Welcome to Summer Camp at Home’s week of jewelry making crafts! I hope you enjoy the ideas I share – which are good for all year round too. So if you’re not getting to this in the summer, just bookmark it for winter break… You’ll find ideas for all levels of jewelry making and projects that can be adapted for boys and girls. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
There’s one thing that many jewelry artists will agree with: jewelry making can be therapeutic. I’ve found it to be so, which is why I decided to share jewelry making ideas for my week of the Summer Camp at Home series.
I like to think out of the box, which is the running theme for these jewelry making crafts. I hope they get you going too, creating jewelry with unusual items.
A huge deterrent for many people when it comes to beginning to make jewelry is the expense. That’s why the summer is a perfect time to start – it’s relatively cheap when it comes to entertainment!
Not only that, but these crafts are all affordable in the long run. They don’t use up lots of your materials, so after your initial investment, most of these jewelry making crafts cost under a dollar to make!
The end product is totally sell-able – often even those made by young kids. So display these beautiful pieces of handmade jewelry at your next charity event or school fundraiser, or even just as a way for your child to earn back the investment and dabble in entrepreneurship.
You can read my background, and how I got started making jewelry as a teen here.
What you’ll need for these jewelry making crafts:
Start by stocking up! Here are some main materials you’ll want. I left the themes open-ended as far as jewelry making skill level is concerned, and each project has its own supplies list, but this is your basic material list for getting started making jewelry (you don’t HAVE to have it for each project).
- Jewelry making pliers
- Head pins
- 20 and 24 gauge wire
- Chain – I like this open cable because it’s very versatile
- Snap-on bails if you plan to make pendants (if you’re starting very small, you can just use a small ring made from wire)
- Cord ends
- Your choice of cords and flat leatherette – these aren’t a must to get started, but they are a great, inexpensive alternative to chain, and you’ll see I like to use it a lot as a style feature!
- Earring findings! You’ll find that I used a lot of flat pad earring studs, combined with E6000 glue – you can make anything with that!
- E6000 glue – this is not the most kid-friendly glue, but it’s the one you can rely on to adhere two smooth (non-porous) surfaces. If you need something kid-friendly, try tacky glue for the benefit of the process – it can be reinforced by an adult later on.
Tip: make sure to coordinate gold/silver tones for each project. If you’re starting small, just choose one metal type to work with and get everything in that color!
Tip: Get a starter pack with like this one if you want to have a good assortment in front of you, but want smaller quantities of each! You might have more things that you won’t use, but it’s a great place to start if you don’t know where you’ll be going with this.
A Week of Jewelry Making Crafts Calendar:
As you can see, I kept these themes open ended for two reasons:
- So that boys can do them too (yep, I know many boys who make jewelry. Even my husband helps me sometimes!)
- So that they work for any skill level
- To keep you creative!
Consider these jewelry making challenges – thought starters to get you crafting.
Monday: Turn nature into beautiful wearable art
From seashells to rocks, nature makes some of the most beautiful DIY jewelry. You can even combine this theme with a day trip to the beach to collect materials.
Here are some ideas to try:
- Seashell earrings – perfect for a mermaid wannabe!
- Seashell necklaces – these work for tomorrow’s theme as well, so if you can’t decide, you can wait for tomorrow.
- Painted rock jewelry -I wear these earrings all the time – people don’t believe me they’re actually rocks!)
- Try making Disney-inspired shell jewelry
- Grow crystal jewelry – combine science with jewelry making!
Additional supplies needed for Monday’s projects:
Obviously, collect these from outdoors if you can, but if not, you can buy them.
Tuesday: You can do anything with clay!
And that’s why I love jewelry making crafts that incorporate clay – it’s beginner-friendly and totally open-ended!
You can also make very simple pendants and focus on how you add texture to the clay! Use small cookie cutters to make the shape and a skewer to poke a hole. Add texture using things you find around the house. Press in glitter. Scrape chalk pastel shavings onto it. Use your imagination! When you’re done and it’s dried, seal it with a coat of glaze.
Additional supplies you may want for Tuesday’s projects:
There are many different types of clay you can use! Air dry clay is very delicate and brittle when used for small, flat projects, so make sure your pieces are 1/4 of an inch thick if using that. If you plan to keep on making clay jewelry, get all the conveniences and tools, if you don’t, just get the clay and sealer and work with what you have at home for the rest!
- Polymer Clay
- Air Dry Clay + water-based paint to color it with
- Things to add some sparkle and texture
- Clay shaping tools
Wednesday: Transform wooden beads with your own style
Wooden beads are lightweight, inexpensive and basically a blank palette! And since you’re basically just decorating your own beads, you can turn them into anything…
Some ideas to get you going:
- Nail polish dipped beads – turn them into wrap bracelets!
- Color-your-own beads
- Add an inspiring message!
Stock up for Wednesday’s projects:
- Wooden beads – I love having light natural wood cube ones, in a generous size, because they are the easiest to decorate.
- Permanent markers
- Nail polish (use old colors, or get a cheapie pack)
Thursday: Turn Junk into Jewelry
Jewelry making can be super cheap if you start with your recycling bin! Granted, I haven’t done this as much as I should… but here are some clever ideas:
As you can see from this last project, you can even recycle old jewelry and turn it into something new!
Things you’ll want for Thursday’s jewelry making crafts:
Dig into your recycling bin and get creative! Some helpful materials, not necessarily for the ideas above, include:
- Epoxy stickers
- Mod Podge
- Nail polish for sprucing up the old stuff!
- Corks in case you don’t drink wine…
Friday: Wrap some wire
My best jewelry making pieces have been my wire-wrapped ones, especially those made from unique and interesting stones. You can do this on any level! Thinner wire (go for 24 gauge) is easier to wrap but not as strong. Thicker wire (20 gauge) is more solid but a little harder to work with. Start with something in between if you want the benefits of both (22 gauge).
- Agate slab headband (yep, head gear can be jewelry too!)
- Wire wrapped bracelet with a leather strap
- Wire wrapped pendant
- Wire wrapped gemstone bracelet
- Rainbow headband
- Wire bangle
- Branch necklace
More supplies for wire wrapping:
Okay, I DID list wire with my main supplies, but here are some bonuses to have handy…
- Colorful wire to spice things up
- These leather straps if you’re making those bracelets
- Fun toggle clasps
- Quirky gemstone beads
What are your favorite jewelry making crafts? Got any ideas to add to this week of jewelry making for our summer camp at home? Comment below!