Top Jewelry-Making Gift Ideas for Any Occasion

All through the year we gather momentum for making gifts for the holidays. Everything we do, everything we read, everything we work on lives in the back of our minds, knowing we will draw from these resources to make gifts. That’s how it goes for me, anyway, and this year is no different! If you’re looking for jewelry-making gift ideas, here’s my list for what friends and family can expect to find in a special gift bag this year.

Bezel Set Cabochons

Metalsmithing: Quick & Easy Jewelry Gifts Celebrating Milestones. Assembled charms to celebrate children.

I’m in love with setting stones in metal then making a fun finished design. The charms in this necklace are a really simple, easy soldering project. Use the instructions found in Metalsmithing: Quick & Easy Jewelry Gifts Celebrating Milestones to make your own.

The gifts I’m working on next kick the skill notch up a bit. I’m making my own bezels and setting cabochons in a more traditional way. Cassie Donlen’s Kitchen Table Metalsmithing: Metal Jewelry Making with a Micro Torch video could be your ticket if that’s also what you’re thinking of doing.

Cassie shares so much information in her video and covers all the basics you need, not only for creating bezels but also links, toggles, and good soldering basics.

Kate Richbourg’s Simple Soldering: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry Making is also a great resource for all you need to know for soldering and forming metal.

For more on both ladies and their work with a micro torch, read Jewelry Making: In the Studio Soldering, Fusing, and Creating with a Micro Torch and Butane.

Natural Prong Set Pendant by Jeff Fulkerson

Speaking of setting stones…

I learned a lot in Jeff Fulkerson’s class at Bead Fest. Not only did he share all you need to know on how to set freeform cabs (like in the picture above), his approach to metalsmithing in general set me at ease and eliminated a lot of the stress I usually bring to the bench.

To learn more about my class with Jeff and the tips he shared, read Metalsmithing: When Designing Jewelry, Think Outside the Box But Don’t Scribble. And don’t overlook Jeff’s method for setting stones in stones (also something he shared in class.) This is a great technique to add to your repertoire and for creating a unique one-of-a-kind design.

Color is the name of the game.

If you were to look at the gifts I’ve made over the years, you will inevitably notice a consistent theme. Bold and bright color! Lampworked glass beads also play a large part in my work. I love to work with glass. I love glass beads, and I love making them. Because I don’t have a dedicated area to make beads at will, I also keep a nice supply of other’s lampworked beads on hand.

Lampworking Glass: Using Glass Beads in Finished Jewelry Designs

Hearts and beads by Worn Beadies

Combining beads with wire or metal is an easy fit for me and it always makes a gift that is well received.

Lampworking Glass: Using Glass Beads in Finished Jewelry Designs

Bracelet by Tammy Honaman; Lampwork beads by Worn Beadies. Sterling silver, dead-soft wire, various gauges; sterling silver accent beads; glass beads.

Imagine yourself making one of the designs found in Kerry Bogert’s book, Totally Twisted. Who would turn this design away?

Lampworking Glass: Using Glass Beads in Finished Jewelry Designs

In this loose-fitting design, big wraps of coiled wire twist along a core wire to add extra playfulness. Go wild with loads of color or tone things down with neutrals. No matter what you do, these are a BANG, gals!

No one! Exactly!

And how about this beauty?

Lampworking Glass: Using Glass Beads in Finished Jewelry Designs

Sterling silver, dead-soft wire, 20 gauge; colored copper wire, 20 gauge; anodized aluminum jump rings; lampwork donut bead by Carter Seibels.

You get the idea. You can’t go wrong! For more ideas you can find in this book, read Lampworking Glass: Using Glass Beads in Finished Jewelry Designs .

Gifts to Receive

On the other side of things — we are makers who love to receive gifts that help us be able to make! Here are a few things on my “gifts to receive list” that you might also want to add to your list:

  • The new Bill Fretz Maker set caught my eye and I know would make a wonderful addition to any studio.
  • Michael David Sturlin is not only a friend but he’s an amazing maker with a beautiful aesthetic. I have each of his videos on my wishlist. I would really love to benefit from his knowledge on how to organize my studio better, so the first of his videos on my list is: Metalsmith Essentials: Create the Perfect Jewelry Workspace.
  • And not last nor least, another item on my list is a class at Bead Fest Texas. I look forward to attending this show and taking a class from one of the many amazing instructors in the line up.

These are my jewelry-making gift ideas (for now) — what’s on your list to make or receive? Please share in the comments below!

Happy Making,
Web Producer and Editor
Bead & Jewelry Group

Start building your gifts and your gift list today!


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