Jewelry Making Party Ideas

A jewelry-making party is a fun way to celebrate a birthday or holiday. Here are some ideas for materials, supplies and preparation.

Are you looking for a fun, feminine party idea for a birthday, holiday, or just for fun? If so, consider holding a jewelry-making party. In this type of get-together, the host provides tools and supplies for the guests and lets everyone create their own customized party favor.

If you decide to hold a jewelry-making party, begin by considering the theme and the guests. This is a gathering that can easily be tailored to the event and the age levels of the participants. The easiest and most popular medium for any jewelry-making party is beads. Here are some ideas to help you put together a memorable beaded jewelry party.

If you choose to use beads, the types you purchase will depend upon the needs of your participants. For a young girl's birthday, try the large plastic "pony beads" that are available in any craft store. These come in bags of mixed colors, including pastels, primary colors, sparkles, and even glow-in-the-dark. They also have large holes that make them easy to string. This age group can try stringing pasta or buttons as well.

Older children and adults will probably prefer beads made from glass, wood, metal, or clay. If you're truly ambitious, you could have the guests make their own beads using air-drying clay, but this may not work if time is limited. Look for bulk-sized packages of beads in a variety of colors and themes. Sizes vary greatly, from tiny seed beads to large glass drops meant to become the centerpiece of a necklace. If you simply plan to have guests string beads into necklaces, keep in mind that the smaller the beads are, the longer it will take to make the jewelry.

You will choose string based on the size and type of beads you're using. It's best to have a variety available to accommodate different tastes and purposes. Plastic cord works very well with pony beads - it's easy to tie and comes in a rainbow of colors. For bracelets and rings, seek out elastic cord that stretches to fit any size. Larger beads look beautiful on leather or leather imitation cord. Whatever cords you choose, be sure that they are the right size for the holes in your beads.

Older children and adults will certainly need some "findings." Findings are items like clasps, metal rings, earring posts and other elements that make a piece complete. If you use elastic cord, get some crimp rings. These are tiny beads meant to be squeezed around the cord and prevent it from coming apart. A variety of clasps are available for necklaces and bracelets. You can get earring posts (or earring wires for dangly earring styles) if you think your guests might go in that direction. If there will be boys at the party, buy some key rings so they have a less feminine project option. Finally, have a selection of jump rings available in gold and silver tones. These are used to connect different parts of jewelry together.

Other things to have handy include small cups for holding beads and findings, a few small pairs of pliers, jewelry glue, colored wire, and assorted small charms. Be sure to have a large table ready. Covering the table with a softly textured blanket will prevent beads from rolling onto the floor. Another nice addition is a stack of beading and jewelry magazines for inspiration.

On party day, gather your guests at the table and demonstrate a few ideas. It's helpful to have some samples already made. Younger kids can create simple patterns of colors. Children at the intermediate ages can experiment with knots between beads, multiple strands, and unique color combinations. Older, more experienced participants will enjoy looking through magazines and duplicating the ideas they find there.

At the end of the party, ask everyone to put extra beads and findings into small plastic containers. For really easy cleanup, each person can simply choose extra materials to take home. Be sure to provide time for everyone to share their creations. Kids may want to trade or have their pictures taken in their new creations. In any case, you'll have thrown a fun party, kept your guests busy, and provided everyone with a long-lasting party favor. Have fun!

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