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Interested in Jewelry Design? Here are 11 Tips to Get Started

Written by Anna Currell
August 4, 2023

Have you ever been interested in creating art that you can wear? Jewelry design is a beautiful way to express yourself and it can be a fruitful and rewarding creative outlet. Whether you’re interested in pursuing the craft as a hobby or as a career path, there are some important things you need to know before you begin. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to do to get started in jewelry design.

#1: Learn the Basics

As with anything new, it’s important to start with the basics. Take your time to learn the fundamentals of jewelry design. There are all kinds of resources you can tap into, especially online. Search YouTube or TikTok for lessons and guides on tools, techniques, materials, and design basics. Become familiar with the terminology and gather as much information as you can to immerse yourself in the subject. 

#2: Take a Jewelry Making Course

Once you have some of these basic ideas under your belt, we recommend taking a jewelry making or jewelry design course. Not only will you gain a deeper understanding of techniques, tools, materials, and design terminology, but you’ll also have access to a professional advisor who can help you along your journey. These kinds of connections are invaluable since you’ll be able to ask questions, gather advice, and get personalized support. Look up classes in your local area and sign up — learn everything you can and look for opportunities to connect with other people who are learning about jewelry design just like you. 

#3: Sketch Your Jewelry Design Ideas

An important part of jewelry design is learning how to articulate your ideas. Don’t worry if you’re not a skilled illustrator; there are plenty of ways to sketch even if you’re not a drawing expert. You can use digital software like Adobe Illustrator or even more specific software created for jewelry design, like 3Design. If those feel a little intimidating, print out a picture of a design you like and use tracing paper to copy it out and give yourself a solid starting point. Then you can make tweaks and changes to transform that baseline into your own idea. Even if your sketch isn’t perfect, don’t stress. If you’ve got a great idea in your brain, you can make it happen. 

#4: Invest in Quality Tools

Another important element of jewelry design is the tools you use. Investing in high quality tools will give you a better foundation for creating high quality designs, even if you’re not going pro just yet. Ask your jewelry course teacher or search online for recommendations about the specific tools, brands, or places to shop based on the type of jewelry you want to create. Some basic tools for designing jewelry at home include pliers, wire cutters, and metal files. 

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#5: Start with Simple Projects

Now that you’re prepared with all the basics and the tools you need, it’s time to experiment! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself as you begin — every expert was a beginner at one point. It’s always a good idea to get started with a simple, manageable project that won’t make you feel overwhelmed. Pick something that’s appropriate for your skill level and still piques your interest so you can focus on the techniques and skills you’ve learned so far, without getting in over your head. 

#6: Stay Up to Date with Trends in the Industry

In your free time, read up on the current trends and happenings in the jewelry world and fashion magazines. Follow social media accounts that focus on the latest and greatest in jewelry design, do some research into your favorite jewelry brands, and sign up for jewelry design newsletters (like, ahem, the Quick Jewelry Repairs newsletter, for example). 

#7: Experiment with Different Techniques and Materials 

Once you’ve done a few simple projects, you can start to branch out and experiment with different techniques and materials. This is where you’ll get to incorporate more of your personal design interests with your newly acquired skills and knowledge. Apply everything you’ve learned so far to each new project — are you interested in working with resin or polymer clay? Give it a shot. The only way to figure out your own style and discover your interests is to experiment with all kinds of different projects. Don’t be afraid to mess up; it’s all good practice, so give yourself permission to play around and get creative. 

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#8: Build Your First Collection of Pieces

After you’ve tried some new things and experimented with new materials, you’ll get closer and closer to the sweet spot where your ideas, skills, and favorite materials come together to create something uniquely you. Once you've made your first piece you're proud of, you might even start to think about starting your own jewelry brand! All it takes to design a collection is a series of pieces that reflect your unique vision and style. If you’re interested in taking the next step toward professional jewelry designing, work your way toward a full collection one piece at a time. 

#9: Network with Industry Professionals

The best way to learn anything is to study the pros. If you decide to turn your passion into a business, networking with industry experts will help you in several ways — they can be great resources for insights and information, but they can also help you to find new opportunities, connections, and events in your area. And if you end becoming a professional yourself, you can attend trade shows and get connected to other jewelers online. No matter your skill level, be friendly and engaging when you network to form real connections and relationships.

#10: Build a Social Media and Online Presence

If you want to spread the word about your work, social media is the best place to do it. Even if you’re not starting your own brand, posting photos and videos of your designs is a great way to share your progress with your friends and family. 

And if you do decide to make jewelry design a career, creating a social media presence will be really helpful. Start an Instagram or TikTok account to start building your online community — this will help you connect with other jewelers and potential customers interested in your designs. If you’re serious about selling your designs, then you can create a website or sign up for an Etsy account. 

#11: Be Patient

Like with any creative endeavor, jewelry design takes time and persistence. Be patient with yourself as you learn something new and try to enjoy the process. It’s inevitable to get frustrated when learning something new, but every step along the way will make your future jewelry designs that much more rewarding. There’s nothing like holding a piece of art in your hands that you dreamt up and crafted yourself — keep at it!

 

Jewelry design is a creative, rewarding, and exciting process. With the right tools, research, and a little bit of determination you can design something really special. To learn more tips about jewelry design and to get the latest information on trends in the industry, sign up for the Quick Jewelry Repairs newsletter below. We’ll send information about all things jewelry straight to your inbox so you don’t miss a beat.

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