Hobbies are booming and the likes of sewing kits and jewellery making kits are proving to be more popular than ever, providing a productive way to spend an afternoon.
There's never been a better time to learn a new skill or craft, with so many user-friendly kits and informative tutorials out there to help you develop your technique. We also have budding seamstresses covered, with a round-up of the best sewing machines. But, if you're more of a runner, let us point you in the direction of our best running shoes for women.
The joy of jewellery making kits is that you're gifting yourself - or someone special - with something beautiful and unique at the end of the process. With everything from a beginners’ beading set – such as Macaroon’s Luxe DIY Beading Kit, £28 – to a more complex option, such as CAST’s Bespoke Jewellery Making Kit, we’ve got your jewellery making needs covered.
Key jewellery trends for 2021
Before we get into the fine (jewellery) details, we thought we’d take a quick look at the styles that are trending right now. While here at w&h HQ, we’re usually more focussed on investing in timeless pieces that we’ll be wearing for years to come, this season’s jewellery trends are just too good to ignore. And it doesn’t hurt to get a feel for them if you’re about to start making your own pieces.
- Colourful jewellery: The fashion industry is coming up trumps with this cheery trend. Look out for rainbow colours bold enough to rival a small child’s toy box – the brighter, the better. This look is just the pick-me-up we need after a slew of bad news,
- Pearls: Dangling from modern metal bracelets, strung onto cord – how you wear your pearls doesn’t matter, it’s the taking part that counts.
- Chunky chains: Moving away from delicate, dainty pieces, catwalks have been chock-a-block with thick, chunky chains. Do remember though, jewellery at the shows is always bigger to ensure that everyone can see it!
- Single or mismatched earrings: An easy trend to nail, save yourself time in the morning by only putting on one earring. Or, for maximum impact, mix and match two different styles.
- Charms: The classic charm bracelet is experiencing a revival. Adorn yours with heirlooms or new buys… or a mix of both.
Things to consider when selecting the best jewellery making kits
What do you need to consider when buying a jewellery making kit? Skill level will play a part – how much (or little) experience – and perhaps patience – do you have? Are you looking for something that offers flexibility for creative flair or something that’s more of a painting-by-numbers style creation? How much money do you want to invest, and what kind of materials do you want to work with?
These are just some of the things you’ll want to think about, and the criteria that we considered when seeking out the very best jewellery kits on the market. Whether this is something you're already into, or you want to learn the techniques from scratch with online jewellery making classes, we’ve saved you precious time scrolling through Instagram or browsing on Etsy, by collating the very best options into one big list. We've also sought out personal recommendations from in-the-know friends and colleagues, for those word-of-mouth recommendations that online browsing fails to deliver.
Once we had a pretty comprehensive list of options, we added them to our basket and gave them a go for ourselves.
Our ratings and reviews are a reflection of:
- Value for money
- The star kits from each brand
- How easy they are to use
Which jewellery making kits stacked up best against these criteria? You’re about to find out which kits will give you timeless, one-of-a-kind pieces that you will treasure forever.
The best jewellery making kits to buy now
A hub of all things crafty, The Sewcial Circle sells everything from pom-pom sets to embroidery starter packs. But for us, the jewel in its crown is its jewellery making kits.
Requiring just enough concentration to keep frazzled brains occupied but not so much that you’ll end up with a tension headache, these are the sort of crafts to enjoy with a cuppa on hand.
Sewcial Circle’s Braided Cord Friendship Bracelet Kit and Cord and Bead Necklace Kit are both brilliant; they’re not too fiddly, making them perfectly suited to little hands or anyone who struggles with mobility in their fingers.
It was the Tassel Earring Kit that really won us over however, featuring enough silky embroidery floss to make two pairs of earrings, along with gold and silver plated hooks and hardware. You will need a pair of jewellery pliers for the finishing touches (you can pick up a pair for as little as £3.50 at Hobbycraft, but otherwise everything is included.
Read more: The Sewcial Circle review
Unless you’re secretly skilled in the workings of a soldering iron (and other specialist tools), you’d be forgiven for thinking that making your very own precious metal jewellery was a little out of your reach.
But we’ve got good news – CAST is making the seemingly impossible possible thanks to a technique called lost-wax casting.
Use the tools included in this kit to turn the various blue-wax forms (from a ring form to various other shapes) into unique-to-you designs. Once you’ve carved your desired piece of jewellery, send it off to CAST who will return it to you cast (see where the name comes from now?) in silver or gold.
The carving is a little tricky to get the hang of at first – be careful of your fingers – but practice makes perfect, and you can always order replacement wax shapes if you have a mishap. Once you’re in the swing of things, the whole process is very enjoyable.
Read more: CAST Bespoke Jewellery Making Kit review
If you love delicate silver jewellery, you’ll love Grace and Flora. Each of its jewellery making kits comes complete with a link to an easy-to-follow online tutorial, where you can craft along with the brand’s founder, Kate Harvey. Watch and learn as she teaches you not only how to create beautiful jewellery, but for top tips on how to use specialist tools and accessories too.
There are currently six kits in the collection, but our top pick is the Silver Beaded Pearl Bracelet. The most intricate of the bunch, it’ll easily occupy a lazy afternoon. It’s a brilliant way to embrace the pearl jewellery trend while supporting a small business too.
The only slight downside is that you do need a collection of different jewellery pliers to complete the project. These can, however, be picked up from Hobbycraft from as little as £3.50 each.
Read more: Grace and Flora review
Always dreamt of making your own jewellery? Get a step closer to the pros (with no expensive training) thanks to this clever little box of joy, brought to you by jewellers and friends Kirstie Maclaren and Katie Woodward.
It all starts with a little ring of blue wax which can be carefully carved and sculpted to suit your style. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, make the most of the process by following online tutorials, snooping on the brand’s Instagram or sketching your own designs before using the included craft knife and sandpapers to perfect your ring.
The real beauty of this kit is that even if you’ve carefully followed a how-to-guide, the resulting rings will always be completely unique. Think of it as handwriting; no two people’s scribbles look exactly the same.
Once you’re happy with your carved ring design, pop it in the post and the clever folk over at The Workbench HQ will use a process called lost-wax casting to turn it into a beautifully shiny, bespoke piece that you can treasure forever.
While this kit is on the pricey side, it’s worth every penny for the quality of the materials, as well as the joy of knowing you’re the proud owner of a ring that’s completely one-of-a-kind.
Read more: The Workbench London review
Jewellery brand Macaroon has been toying with the idea of launching its own jewellery making kits for years, but it was the pandemic that provided the final push to get the project off the ground. With everyone spending more time at home than ever before, the kit ticks some major boxes: it’s screen-free, occupies your hands and relaxes frazzled brains. It also makes a gorgeous gift too for a friend or family member in need of a little TLC.
Each kit offers plenty of options for personalisation and self-expression: they are packed with a mixture of around 200 beads and charms crafted from glass, shell, pearl, opal, crystal and semi-precious gemstones, as well as some metal ones too. All of the metal beads are are lead- and nickel-free.
Your options are increased still further by the additional elements included in the box; you can string beads onto the stretchy elastic to make bracelets, or onto the strong cord to create beautiful, bespoke, beaded necklaces.
As you might have guessed by the name, Rose Beach Bracelets specialises in colourful, beach-themed friendship bracelets. Its impressive range of 12 sets – which you can find on the brand’s Etsy shop – offers options in an array of vibrant shades.
Each kit comes with an illustrated step-by-step guide to help you along the path of creating the various bracelet styles. Not only is this helpful for beginners, but it serves as a useful reminder if you decide to work on any similar craft projects in the future.
These bead-focussed kits also offer great value for money; the slightly cheaper Turtle and Pineapple bead bracelets contain enough materials to make 2 matching bracelets, while the larger sets include enough supplies for at least 4 different designs. We had thread left over at the end too.
Keep your creations for yourself or gift them to friends and family – the choice is yours.
You’ve got us! This one’s not strictly a jewellery making kit. However, London Wildflower’s DIY pottery sets are a brilliant way to make bespoke pendants – a quick visit to its Instagram page will throw out plenty of inspiration for this kind of project.
If you’ve never made pottery before, don’t panic. Each kit contains step-by-step instructions to help you get to grips with working with air-dry clay. This particular material is especially handy as there’s no need for a kiln or heater; it’ll simply dry naturally within 24-72 hours, depending on the size of your project.
Alongside the generous block of clay included in the kit, you’ll also find a rolling pin, wooden board and a series of tools and brushes to help you cut, craft and shape your design.
You’ll only need a small amount of clay to create your pendants, so why not use the leftovers to create a cute trinket dish to store your new bespoke pieces? Maximise your crafting skills, we say.
If earrings are your thing, and you want to try your hand at making your own designs, this kit is well worth a look. If you’re a total jewellery making beginner however, this may not be the best place to start as it doesn’t come with an instruction leaflet or manual. However, for those with a little experience and a few designs in mind, it offers plenty of scope to dream up your own, bespoke pieces. And at scale, too.
Packaged in a compartmentalised container you’ll find 250 earring hooks in six different colours – including silver, rose and yellow gold – 650 coordinating jump rings for attaching stones and beads and 600 earring backs. There’s nothing skimpy about this set.
When it comes to the fiddly work itself, you’re also well-cared-for: chain nose pliers, a jump ring opener and tweezers are all included, and come in handy when putting together delicate pieces or even repairing damaged earrings that you already own.
Furthermore, if you’re planning to gift your creations, you’re in luck! The kit also contains earring display cards and clear self-seal bags to package them in.
Just like the Tuparka kit, this Amazon set also doesn’t come with any instructions or guidance, which might put off some novice crafters. That being said, it’s easy to find jewellery making tutorials on Youtube if you get stuck.
This particular kit offers great value for money – the tools alone (a brass jump-ring opening tool, pliers and craft tweezers), make it worth the purchase. Many kits don’t come complete with these, so it’s certainly a selling point.
As for the jewellery making materials themselves, there’s a nice mix of charms, beads, clasps and fixings to help you put your necklaces, earrings and bracelets together, using the beading wire and cord. All in all, a solid and affordable little set.