One of the first things you need to look at is what type of jewelry do I want to make. It is a huge investment depending on what type of jewelry you want design and make.
Beading w/Beads: Basic beading is one of the most simple and affordable types of jewelry making to get into, plus it is the most versatility when it comes to color, style, and design. You can make a chunky/bold, bohemian/craft necklaces and bracelets and matching classy chandelier-style earrings. For beginners it makes for an ideal place to start since all you need are beads, wire, and findings (clasps, ear wires and crimp beads). Some basic tools, such as pliers and needles are also useful, among other accessories.
Polymer Clay: Polymer clay is a very interesting medium to work with, mostly because it is so versatile. All you have to do is buy the clay, which is soft, malleable clay that once baked, dries to a hard, heavy material. With this clay you will make colorful beads or pendants which will then be strung on a wire or cord with beads in between as spacers and coming together with a clasp that compliments the piece. Polymer clay is fairly inexpensive itself, and the only other thing you need is a type of oven (toaster ovens work well) and a baking sheet reserved for jewelry making. Some basic jewelry tools such as pliers are helpful.
Precious Metal Clay or PMC: This unique type of clay goes from soft, moldable clay, much like polymer clay, but when fired, it turns to a solid 14k, 24k, or silver metal product. There are various ways of firing this type of clay from a kiln or even a torch. While large and somewhat technical, kilns have the most varied uses, such as fusing glass and baking ceramics. They are priced according to size, ranging from $100 to $800. The only drawback is that you will be restricted to metal clay that fires at a lower heat level. The clay is often priced according to the value of the metal in question.
Fused Glass: Glass jewelry is a specialty that can be fun and extremely rewarding with a lot of practice and patience. Because of the technical skills needed to produce fused glass, people frequently take courses before engaging in glass fusing at home. This is also ideal since glass fusing is very expensive to get into and requires a kiln and quite a lot of equipment, which. Classes offer an inexpensive way to familiarize yourself with the technique and the tools before choosing to make fused glass jewelry on your own and making the huge investment. Fused glass is incredible in that no two pieces ever fire the same way; thus the results are very unique and unusually handcrafted jewelry pieces.
Silversmithing: Silversmithing is fairly reasonable when it comes to the cost of supplies alone, but as you purchase the equipment and tools, it can turn into another big investment. The one benefit to this technique is that no kilns are necessary, just lots of tools and a small soldering device. You may opt for taking a course first to get started as it is an easy way to learn the basics and to get general guidance before moving onto your own solo work.
As you can see these are just a few of the many different types and styles of jewelry making. Determining what interests you and then developing your own style within the jewelry type will reflect and set your designs apart from everyone else. Before venturing into any jewelry making, I’d highly recommend checking with your local craft or beading store and take a few classes in the different styles. This will give someone with a smaller budget the ability to test drive the technique, determine the overall costs and ultimately give you a roadmap of where, how and when to begin your adventure into jewelry making.