If you make polymer clay beads, check out Home Depot for buying inexpensive jewellery supplies:
With the rising costs of craft supplies and the need to be original, all you polymer clay jewelry designers need to always be thinking creatively about how to shop for jewelry making supplies.
One way to find unique materials is to think outside the box. As far as supply resources, think of other stores besides the everyday bead shop and craft store.
This means going to places that the average DIY jewelry maker may not think to look. I have many places I look, but today we are going to discuss the home improvement or hardware store as a place to locate alternative findings and beading materials.
Let’s start with wire. Copper, aluminum, zinc and stainless wire can be found in various gauges in several locations of your typical Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart or Canadian Tire.
In the electrical department you can find large spools or pay-by-the-foot wire. Bare wire (without the plastic coating) is ideal to buy for making wire jump rings, clasps, links, eye pins, head pins and hooks. You can use coated wire and strip the plastic off with wire strippers but it is much more time consuming.
Bead stringing materials can be found in the fishing supply department. Fireline is well known as a durable, flexible beading ‘wire’ and comes in a few different strengths and colors. You can also look for cool little clips, swivel eyes and links in nickel, brass and bronze colored finishes, which all have jewelry making potential.
For some great chain, cable, brass clips and rings check out the hardware section. You can often find grommets, eyelets, rubber rings and all sorts of alternative findings if you just keep your eyes open and check every aisle in the store.
Creative jewellery makers aren’t the only ones to use hardware for great fashion accessories.
A friend of mine received a Coach handbag recently for a gift. On it I noticed the handle was clipped to a large brass ring on the purse using a very large brass clip, similar to a lobster clasp. These two brass units were the very same items I saw in the hardware store the week before in the rope and chain section.
One of the reasons her purse was so fabulous looking and worth the big bucks her husband paid for it, was because of the originality that the heavy duty brass clasp brought to it. Not bad for a $5 brass clip and brass ring from the hardware store!
So hopefully you get the point I’m trying to get across… The craft store is not the only place to purchase your jewelry making supplies for your polymer clay bead designs. Home Depot and other large hardware stores are a great place to look as well.
By the way, for times when you do need to shop for supplies at the craft store, I wrote this article that may be of interest to you: How To Buy Jewelry Making Supplies at Michaels Arts and Craft Stores