads off the wire and start again. Do a google search for “make jewelry” or “beading” and you will get tons of ideas. Also, YouTube has a gazillion videos on making jewellery. There is a lot of information out there, you just have to find it.

  16. Monika Weidenbach wrote on :

    I get soo much inspiration for Pinterest. It is a wonderful site. Check it out 🙂

  17. shellie robin wrote on :

    Hi Diane — have you checked out Etsy? It’s an easy and fun way to get your business started. Plus you have access to other wonderful shops and artists to inspire you. And Etsy has all kinds of support. Check out the Treasury section to see collections put together by sellers. Talk about getting the creativity flowing! Am sure you’ll get many ideas and be inspired!

  18. Josephine Spence wrote on :

    You may get some ideas by looking at Beading magazines or beading websites. I did an adult education class in seed beading, fell in love with beads and started making sets and I sold a few. Now I only make them for myself..sometimes just to match what I am wearing. You could also go to beading groups and that may help

  19. roseruni wrote on :

    My text just disappeared! I wasn’t done editiing yet! Whoops, I hope it does not go online! LoL!

  20. deestea wrote on :

    Hi Diane, Fire Mountain is one of my favorite places for inspiration. They also provide great tutorials. And, a fabulous variety of beads/gems/findings. Send for their catalog too, it’s full of inspiration! http://www.firemountaingems.com/beading_howtos/default.asp

  21. Marsha Harris wrote on :

    Creating something splendid is very very difficult. The inspiration comes from many different places, and a true artist will see a vision of what he can create from this inspiration. Being creative is a gift. Most creative people can transfer their talents into various fields and still be creative and inspirational. Because I like the Mona Lisa does not mean I could paint the Mona Lisa, or have been inspired to paint the Mona Lisa. For jewelry making, which is my profession, you must first learn the basics as it requires much architecture and engineering, then learn the properties of construction, what will last and what will break. Maybe you should take a class. I know you didn’t expect an answer like this one, and I hope it doesn’t offend you. It is simply the truth as I see it.

    • Julia Ray wrote on :

      I agree with Splenderosa’s response….I think creating is easy when you know how…I am self taught with my own label and have been designing for many many years as it comes naturally to me..I see it in my head and I just begin and keep at it until my idea comes to life….most people either know how to cook or they need a recipe and serious wannabes go to cooking classes….this is exactly what you should be doing. There will be local classes in your community paper or perhaps or a technical school or art school will have a course for you…you’ve obviously got the need to begin something for yourself otherwise you wouldn’t have bought all your goodies…just find the right teacher and a good tip is watching videos on YouTube there are loads of clever designers out there who love to share their talents…you’ll be busy at that kitchen table before long and be on your way to becoming a designer yourself. Good luck and enjoy the journey…you are going to love it.

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