by Bev Carlson.
Got to love hardware stores for jewelry supplies. Everything from PVC pipe for rollers to whatever.
Just keep your eyes open.
Fireline is cheaper in hardware stores than in jewelry supply stores. I saw that first in Walmart – same product, same store, different departments. I’m still using my large roll of it from the sports / fishing department.
I belong to a group of Beaders called South Shore Beaders (South of Boston, that is), and we are always laughing about our trips to the hardware store.
I just received an email from one of them saying, “Just the thought of us going shopping to buy hammers is hysterical… other women are buying clothes and we are buying metal and hammers!!!!”
We buy torches, copper wire, copper sheets, hammers from hardware stores.
However, with tools we need to be careful. They need to be smooth. Pliers especially need to be smooth.
Looking at a hardware store with “jewelry designer” eyes can turn up amazing things.
Great jewelry supply tip!
And for those of us who don’t have a local jewelry supply shop, another advantage of shopping the hardware / home improvement store is that we can get things the same day we need them – and without paying for shipping!
Thanks for sharing this great tip!
hardware and Fireline
I’ve been meaning to try fireline but didn’t want to pay a lot. Maybe I’ll try the hardware store! Assuming they carry the really thin radius (width?) that I would need for my multiple threadings through narrow holes.
Copper Wire Issues
by: Angie S
I too have found MANY great items for jewelry at Hardware store. Do be aware however that some wire found at these types of stores often have a coating (especially copper) and I have come across what was supposed to be round 22G copper wire that was actually flat.
Another great idea, if you don’t mind using base metals, is chandelier chain for long necklaces and as components.
Have fun shopping!!!
i thought it was so cool that i can make anything from a simple copper piece or a small sliver tube that can be a great pendant to the necklace and it was cheap its amazing what you can do from a hardware store,thanks for posting
hardware store cruising
by: susan whelan
I laughed about this post because I spent an hour and a half cruising the aisles of a hardware store this afternoon, after quickly finding a door striker, which was my reason for going in the first place.
Spent a while in the plumbing section, checking to see if they had any copper washers. (they didn’t.) Moved over to the electrical section and found braided copper wire by the foot. I’ve used this wire before – it’s about 18 gauge, dead soft, non coated and cheap as heck. I’ll be back for more soon. Then the tools – almost bought a buffing tool for my Dremel but decided to wait, check out the hammers and found a few with lovely, flat surfaces at one end of the head and a compact peen at the other end. Be back for one of those, too.
The only thing I couldn’t find was a decent hole punch, but there’s two or three other hardware stores in town, and I’ll find it yet.
by: Glenda Munguia
I have found aluminum wire there at a lower cost than the craft store. It allowed me to learn and practice wire wrapping freely. I bought the non galvanized one. I plan on checking other stores for more gauge varieties.
Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions. I have purchased washers from Walmart before to use in jewelry, as well as fish swivels ( a big hit), but never even though to look for wire and tools!!!!!
Home Depot is the best!
I LOVE going to Home Depot for jewelry making supplies! My best finds have been a small soldering iron for $14.95 and a mirco-torch for $17.95…the same ones that jewelry suppliers/websites want you to pay $30 – $50+ for!
Don’t Forget Storage!
You can buy floss storage boxes with the movable separators at beading stores and needlework stores. OR you can go to the hardware or sports store for exactly the same storage boxes and come home with more boxes for the same amount of money. These boxes are wonderful for storing your findings and special beads.
Going to a beading class? These boxes are great for that, too. You can put scissors, and favourite tools in there just by moving the separators.
by: Janine Gerade
Thanks for the “wicked Awesome” tip on hardware stores. I’m from Metrowest MA
I need polymer clay supplies such as pvc piping, ceramic tiles and dowels from time to time and this is something I can share a stroll with my husband he’s also happy to be in a store with me for once!
Moulding for handmade earring holder frames
A few years ago, I used to make earring frames with screen. I bought moulding by 6 or 8 foot sections, cut them down to size with hubby’s miter box, and glued them together with corner braces. Then bought rolls of window screen for the center to hold the earrings. Found that the fiberglass screen tore easily, so used the all metal kind. Very inexpensive way to make these, and they sold well!
More on Hardware Store Jewelry Supplies
Lynda Carson has just posted some of her hardware finds – and two pairs of earrings made with them – here:
More Hardware Store Finds.
Jewelry Supplies from Hardware Stores
Someone mentioned getting ceramic tiles at the hardware store. Try your local flooring store. There is always discontinued tile priced very cheaply, and sometimes they even have boxes for FREE!
Love that Hardware!
It is so nice to read about the adventures of other jewelry artists in the hardware stores.
I do a lot of work with 12ga copper wire and 1/4 inch copper tubing both of which I get at Home Depot. The reaction of the sales associates is priceless.
The first time I bought wire I bought 25 feet. The man in the electrical department asked me what I planned to do with it.
When I told him I was making jewelry his only comment was “Ooookay” which was accompanied by a very strange look.
Same reaction at the electronics supply place when I bought brass washers, nuts and star washers.
As far as I’m concerned if you can wrap wire around it or string it on chain or cord it is fair game! It is also great fun to see the reaction of people who have no idea that hardware makes great jewelry.
For Affordable Jewelry
shopping for supplies at places other than Bead stores, Arts & Crafts stores, etc., is how I keep my jewelry prices affordable. I can’t afford to buy high-end handcrafted jewelry, so I try to keep my prices so that others can have handcrafted jewelry without having to pay high-end prices. Also, leader wire (fireline) in the fishing section also comes in precut pieces which are about the perfect length for average length necklaces.
Forgot to mention
Sorry, I forgot to mention this: while in the hardware store, don’t forget dowels. Much, much cheaper the mandrels!
Harbor Freight has boxes of copper washers in a variety of sizes for $9.99. The box is jammed full!!!
inexpensive find@ the sporting goods store too!
by: Kimber H. @ kreations by kimber
I haven’t thought of checking the hardware stores but I have made a few finds at the local sporting goods store. When I 1st started beading I couldn’t find storage that I liked that wasn’t expensive so I bought a large Planno tackle box that had a top that opened up with a lift out tray that was perfect for my tools and fishing line that I used in many diameters & color, also from the sports store.
The box also has a front panel that opens to reveal 3 removabe containers that you can section off to the size you want… perfect for my beads and findings…as my collection grew I found similar tackle box with little lift open compartments on the lid before you open it…I love them! They are less expensive than the.craft store options and hold so much material! And one funny thing, at a flea market I took one with me to work on a piece while I was there and a customer was begging me to sell it to him for his tackle!
I now have 8 & they also stack nicely to keep my things neatly organized. And just recently I saw that Planno is making something similar for crafts at a much higher price aand not near the same amount of storage! Hope this helps! Be well…craft on!
Jewelry Supplies from Hardware Store
by: Bev Carlson
Kimber, What a great idea going to sporting goods stores. Basically, using anything that works. Just keeping you eyes open for different uses for items works. I still remember the first time I purchased Fireline for my beading work. It was a Walmart and they had Fireline in two sections, Jewelry and Fishing. The SAME spool was less expensive in the Fishing department. Fireline caught on to that very quickly.
by: Alma Linda
Go to Sears for your jewelry tools, they come in a set by Craftsman, so they are guaranteed replacement!
Hardware store fun
I too had a good laugh over everyone’s hardware finds. I have had the best times just browsing the hardware store isles. Different size washers pounded out make great earrings as do copper couplings make beautiful bangles. At one store, I even had the women store workers bringing me items they wanted me to try out. It just opens up the mind a bit to see all the fun things you can come up with at your local hardware.
Forgot to ask all you hardware findings people….has anyone ever found a good jewelers type saw at a hardware store? Something that will cut a 2″ round copper pipe. Tried a moderately priced pipe cutter, it they only go to just a bit under 2″. Anything for above that can get pricey. I want to cut the pipe into skinnier pieces for bracelets. I’m afraid a hacksaw will “hack” it up ( sorry, just had to saw that).
Jewelry Hardware Stores
by: Bev Carlson
Funny about the women bringing you things. I’ve only had men in those stores.
Hardware store fun
Bev, our local town hardware store is very small and has employed a lot of women. The girls have gotten to recognize me and ask about the jewelry. I think they get a laugh when they see me sitting on the floor in front of the washer drawers looking for goodies and then then next minute going through the cut by length chains. Again, the best was when we were all brainstorming over the possible uses of their finds.