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Before you begin making jewelry or beading projects, gather some basic tools and supplies and become familiar with recommended lengths for necklaces, bracelets, and more. Consider how to personalize your bead work by using birthstones (precious or semiprecious) or their crystal equivalents. And when you need help — with design inspiration, supply sources, or technique — take advantage of the rich online resources created by other jewelry-making fans.
With just a few basic tools for making jewelry and beading projects, you can create items that are wildly artistic, classically elegant, or something in-between. Whatever your style, these are your must-have jewelry and beading tools and accessories:
  • Wire cutters

  • Round-nose pliers

  • Flat-nose pliers

  • Crimping tool (crimp pliers)

  • Bead organizer with a variety of glass beads

  • Beading cord or thread

  • Memory wire

  • Big-eye beading needle

  • Assorted earwires

  • Assorted clasps

  • Assorted headpins and eyepins

  • Crimp beads

  • Ruler or tape measure

  • Strong adhesive, like E-6000

When you put a lot of time into making a standout piece of jewelry, you don’t want to end up with a necklace that’s too long or a bracelet that will fall off. Use these recommended lengths when making a necklace, choker, bracelet, or anklet.
Project Type Women Men Plus sizes Kids Baby
Necklace 17″–35+” 20″ 18″–36″ 12″–14″ 10″–12″
Choker 14″–16″ 18″ 17″–19″ 8″–10″ n/a
Bracelet 7″–7 1/2″ 8″–11″ 8″ 5 1/2″–6 1/2″ 3 1/2″–5″
Anklet 9″–9 1/2″ 11″–14″ 10″–10 1/2″ 7″–8″ 4″–4 1/2″