Use Mixed Media Techniques to Make Your Handmade Jewelry Stand Out

Let's face it: selling beadwork and beaded jewelry can be a tough business. Go to any craft show and look at just how many vendors are selling jewelry. You'll find that there are more and more jewelry vendors selling all kinds of handmade jewelry – beaded jewelry, silver jewelry, gemstone bead jewelry and mixed media jewelry. If you're one of the artists trying to earn your living selling your handmade jewelry, how are you going to make your work stand out and get the customers' attention?

Know your style and embrace it. Do you prefer big and bold jewelry? Or are you more of a subtle, classic type when it comes to jewelry? The lesson here is that you shouldn't try to be all things to all customers. You can't please everybody, so make sure that you stay true to the style you love.

Brand your handmade jewelry with a tiny custom-stamped tag.

Brand yourself. Even if you don't have a line of jewelry endorsed by Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker or some other mega-star, make sure that your customers know your brand. When I started selling my original designs at craft shows and on Etsy, I invested in a set of sterling silver and gold filled stamped tags with my initials on them. I attach one to each of my original creations to let my customers know that they have just purchased a one-of-a-kind piece of beaded jewelry!

Don't be afraid to incorporate new materials and components into your favorite jewelry-making techniques.

Don't be afraid to experiment. I had never used silk ribbon in any of my designs before I was sent this sample from an online bead supply company. I loved the deep colors of the ribbon and found a way to combine it with my favorite beaded fringe and embellishment techniques. The result was a series of truly spectacular necklaces that I probably would never have created had I not been brave enough to experiment with that piece of silk ribbon.

Playing with new jewelry-making techniques is a great way to infuse your handmade jewelry designs with new life. My latest obsession, making resin pendants and earrings with handmade papers, is giving my beaded jewelry designs a whole new dimension. I'm finding that I love mixing handmade papers with crystals and other components to bring my personal artistic vision to my handmade jewelry, and my customers have been enjoying my new pieces, too.

Give yourself permission to play and check out the new special issue of Handcrafted Jewelry. You'll find 22 beautiful jewelry-making projects that use mixed-media jewelry techniques to create unique wearable art. Find out how to use the latest trends in mixed media jewelry-making to create timeless pieces that you'll wear again and again. And if you hate to wait for the mail, check out the digital edition of Handcrafted Jewelry and get your digital download delivered instantly to your laptop or desktop computer!

Has a new mixed media jewelry-making technique inspired your handmade jewelry projects? Tell us about it here on the blog, or better yet, post a picture of your latest mixed-media jewelry project in the Reader Photo Gallery!

Bead Happy,


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