The First Jewelry Set I Made & Sold Online
As Peaceknots turns six years this year, I think its fun to take a look back in the vault. My very first memory of making jewelry dates back to grade school when we would make friendship bracelets from #dmc floss during summer camp. I will never grow too old to wear or make #friendshipbracelets! Fast forward to my 20's, I had moved to California, 3,000 miles away from home. I needed something to do during my down time from my full time job. I wanted to "graduate" a little bit from friendship bracelets but I couldn't afford to go out & buy all the tools associated with being a beginner jewelry maker. So, I went to #Michaels, browsed the jewelry aisle & picked up a couple balls of hemp.
#Hemp is a great choice for beginners to work with. It's rather inexpensive for a ball of twine so your initial investment is not going to break the bank. The color choices now days are almost endless compared to back in the day when natural hemp was the only option. Keep in mind that colored hemp is more pricey compared to natural. As showcased in the picture above, you only need to learn two knots, Half Knot & Square knot in order to produce some great pieces! You will quickly learn more knots such as: Overhand knot, Half knot twist, Half hitch, Josephine knot & Bauble knot. The first book I ever picked up on how to make hemp jewelry was called Hemp Happy Jewelry by Janie Ray & Vicki Montgomery. You can purchase it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Hemp-Happy-Jewelry-Items-Today/dp/1574211161 The book shows great illustrations of each knot, along with 31 different projects from beginner to more advanced. As much as I love Michaels for the beginner novice, I highly suggest branching out once you become an intermediate/advanced artists. One of my favorite #Etsy sellers for all things hemp related is Hemp Beadery. https://www.etsy.com/shop/HempBeadery?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=216487953 It's a Colorado based company that has an enormous selection of beads & twine to get you going on your next project or inspiring you with their own hemp jewelry pieces.
Once I started to feel comfortable with my designs & my friends & family were complimenting me on my work, I opened my Etsy store (I have since shut down my Etsy store & solely sell on my own website). One of my first designs is pictured above. Not bad, huh? As time went on I started to research different types of cord. Waxed polyester has a wax finish & is slightly more expensive per roll. Pro's: 1. It's less bulky than hemp 2. It has a more finished look therefore you can resell it for a higher price. Con's: 1. Because it has a wax finish you need to store it in a bag or cover so it doesn't attract dust 2. Just like hemp, you can't burn the edges of your work (I'll explain more about this below so keep reading!)
Then I came across nylon cord, called either S-Lon or C-Lon. This is when Peaceknots became what it is today, great quality handmade macrame jewelry. Nylon cord 18 gauge just takes your knots to a whole other level of quality! There are so many pro's: 1. the size of the cord creates a "dainty" look 2. you can burn the edges or cords off that you don't need. 3. so many great color options that have a shiny gloss finish 4. you can get your jewelry wet, wear it everyday & it still looks as good as the first day you put it on. Con's: 1. NONE! Most local jewelry stores now carry a small/medium size selection of nylon cord. I highly suggest supporting local as much as you can!
I'm honestly so proud of my journey & dedication to making jewelry. I can't believe I've kept with it all these years (I tend to quit things too soon). Everything I have learned so far has been through trial & error, reading books & watching online tutorials & being inspired by other jewelry artists. Moving forward that is what I want this blog to be about; passing along knowledge, sharing information as it happens, encouraging others from beginner to advanced & highlighting other jewelry entrepreneurs & businesses.
Thank you for following me along this journey
- Peace & Love, Melissa