By imakergg in CraftJewelry





By imakergg

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About: Hello! Im a maker, a hobbyist, and collector. Here are just a few of my interests-- rocks gems and minerals, woodworking, atlatl throwing, altlatl making, flint knapping, beading, mosaics, whittling, robotic… More About imakergg »

Welcome to Imakergg's 'International Beginner's Guide To Fine Lapidary Jewelry Making' (AKA my Instructable.)

This is for anyone who wants to get into jewelry making, but doesn't know where to start. By the time you finish reading this Instructable, you'll know:

a.] Which jewelry making type is best for you


b.} How to get started

(Video) Lapidary 101 - How to make a cabochon

The categories are:

1. Wire wrapping

2. Wire weaving

3. Freeform wrapping

4. Wire art

5. Silversmithing

6. Beading

All right, are you excited? I AM. Let's get started!


Wire wrapping is my personal favorite type of jewelry making.

We can start out making simple, yet nice things, with a very small amount of tools. and we can progress as fast as we feel.

Wire artists work with different metals like copper, silver, gold, and brass.

There are three basic types of wire jewelry: WIRE WRAPPING, WIRE WEAVING and FREEFORM WRAPPING. There is also another category called WIRE ART.

What is it?

Wire wrapping is taking a cabbed rock, a bead, or something else, and wrapping it with types of wire to make it into a pendant or a piece for your jewelry.

Basic wire wrap:

Start out with jewelers pliers, different gauges/shapes of wires, and a cab. A cab is a rock that has been shaped on a machine called a rock grinder.

Then take square wires and some half round wires and make it into a bundle.

After that, wrap the bundle around the cab and connect it at the top.
The final step is to do the artsy touches, and it's done.

My favorite part about this is we can take any basic design and then change it into an infinite amount of different designs.

To get started:

Once we know the basics, then we can find more inspiration online and use it to help us learn new skills.

Local rock and mineral shops usually have wire work lessons too.

You could also take a look at some of my other instructables.


Wire weaving is fun but complex and time-consuming. It's not really a good one for beginners as it takes a bit of practice to perfect your piece. But the end result can be exquisite.

Wire weaving is similar to basic wire wrapping, but it uses a great deal more wire. You could easily use over a hundred feet of wire just for one pendant. Weavers usually only copper because it's cheaper than other metals.

This photo is one of my very first wire weave projects as a beginner.

What is it:

Wire weaving is almost the same as wire wrapping, except you wrap different patterns with the wire and layer the pattern wires into a full pendent.

(Video) Lapidary part 1 - an Introduction to the Cutting and Polishing of gemstones.

A Basic weave:

We'll need, jewelers pliers, wires of different gauges and shapes, and a cab or bead.
First we start by weaving a pattern with the wire. Next wrap it around the cab. Then add more patterned wire until you get a larger pendant.

To get started:
Learning how to do wire wrapping first before we try to wire weave would be a good first step. Take a look at my instructable on how to do wire wrapping coming soon!


Freeform wire wrapping doesn't have a set pattern and no two are ever alike. It's usually done with beads or naturally formed crystals. It's the most fun to do in my opinion.

What is it:

Free form is when we don't have an exact plan before we begin. It's when we allow the materials to lead us as we go about creating our piece, with materials such as wires, beads, rocks, and/or crystals.

Basic freeform:

We'll start with a pair of pliers, some wire, and a crystal or large bead.
Start by threading the wires through the hole in the bead or wrapping it around the crystal. Next make a loop at the top. Then take the rest of the wires and just have some artistic fun with it.

To get started:

Most craft stores carry crafty wire and large bead pendants.

Step 4: WIRE ART:

Wire art is one of my favorites. It's usually done by skilled people. It does take a bit of practice to get it to look good, but it's definitely worth it if you have the patience to accept a few flawed pieces at the beginning of the learning process. Eventually we'll start to notice the pieces will tend to get quite detailed over time the longer we're at it. It can feel overwhelming or complicated at times when trying to get the wires to stay in place or move the way you want them to.

What is it?


Wire art is usually described as when the wire is more the focal point and not the gem or bead. Many different gauges of wire are often used to make one piece.

Basic wire art

Before we begin, we'll want to draw out our design. Next we'll need a selection of wires and tools. I highly recommend stay away from craft wires as it WILL break. Be sure to add in any beads or faced stones that we want to incorporate. Also be sure to work on a flat clean surface.

This one is more advance, so I recommend trying the ones above first if you're a beginner.


Precious metalsmiths work with metals like silver, gold, copper, brass, solder, etc. They also use tools like jewelers hammer, jewelers saw, and torches. Their jewelry tend to look more like what you would see in a jewelry store. Precious metalsmithing is a fun hobby, but it does take specific tools and some experience, but it can be quite rewarding!

Precious metalsmithing is working with raw metals and turning them into pieces of jewelry through the process of cutting, heating, soldering, and polishing.

To start we'll need some basic tools and materials like a cab, raw metals, and some solder. We'll also need some tools like pliers, jeweler saw, torch, and a couple of hammers.

First thing we'll want to do is design it because silversmithing takes some time, effort, and money. So let's be sure we have a plan thought out before we get started.

Next, trace your cab on a piece of flat metal and then cut it out with a jeweler saw. After that, we'll take some flat wire and solder it with a torch to the edges of the back piece that we just cut.

This completes the bevel (AKA our main piece) After this, we'll add any decorative pieces we want to put on it. Don't forget to add a loop or something to attach it to the necklace.

Now it would be time to add the cab. Lay it in the piece and then squeeze the edges of the flat wire down around the cab. The last step is to polish it because it will be oxidized and scratched up from working on it.

After that's done the pendant is finished!


(Video) Lapidary Fundamentals Tutorial Part 1 of 4

Most rock and mineral stores will carry raw materials need for this project.


Beading is a great type of jewelry making. It's quite fun and easy to get into. Bead workers work with beads that are made of glass, metal, some plastics, and/or natural rock.

Some bead workers make necklaces just with beads, using the beads as a main focal point or pendant. Others bead necklaces around a pendant like a wire wrapped or silver smithed piece.

There are a lot of different beads out there, including ones that are called seed beads. Seed beads are extremely small like the size of a fruit fly. Some artists string seed beads together into incredibly detailed and beautiful pieces. Other beads, like handmade glass beads, are extremely pretty pieces to add to a necklace.

Personall,y I like to make a pendant [usually a wire wrapped pendant] and then make a themed necklace with themed beads to go with it.

Stringing beads and other materials into a piece of jewelry.

Before you begin, you're going to need tools like a beading needle, pliers, and materials like beads (lots of them) beading string, an end connector, and a pendant (or not).

To start, we'll take our pendant and I match it with beads that go with the theme and color. Then grab all the ones that look right together. Then taking beading string or leather strap. I test out different combinations and patterns of beads to find out which one looks right. Once we have our pattern done, we'll repeat the pattern all the way around the necklace, changing it once before and after the pendant.
After that, we'll add connectors to the ends of the strings.


Local craft stores sometimes have a decent selection, but not likely to find anything made with real rocks and minerals.

Local bead shops may be a little hard to find in your area. There are bead stores online that will ship right to your door.

Step 7: Gallery of My Pieces

I hope you enjoyed my International Beginner's Guide To Fine Lapidary Jewelry Making.
Hopefully you'll now know and understand a little bit more about which kind of jewelry making that you would find the most fun.
Thanks for reading my instructable, If you liked it vote for me, and if you tried it, send me a picture please,

Be sure to check out my other instructables!

Thank You!


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    2 years ago

    You are very skilled


    2 years ago

    Very nice and whimsical :)


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