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Thursday, 16 October 2014

How to make Jewellery at home?

Recently, I met Srijita, a college going girl who is fond of making jewellery. She is making her pocket money from it. The pocket money is now more than a regular income and she is planning to get into real business after the graduation.  When I observed her closely, I felt that even you and I too can make a profession out of this hobby.  Do you feel the same?

So, how to get started with Jewellery making as a hobby? 


To start off as a hobby, first you need to understand what all types of jewellery making you can do at home. Here is the list of hand-made jewellery ideas that you can try:
  1. Paper quilling: For paper quilled jewellery you need quilling paper (you will get all the bright colours), a quilling tool and some glue. Fold the quilling paper in desired way and glue it up to remain in tact. It is the new trend and you can find a number of tutorials online. This can hook you for a good time. The designs are often unique and intricate, thus giving each artifact its own identity.
  2. Terracotta: Terracotta or clay jewellery is one which involves making jewellery shapes in clay. You have to then fire it to make it strong. Once cooled down, paint it and let it dry. Terracotta is a time consuming jewellery making. But the end product is worth the effort
  3. Beaded Jewellery: Beaded jewellery is the one which involves a lot of beads. You will need a beading sting, beads, nose pliers and hooks for the finishing of the jewellery.
  4. Crochet Jewellery: To start off with crochet jewellery, you need the yarn and a crochet needle. Use your amazing artistic talents to come up with intricate crochet designs. Crochet designs are internationally appreciated.
  5. Kundan Jewellery: Kundan jewellery is one of the oldest jewellery forms in India that orgiginated in Rajasthan. It involves specially cut stones.
  6. Silver Jewellery: Making sterling silver jewellery requires a bit of craftmanship. You need specialised tools and you have to follow specific methods. Silver jewellery is always in demand and it is best if you master the art.
  7. Semi precious stone Jewellery:This involves usage of semi precious stones on to wires. This required you to handle the stones with care to avoid the breakage while making the artifact.
Well, that was all about the types of jewellery that you can try at home. Yeah I know, yet you dont know how to go about it right?

Still wondering where to start?


Do you already know of any person who makes any of the jewellery that i have listed above? If you do, you can call her up and meet her in person. This will help you to understand the whole jewellery making process in detail. You can learn from her how she started. And later on whenever you come across a hurdle, you can consult her.

For me, a relative of mine is doing some paper quilling jewellery. Last week I met her and she was kind enough to show me how each piece is made. From her I learned, how to hold the paper, how to apply glue and how to get good finishing for the ear ring (She showed me how to make a jhumka paper quilled ear ring).

Similarly, you too should never hesitate to grab any opportunity that comes in your way. 

If you don’t know anyone in person but want to get started off with making jewellery at home, there are still many ways. You can look for good teachers nearby. I find Just Dial very useful in this regard. Just call up JustDial and ask for jewellery making classes in your locality. And once you get the contact, you can call up each for the class details. Before you call up the specific teacher, have a fair idea of what sort of jewellery making you want to learn, say paper quelling.

Often, there are many jewellery making workshops conducted in selected cities. Here in Chennai, the newspaper always shows off some jewellery making workshop happening.

If none of this is working out for you, you can always go for online tutorials. I find youtube videos as the best teacher to get started. You will find many tutorials explaining the basics of each type of jewellery making there. In my opinion, Etsy is a very good website on jewellery making. I would like to tell you to be ready with the required materials and tools, for you to try them out on your own. And yeah it is shopping time now!

Where to buy the required items from?


What sort of jewellery did interest you – paper quelling, bead work or terracotta? Depending on your likeness you can search for artificial jewellery making material in your nearest market. You can also use Just Dial, Quikr and other Internet databases to get the contact details of shops. If you know of anyone already making jewellery from home, (or found a good teacher), she can guide you better.
Jewellery making kits are also available from online shops. Following is the list of shops that provides the same:

  1. eBay
  2. Craft Gully
  3. Beads n Fashion
So now you know where to buy the materials from. But wondering what to make?

What jewellery item should you start with?


Each piece of jewellery that you are going to make is unique and custom made. Depending on your comfort you may choose what sort of jewellery you want to make. To start off, ear rings are the easiest of all.

  1. Earrings: - You just need to make an identical pair of artifacts. Normally it is simple and doesn’t need much skill in comparison to a stunning neck piece.
  2. Rings : - Rings are also easy to make. Just ensure that it fit your size if you are making for yourself. Otherwise make it adjustable so that it will fit any finger.
  3. Bracelets:- Bracelets are loved by youth. It is the jewellery suiting both Indian and western wear equally. Just measure your wrist length and make it a little bit hanging.
  4. Anklets:- Anklet is worn in one leg as a trend and so it is as easy as making a bracelet. Compared to bracelets anklets are less chunky and simple. 
  5. Neckpiece: Neck pieces are the ones that usually show off your designing skills. Just stick to standard neck lengths while making a neck piece.
  6. Pendant: You can make a pendant and just buy a silver or gold plated chain to hang it. Pendants are easy and usually making one doesn’t take much time.
Sounds pretty impressing right? Once you get the hang of jewellery making, you can group the jewelleries you made. For example you may make a pendant earring set, or a neckpiece, earring and finger ring set. 

So that is all about getting started with jewellery making. You can wear your own handmade jewellery.  You can also gift it to your friends and family. Once you are confident of making jewellery for yourself and your work is appreciated by many, you can start off selling them.  And before selling, you should know about pricing.

 

How much should you charge for your handmade jewellery?


The cost of the jewellery that you made should definitely cover the manufacturing cost plus the cost for the effort that you have put in. You can actually double the making cost to come up with a decent pricing. Say you spent some Rs.50 to make a pair of ear ring, then you can price tag it as Rs.100. If the effort factor is more, you can willingly increase the pricing more, say Rs.200.  The price actually varies with the complexity of design, quality of the product and overall appearance. You can go for a discount offer of say, 10% to please the customers. 

Have some great name for your jewellery and start a facebook page by that name. Keep adding new designs as and when you create them. You can ask for pictures from your customers and post them on the FB page so that people will have a real life look on them. 

 

How to sell handmade jewellery?


Once you have the FB page you can ask all your friends to visit and appreciate the work. The work quality then spreads by word of mouth and you will get new customers as friends of friends and so on. As a cost effective, yet efficient method, you can WhatsApp your jewellery images to your friends . If it is your good friend she would definitely forward to her friends.

Grouping the jewellery into different categories will help you to get different class of customers. For example group light weight jewellery for kids, Office wears for working women, party wears for party lovers and regular wears for all. 

If that wasn’t enough, to get more customers you can,

  1. Conduct a sale or exhibition: If you have enough of your hand made jewellery you can conduct a sale in your locality, Just announce of the sale thorough sms, whatsapp messages, emails, facebook pages and spread it through word of mouth. You can show them samples and take orders. If the sale is in connection with any festival the number of orders are likely to increase.
  2. Talk to shopkeepers or wholesalers nearby: You can always approach shopkeepers or retailers if they are ready to sell your products. This can involve bargaining but after all your pricing will cover a good profit for yourself. Shopkeepers and wholesalers form a regular bulk customer. So never miss an opportunity to strike a good deal with them.
  3. Sell Online: The online shops like craftvilla, flipkart and amazon allow reselling. Which means you need to register with them and start selling your jewellery there under your brand name. They will eat up a huge chink as commission, so you should keep in mind to fix the pricing to cover up that too.
  4. Start your own Shop: If you are confident enough you can start a shop in the busiest part of the city. If that doesn't sound economical, you can go for an online store which is comparatively cheaper. 
Yes there are many channels to start selling your jewellery. Just get started with one and look for more ways. Every sale is incomplete with out a proper packaging. Moreover, you want your customers to return to you for more and more jewellery right?

 

Take care of Packaging:


People would like to have a good nice feeling when they buy something new. Go for an excellent packaging to impress the customers. That shows how much you respect your own effort.  Starting from a Ziploc to a jewellery box you can try out anything.

All of that sounds exciting right. But honestly everything new catches your attention and soon you might drift away from it. So you have to keep yourself motivated to be in the business.

 

So, how to keep yourself motivated?

Once you get going, you will start loving your work. You find yourself so busy that you may not find time for relaxing. Also comes the boredom of redundancy. To keep yourself motivated and wanting to do better and better try following these:

  1. Try New Designs: You can keep your eyes and ears open for new designs.  Check out near by shops, online shops, jewellery designers blogs and any other way you can. Try replicating those designs and try to improve them by adding your own inputs.
  2. Follow designer blogs: Most of the designers (be professional or people like you) are maintaining a blog of their designs and possibly a facebook page too. Keep following them for motivation. You can take inspiration from their designs and create something on your own.
  3. Have some regular buyers: There will be a fanship following your designs. And you will be able to locate some regular buyers from that. You keep taking feedback from them to keep reinventing yourself.
  4. Gear up for big events: Plan atleast a month before any major festivals so that you can make huge sales. Raksha Bandhan, Diwali can bring you lots of customers, so be ready with enough designs.
  5. Catch up with the trends: You can catch up with the trending jewelleries by following bollywood divas, tv show hosts, news anchors  or anyone around you for that matter. Have an idea of how the jewellery world is evolving.  
  6. Actively participate in online platforms: Follow blogs, forums, websites, facebook pages, twitter accounts of jewellery designers and actively participate in conversations.
  7. Increase your skill set: Make a habit to increase your skill set every six months. For example you are now an expert in paper quilling jewellery. You can learn a new form say terracotta and become an expert in that too.
  8. Give back to the society: Remember how you struggled in your initial days. Back then, you did not know where to start, how to get along and where to buy the materials etc. Someone is there looking for help and you can guide them to learn jewellery making.
Jewellery making is a new hobby and everyone wants to try hands on them. You can make jewellery for yourself, your best friend, or your daughter. Hand made things always come with a special personal touch. Thus it is the perfect item to gift your near and dear ones. You can get started with jewellery making as a pass time and if interested, soon make it to your full-fledged business. Give it a shot and you will be happy thereon.