I don't exactly have a bead studio, but I do have a jewelry table….er, corner, I guess I should say. This is what it looks like when it's clean, which isn't very often!


And there are a lot of tools on my jewelry table! You don't need a whole ton of tools for making your own beaded jewelry, and luckily you can find pretty much everything you need to start out with at Michaels or Joann Fabrics. (Save those coupons!)

Here are some items that come in quite handy for creating jewelry.

Bead Board

A Bead Board comes in handy for plotting out designs, although I admit I don't use it very often. My method is more trial and error, and so I string and re-string until I get it how I want it. But if you plan on making multiple strand items, a bead board will be very useful.


A good set of quality tools is a must-have for any jewelry designer. I found a nice set of pliers at Home Depot. I actually took them to work since I get a lot of requests to fix jewelry. That set is better than what I use at home! A friend of mine uses nail clippers instead of wire cutters. You can try that, but I do suggest getting several kinds - the pair of nippers I got work good for when I need a super close cut.

The Chain Sta is one of my most valuable tools. It works fantastic as a second pair of hands. I use mine all the time and I highly recommend it.

The Bead Spinner is another useful tool if you plan on using a lot of seed beads in your designs. You can also find cheaper models available from Firemountain Gems or even your local Joann's or Michael's craft stores.

If you decide to make your own wire components or ear wires, you will need an anvil and a chasing hammer to flatten them and harden the wire. I use a metal hammer, but it does leave marks on the wire so be careful if you choose a metal one.

Needles, thread and stringing materials - If you're planning on beadwork/beadweaving, you will need some beading needles. There are all sorts of threads for beading, but I admit that I am not that skilled in this department. I mostly use Fireline thread or fishing line. Fishing line works great for beadweaving using beads with decent-sized holes, since you really don't need a needle - at least not until you need to go back through the beads when it's starting to get snug. For beading wire, I use Beadalon or Accuflex.

Here are a few articles about jewelry-making tools too:

Jewelry Tools

Six Must-Have Tools for Beading - article on tools for jewelry making


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