Frugal Living

DIY Jewelry Making Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Jewelry making is an excellent choice for anyone who’s in the market for a rewarding hobby that’s affordable, approachable and great for burning off some creative energy. Plus, it’s one of those activities that stimulates the mind yet is extremely relaxing, which means it just might make you feel happier and calmer in your everyday life. The best part? Jewelry making is a worthwhile hobby for everyone at any age!

What You Need to Make Jewelry 

One of the biggest benefits of making jewelry is that you don’t need any special equipment or knowledge to get started. However, you will need a few simple jewelry making supplies and tools, all of which you can find easily online or at your local craft store. Stock up on the basics, including a pair of needle nose pliers, flat nose pliers, wire, wire cutters, a ruler, fasteners, beads, chain, charms and findings, before you start your first project. The most important tool, though, is your creative vision! Sharpen this and you’re good to go.

Affordable Jewelry Making Projects

Now that you’ve got the utilities necessary for the job, it’s time to dive into a few cost-effective projects perfect for entry-level jewelry artists. If you need inspiration, stock up on some jewelry project books and be sure to browse Pinterest, Etsy and your favorite jewelry designer’s website. You can take this hobby in so many directions, from artsy and eclectic to chic and high-end. Here are some affordable projects to get your creative gears spinning.

  • Upcycled Jewelry — Looking for an amazingly affordable way to break into jewelry making? Consider digging through the trash (seriously). Upcycling takes old or discarded items — read: free stuff — and transforms them into wearable works of art. Not only is this jewelry making style easy on the budget, but it’s also easy on the planet. It can help you save used items from clogging up landfills or winding up in the ocean. It’s a total win-win! Whether it be a bracelet made from soda tabs or a mosaic charm crafted from old dishes and pottery, this is a rewarding endeavor that’ll make you feel great in so many ways. Here are some of our favorite ideas for turning trash into cherished treasures.
    • Soda tab earrings
    • Charms made from old brooches
    • Charms made from old keys
    • Repurposed tin earrings
    • Bicycle chain bracelets
    • Mosaic charms
    • Fabric bracelets made from sheets and clothing
    • Cuff bracelets made from old belts
    • Charm bracelets made from coins
    • Bracelets and necklaces made from old buttons
    • Charms made from old spoons and forks
  • Wire-Wrapped Jewelry — Create truly mesmerizing designs and one-of-a-kind shapes with wire wrapping. This technique involves using a pair of pliers to twist and bend wire in all sorts of intricate and interesting patterns. You can keep your designs simple with wire only or adorn them with gorgeous beads, gems and accents to give them a colorful, high-end twist (pun intended). Once you get comfortable, you can even make rings and bracelets from bent wire. Jewelry wire is relatively inexpensive and comes in copper, brass, aluminum and other materials to suit your budget and aesthetic preferences.

DIY Jewelry Making Ideas That Won't Break the Bank


  • Hemp-Knotted Bracelets — Grade school friendship bracelets meet hippie-inspired macrame with this trendy and low-cost jewelry making option. You’ll fall right back into decorative knot-making if you mastered the art of tying up colorful bracelets as a kid. Hemp is a relatively easy material to work with and it’s affordable enough that you can create stylish bracelets, necklaces and more for next to nothing. Oh, and did we mention that hemp is eco-friendly, too?
  • Tassel Earrings — Tassel earrings are so trendy at the moment (we can thank Natalie Portman for that) and they make an awesome jewelry project for beginners. While Natalie’s may have been made by Tiffany & Co. and studded with rose-cut diamonds, tassel earrings are surprisingly easy to make and don’t have to involve any precious materials. All you need is a pair of simple thread or leather tassels and a couple of earring hooks. You can add beads, rhinestones and more to make them all your own.
  • Leather Bracelet — While leather is a bit more expensive than wire and hemp, you don’t need a lot to make a big impact. It’s also a great material to use if you’re looking for something more high-end and long-lasting without investing in precious metals. You can make all sorts of edgy and eclectic bracelets using leather, including beaded styles and chunky cuffs. Work in studs, braids and tassels for a custom finishing touch that suits your style.
  • Resin Jewelry — Resin setting is relatively quick and easy to learn, yet it produces some of the most impressive and professional-looking results. Have you ever seen an insect suspended in resin? This is the same idea. It lets you take small objects and suspend them in mid-air using a mix of resin epoxy. To create this effect, you must mix liquid resin epoxy with a hardener so it dries clear and hard. You can create beautiful earrings, bracelets, beads and so much more once you master the art of resin!


DIY Jewelry Making Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

The above projects are best-suited for beginners and those who are just getting started with the hobby, but that doesn’t mean that advanced jewelry making has to be expensive or elaborate. Eventually, you might want to venture into more advanced techniques, like soldering and metalsmithing to grow your skill set and broaden your offerings.

Nope, jewelry making doesn’t have to involve diamonds, pearls and gold — in other words, it doesn’t have to break the bank — as long as you’ve got the creative vision to turn anything into a masterpiece.

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