- Category: Beginning
How to Design Jewelry
You'll get a lot of pleasure out of using your fashion sense and creativity designing beaded jewelry - but how do you start, and then how do you improve your skill?
How to Start
Some beginners find a bead loom is the easiest way to begin. Sketch your design on graph paper and select the beads you want to use for the project. Match the color of beads to the color you draw on paper. If you don't want to buy a lot of beads and tools that will be left over, purchase a bead making kit for just one project. Many start using patterns online or from magazines.
Then after gaining experience making a few items, they experiment with ideas of their own. Leaf through fashion magazines and learn current trends. Make notes when you see anything appealing, like a model wearing earrings that go well with her sweater. Then work with your pieces to create a variation on the look.
Choice the color of your necklace first, and then match earrings or other jewelry around this. Blend colors that are similar, contrasting color seldom works. Aim for harmony and it will please the eye. However, learn how to use a color wheel to create effects with stunning combinations too.
Size of Beads
To help decide on the size of beads to use, liken designing to a flower arrangement - start with the larger flowers first, then fill in with smaller ones. Bearing in mind the design must be functional and practical to wear.
Balancing jewelry is more an art than a science - however, certain guidelines generally apply:
- Avoid symmetry & even numbers together.
- It's OK and good to use different types of beads in one design - like crystals, pearls and gemstones combined in one piece.
- Your design should feel good to the eye.
- All the elements in the design should be in harmony and complement each other.
- Think of this harmony as yin & yang, large & small, light & dark etc.
- If you use a focal bead, it must stand out drawing attention.
Use findings like spacers, bead caps, and jump rings creatively. These can add style and professionalism to your design.
Start with a Frame
The basic elements of design outlined above are your building blocks. Use them as your starting point from which to alter the design into something from your heart. They'll ensure your produce powerful jewelry.
Where to find Inspiration
You want to design a new jewelry piece, but how do you get the creativity flowing to come up with a wave of ideas? Creativity stems from within. Your brain stores everything you have seen and experienced - ideas spring from these memories. You already have millions of designs imbedded in your mind. The problem is getting them out! Never underestimate your own creativity.
Think new to create new
Rearrange your mind in every way you can - if you always think along the same lines, you'll end up with the same ideas.
If you get stuck - paint with a different brush!
Live life more
Build your creativity by collecting ideas all the time. Look at many different designs, online and offline. Talk with customers and other designers. The smallest thing can spark a new idea. Inspiration comes from many sources apart from jewelry - especially the latest fashions in various forms.
- Try different experiences and travel more. The more diverse or the further traveled the better.
- Analyze why some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, while others look dull. Is it because one element is emphasized over another?
- Is it a play of color or shape? Does the design resemble something fashionable?
- From a basic frame, experiment arranging beads in different ways, using shape, color and stone to produce striking design. As long as the overall effect has harmony, it will look attractive.
How do I know I have a Good Design?
The successful jewelry design fits into the overall market - yet is distinctive enough to influence browsers to purchase.
A well designed piece moves with the body, feels good to wear, and looks pleasing and harmonious to the eye. A necklace should drape nicely and it must feel right. The design should be creative, yet within the boundaries of wear-ability, and it must appeal to the customer or it won't sell.
Making & selling your designs
String your beads and findings together with jewelry thread and make matching earrings and bracelets with your necklaces. Offering the option to buy a set will improve your sales. Selling your jewelry is very important - money will motivate you, and without any income from your work, you may become bored. How to actually sell your jewelry depends on how much time or motivation you have - some ideas are:
- Craft & jewelry shows
- Lend to other jewelry makers to sell for you on sale or return
- eBay and other online auctions
- Your own website (this needs marketing skills to work)
- Leave at jewelry and craft stores to sell sale or return
- Bridal and florist stores - to sell sale or return