Five Essential Tools for Making Beaded Jewelry

© by Jocelyn C. Duncan; all rights reserved.

Before you begin beading, take time to analyze which tools of the trade you will need to start on your beading project.

Blue Turquoise Magnesite and Amber Glass Mix Bracelet by Jocelyn Duncan.

When I first started beading, my first investment went into beading tools. I wanted to make sure I used the right tools to ensure my jewelry pieces come out right.

It took a few trial-and-error buying before I was finally able to break it down to these five “must-have” beading tools. For those beginning beaders who are still looking for answers on what to use and when to use those beading tools, read on.

The 5 Must-Have
Beading Tools

1. Nipper Tool

Every beader knows a nipper tool is the most important tool to have. It’s basically a cutting tool that has an angled blade which will help you get in between beads for a tight, close cut.

The nipper tool works best on beading wire and wire that is 20 gauge or thinner.

Key To My Heart Photo Locket Necklace by Jocelyn Duncan.

2. Round Nose Pliers

Another beading necessity, round nose pliers are the perfect tool to use for working with wire – whether you’re making simple drop beaded earrings or creating a wire-wrapped pendant or focal.

3. Memory Wire Shears

A must have item in every beader’s tool box, memory wire shears are great to use for cutting heavier gauges of wire as well as plated chain.

I used to have a problem dulling the blade on my nipper tool because I thought they were okay to use on any wire.

I learned my lesson well. I now use memory wire shears for heavier wires and it works so much better.

Art Nouveau Style Red Crystal Earrings by Jocelyn Duncan.

4. Chain Nose Pliers

Best tool to use for a variety of things including opening jump rings, closing crimp covers, straightening wire loops, making right angle bends in wire and flat crimping.

5. Tweezers

Strange but true. Tweezers are a must-have in some of my beadwork creations.

Other beaders prefer split ring pliers, but I found tweezers to be a great and inexpensive alternative.

If you like beadweaving, chances are – your weaving can get tangled. Tweezers are great when you need to untangle or undo your work.

Get the Bent nose tweezers which works great for flat back designs or if you need to get into tight spaces.

Freshwater Pearl Necklace - Simple Elegance by Jocelyn Duncan.

Now Gather Your Beading Tools
and Have Fun!

Having these five essential tools for making handmade jewelry will make it much easier for you to accomplish your projects – and create even more beautiful beaded jewelry!


Jocelyn C. Duncan is the jewelry artist behind Designs by Jocelyn, offering mod and vintage-style handmade jewelry utilizing various gemstones, glass crystals and pearls.

Be sure to visit Jocelyn’s blog, Hip Mama’s Place – where cool, trendy moms hang out and there are great contests and giveaways!

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