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Taking that first step

Posted by: Phat Mama, 17-Nov-2008

Yesterday, I did a bit of researching on jewelry-making after I received a note from a reader who called herself Judy. She expressed interest in learning to make her own jewelry. Judy who lives in Penang asked: Where/how do I start?

Well Judy, the answer is simple: start by researching online.

In this day and age, we need not worry anymore about having to be physically present in a class or workshop. Everything has been made easy through Cyber World. So, if you have access to a computer then you are already halfway towards reaching your goals.

As with any trade, having the right tool is key. A lot of time is wasted when we do not invest in good, proper tools for the craft we intend to pursue. Do not rush into buying something. Always compare market prices first. I did this mistake once and rushed out buying the first leather puncher I found at RM75. Several months later I found another better quality piece at about half the price I had paid. So do a bit of window shopping and compare prices to quality before you spend your hard-earned money.

In jewelry making some of the essential tools are pliers, needles, tweezers and stringing materials. But the list does not stop here. It increases with one’s expertise.

As a beginner I would suggest you start small. Try making simple designs such as a bracelet or necklace using simple materials like satin or organza ribbons decorated with just a few pieces of beads (either glass, wood, decorative plastic, the list goes on). If you manage to finish these simple projects, and like the entire process of completing them, then you pursue this interest by trying many more designs.

Source for ideas to make your first necklace, earrings and even bracelet

I know you are asking: But where can I get these materials? Easy, just visit any sewing supply shops or any other craft shops and you are bound to find all the materials needed for your projects. Or, spend some time in the shopping malls or little shops around town and look out for craft shops that might give lessons on jewelry-making.

There are many sites on jewelry-making giving information on where to get what right down to tutorials on how to get started. In fact, if you are lost for ideas, there are many sites out there that give away free patterns as samples.

I have added here two websites that I find interesting. The first ( is an online community cum blogshop man by jewelry artists in Malaysia. Here you can learn jewelry-making from the tips and tutorials given.

The second ( is an international site that offers everything and anything regarding the craft. You can buy beads and other needed materials as well as get tutorials and all the information needed to start your hobby.

To find more sites, just Google “jewelry-making” and off you go.

Before I forget, besides online information there are many craft magazines in the market but they are fairly expensive. If you can’t resist the bold, beautiful pictures presented in the magazines then be selective. Do not buy everything just to leave them covered with dust. From experience I download craft tutorials online and compiled them in a folder on my computer. This way I get to carry them with me anywhere minus the bulk.

So good luck! Maybe one day you can show me your masterpieces.

  • there's even international suppliers like marinacraft and firemountaingems for more ideas/supplies. google for the site.