Following my popular post 5 Basic Jewelry Making Tools You Need to Get Started (which is LOADED with supplies that a brand new jewelry maker will need) I have come up with a Top Christmas Gifts for Jewelry Designers (and aspiring jewelry designers alike) list to share with my friends here on Craft Test Dummies.
I realize that there are different kinds of jewelry making (wire wrapped, seed bead, stringing, soldered glass, fused glass, embossed metal…just to name a few) but I will try to share a list of sort of “generic” items that can be used in lots of different jewelry making areas.
Stocking-stuffers- $15 or less
1. A bead board and/or a bead mat – Bead boards are great for stringing and bead mats are super for laying out beads without having them roll all over the floor. One sure way to find out if your surface is level (or not) is to put a bunch of round beads on it! Both items are very useful, for different reasons, so don’t be afraid to buy one of each.
2. Bead Scoop – This it the best tool to have on hand for quick clean up.
3. Bead Reamer – This is my favorite bead reamer of all time.
4. Beads – Generally, you’ll want to have an idea of the kinds of jewelry your recipient likes to make, but let’s face it, we LOVE beads so you can’t go too wrong. Seed beads are always good as fillers and most people like Swarovski crystals for sparkle. Stay away from plastic and wood beads unless you know it’s something your recipient REALLY wants.
5. Bead Awl – Beading Knotting Tool – this is a great, all around useful tool for lots of beading techniques. A “must have” in my book.
BONUS: Darice Easy Eye Beading Needles – my very favorite needles for seed bead projects
Mid-Range Gifts- $75 or less
2. OptiVisor - I’ll admit that this one is a little “iffy”. If your beader has been saying it’s hard to see the small beads you might want to entertain this option. Just make sure he/she won’t think you are calling them “old”.
3. Beadsmith Deluxe Tool with E-6000 glue – All the basic tools in one place
4. Bead Storage – this 30 container system is great for all sorts of beads, they can be organized by color or type and it is easy to pick up a few containers of beads for beading on the go. If you really want to be a hero you’ll buy a few of these. One can never have too much bead storage. By the way, I’m not a fan of bead storage systems that have square compartments as it is difficult to get small beads out of the corners without dumping all of the beads out.
5. Beadalon Beading Station – Great for keeping your tools right where you can find them.
BONUS: Simply Swank Soldering Iron, Acid Free Flux, Simply Solder Techniques For Creating Soldered Art – DVD, and other Simply Swank Goodies found here.
Not only are these gifts more Luxe but they may also be just what the jewelry maker on your list needs to push them to expand their knowledge and try new materials and techniques.
1. Dremel 8000-03 10.8-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Rotary Tool - Polishing, buffing, de-burring, drilling and more.
BONUS: Cuisinart TOB-40 Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler – Perfect for polymer clay, speeding the drying of air dry and paper clay, shrinking shrink plastic. A great, general use tool for the jewelry maker or crafter.
It seems that the lower end price range works for more general jewelry making and beginning jewelry designers while the higher end gift ideas are geared more toward specific types of jewelry making. It stands to reason (in my world) that someone just starting out may not want to invest too much money in a new hobby but as they learn, grow, and experiment they may feel confident enough to try new tools and techniques.
If you have a feeling that the jewelry designer on your gift list might be ready to try something new don’t hesitate to give them a “nudge” by buying them some new equipment. Sometimes we won’t try a new tool or technique just because of the cost of new equipment.
And if you are still stumped there is always an Amazon.com Gift Card.
What have I left out? What specific jewelry making tool or products would YOU like to see under your tree? (pssst… shoppers might want to scan the comments for other ideas)
I hope this list helps you if you are trying to make people on your gift giving list happy OR it sparks and idea for a new technique or tool you might like to try. You know, with the gift card you get.
Disclosure: some links above my be affiliate links. Using them will support free reviews and content on CTD.