How to Make Body Jewelry

There are a lot of options for making your own jewelry. You can choose your favorite materials, tools, kits and patterns to make it unique and beautiful. Making body jewelry is a skill you can practice as a hobby or launch into a business so you can sell your gorgeous items with other people, too.


  1. Image titled Make Body Jewelry Step 1
    Decide what you would like to make, such as earrings, a necklace, bracelet, anklet or ring.
    • Beading is a good choice for a beginner because metal and glass work may require tools and equipment, such as soldering kits and casting equipment to weld or melt metal or glass.
    • Jewelry patterns are available for purchase online or in hobby shops. A pattern may be useful for practice before embarking on any freehand projects.
  2. Image titled Make Body Jewelry Step 2
    Create earrings, a ring or bracelet made of metal with wire or sheets of metal that can be cut, soldered or bent into desired shapes.
    • Choose the type of metal you'll use according to your project, and any possible skin sensitivity.
    • Nickel is inexpensive, but many people experience a skin reaction when in contact with it, so silver or gold may be a better choice.
    • An inexpensive option may be surgical grade stainless steel (316L or 316LVM), or at the other end of the spectrum, titanium is the hardest and highest grade of metal, but it's also quite expensive.
    • You will need to purchase the necessary equipment for your project, which will depend on the materials and design.
    • Many jewelry making suppliers offer kits. For example, a silver and gold soldering kit would include basic tools such as balling headpins, soldering chain ends, pin backs and bails, solder and silver clay. You would need to purchase a hand-held butane torch as well.
    • Choose a kit that will fit your project.
    • Follow the kit's directions, including all safety precautions when heating metals or using chemicals.
  3. Image titled Make Body Jewelry Step 3
    Create glass jewelry, such as decorative necklace or broach using a borosilicate glass by following either lampworking or glass fusing processes.
    • The glass you use should be tempered, medical grade and lead-free.
    • For lampworking, the tools are similar to those used in glassblowing and include a flat surface used to rolls the glass to shape and apply decoration called a marver; a mold used to shape the hot glass; a Tungsten pick used to bore a hole through the glass; and a steel jack used to push or cut the glass.
    • Heat glass rods you've chosen for the project slowly and evenly holding the torch flame 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) away from the glass, and then as the glass softens, wrap it around the head of the mandrel tool.
    • Continue heating the glass rod with the torch flame until it's evenly softened, shaping the glass as desired by rotating the mandrel and using tools such as a graphite paddle, masher, tweezers or a pick.
    • Decorate your piece with glass chips or foil by pressing the items into the soft glass using tweezers or a masher.
    • Take your decorated piece and fire it in a kiln by heating it to 940 to 1050 degrees F (504 to 565 degrees C) to permanently fuse the pieces, and then allow it to cool slowly.
    • To fuse glass jewelry, select sheets of colored glass, and then cut them to the size you desire with a glass-cutter and breaker.
    • Stack your cut sheets in a desired geometric or other creative pattern and fire them in the kiln by heating them to 1350 to 1450 degrees F (732 to 788 degrees C).
    • Allow the piece to cool slowly until it reaches room temperature.
    • Attach the piece to a brooch or necklace using a glass bonding adhesive.
  4. Image titled Make Body Jewelry Step 4
    Create necklaces or bracelets using wood, bone or horn materials using carving tools and wire.
    • Be careful of any toxins, dyes or chemicals that may have been added to the wood.
    • Most bone jewelry is from cow bones, while horn jewelry is usually from buffalo.
    • Purchase your wood, bone or horn piece and using wood carving hand chisels, create the shape or design you have chosen.
    • Use a drill and wood bit to drill a hole you'll use to string your decorative wood piece you've created.
    • You may also choose to use wooden beads as accent pieces in a necklace, which don't require any shaping.
  5. Image titled Make Body Jewelry Step 5
    Create necklaces, bracelets, earrings and a variety of other pieces using beads attached to wire or other stringing materials.
    • Collect your beads and stringing material, such as thread, silks, leather or suede cord, wire, elastic cord or chain.
    • For earrings, brooches, or rings, use sterling silver, gold, copper, pewter or base-metal findings.
    • Be sure to have any necessary cutting tools, crimping tools and jewelry pliers you will need on hand.
    • When you've gathered your materials and tools, assemble your piece according to your chosen pattern.

Article Info

Categories: Personal Accessories and Jewelry