I like to make Jewelry. I enjoy going to the bead store and picking through pretty beads for friends or family members and then taking them home and creating bracelets, necklaces, and earrings as gifts.
There are many bead stores in Chicago and there are also beads sold in other stores such as Target. My favorite name for one bead store was called The Bead Monster. But you don’t even have to use new beads, you can cut up some of your old jewelry and use scraps or shells or stones if you have some nice ones.
When making jewelry these are some basic tools that I use: beads (or shells, stones or scraps), small pliers (I like two sets for both hands), silver or gold flexible wire, crimp beads, fasteners (there are so many kinds), earring posts, a nice tool box, a good flat clean working space, and patience.
Some bead store will allow you make the pieces right there in the store. They will help you design and construct your dream piece of jewelry. I have never before allowed anyone to help me but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done this way.
The reason I like making jewelry is because it allows my mind to wander and my hands to stay busy. It is a bit of a meditation. The other great thing about making jewelry is that it can be an inexpensive, thoughtful gift for any friend or loved one. I hope that even if you don’t ever want to make jewelry you can at least go into one of the shops and see for yourself the beauty of these small creations.