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by Jesús Zabala - 5 min read

What Do You Need to Make Jewelry?

Jewelry making is one of the oldest forms of craftsmanship in human history. Jewelry is present in most ancient religions and mythologies, carrying spiritual, status, and wealth symbolism. Today, everyone can start crafting their pieces easily. But what do you need to make jewelry?

Join us as we explore the tools and materials needed for jewelry making!

What Do You Need to Make Jewelry?

Today, jewelry making is the most accessible it has ever been, both in terms of tools and materials. Handmade jewelry tools are available in most craft stores, and there are plenty of tutorials online to help you with them.

But as professional jewelers, our JewelryLab metalsmiths use more advanced equipment. We also have years of experience in handcrafting unique jewelry pieces.

So, what tools do you need to make jewelry? Read on to discover more about each tool.

What Do You Need to Make Jewelry

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Essential Tools for Jewelry Making

Basic Jewelry-Making Tools


There are round nose pliers and chain nose pliers. You may use round nose pliers to form loops. With chain nose pliers, you may bend, pry things open, and crimp. You can pry open loops, rings, and chains using both pairs of pliers.

Wire cutters

You need wire cutters to cut your wire to the length you need to make your piece. When purchasing wire cutters, ensure that you get good-quality ones, as cheaper cutters may wear out faster. 

Jewelry hammer

We recommend using a rawhide mallet for your jewelry. You may shape and form your metal material without leaving any marks with a rawhide mallet as a jewelry hammer.

Jeweler's saw

When you are making jewelry that is pretty small and requires intricate cuts, you should use a jeweler's saw. The tool allows you to detail the work of your piece. Plus, the jeweler's saw comes with blades in different sizes for thinner and thicker metals. 

Mandrels and ring sizers

Rings can be shaped, formed, and sized using a mandrel, also known as a triblet, which is a large, tapered steel tool. Mandrels have ring sizes in them, so you may ensure each ring is the right size.

Beading needles

Beading needles are excellent for handmade jewelry. Unlike regular sewing needles, beading needles are more flexible, thinner, and with smaller eyes. You should use beading needles when making necklaces.

Jewelry files

Files are other jewelry tools you'll need for pieces made from metal material. Once your piece has been soldered or you've shaped it with the hammer, it needs to be smoothed out. A jewelry file does precisely this. You can file excess material from your jewelry with it. 

Jewelry bench block

Presumably, you don't want to dent your world desk when you use the hammer, so a jewelry bench block is another essential tool. You may flatten, shape, and stamp metal wires and sheets on the jewelry bench block.

Basic Jewelry-Making Tools

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Optional tools for advanced techniques

Jewelry torch

If you intend to further your jewelry making, you will need a gas torch for soldering pieces. A gas torch is suitable for beginners as it has a small flame, and it is excellent for soldering small jewelry pieces.

Jewelry kiln

A jewelry kiln is essentially an oven similar to the ones used in pottery. But the kilns used in jewelry are much smaller, about the size of a microwave. You may use a jewelry kiln for enamel, metal clay, annealing wire, lampwork beads, etc. 

Engraving tools

Engraving tools, or gravers, are miniature chisels made from hardened steel. The engraving tools you purchase must be of exceptional quality steel. The engraving tools also must be shaped and sharpened to specific angles and fitted into handles for better comfort and control.

Jewelry polishing machine

Anyone embarking on a jewelry-making journey needs a polishing machine. Jewelry polishing machines are also known as barrel or tumble polishers

This is due to the barrel-shaped container where you place your jewelry pieces to be polished. The barrel sits on top of a motor and rotates during the polishing process.

Essential Materials for Jewelry Making

There are various types of handmade jewelry-making materials available. These include the following:

  • Beads - There are beads made of metal, plastic, stone, glass, etc. You may thread them on a bead cord to make a bracelet or a necklace. 
  • Jewelry wire - We use jewelry wire to wrap pieces like pendants and bracelets. Higher gauge wires are thinner and easier to work with, while lower gauge wires are more durable.
  • Jewelry findings and metal components - Links, spacer bars, clasps, headpins, eye pins, chain extenders, earring hooks, etc. 
  • Stringing materials - Besides a wire, there are also stringing materials such as beading wire, clear stretch cording, embroidery thread, and a wax cord.
  • Polymer clay or resin - Polymer clay is a type of clay that you may model into a desired design before baking it in a kiln to harden. In contrast, resin is a liquid that, when applied to a jewelry piece, hardens into a transparent and glossy finish.
Essential Materials for Jewelry Making

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Oxidised jewelry-making materials

The chemical process known as oxidation produces a "tarnished" or "discolored" appearance. Oxidized jewelry is popular for aesthetic reasons, and it gives jewelry pieces an aged visual by blackening the hollow areas and holes. 

To make oxidized jewelry, we use sulfur, which reacts with silver to form a silver sulfide layer on top of the metal. Silver sulfide is dense, and it gives our oxidized jewelry its black color.

Beginner's Guide to Getting Started

When you are beginning with jewelry making, start by researching and gathering inspiration. There are lots of online video tutorials available that may offer you a visual aid in understanding how jewelry is made. 

Inspiration, on the other hand, you can gather from everywhere. For example, browse our JewelryLab collections, visit jewelry stores, or get inspired even by the pieces worn by people around you. One such inspiration may be our Lucky Ring, which is minimal and simple.

Once you do your research, you may move on to creating your essential jewelry-making toolkit. Gather the tools and materials we've outlined in this guide and start crafting your designs.


What do you need to make jewelry? In order to make jewelry, you need to gather tools and materials such as wire, findings, pliers, metals, beads, etc. Jewelry making is a creative hobby that you may undertake with the essential tools and materials we outlined in this guide. 

Happy making!

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.