7 Great Ways to Save Money on Jewelry Supplies
What's better than making jewelry? How about saving money on jewelry supplies while you're doing it? Beads, wire,metal sheets, charms, stones and tools can add up to a mighty sum. And don't get me started on the precious metals like gold and sterling silver! These metals are skyrocketing in price aren't they?
I love silver and gold, but I find I can't afford them anymore - at least not regularly. Rising market prices don't have to bring you down though. They really are a blessing in disguise if you're willing to challenge yourself to try you never would have thought of when silver was relatively inexpensive.
I've made a bunch of happy discoveries in my quest to save money on jewelry supplies and I'm pleased that the challenge has prompted even greater levels of creativity than ever before. I've compiled some money-saving tips for you, the thrifty jewelry artisan, that don't break the bank.
1. It's good to shop around
Us creative folks tend to be quite loyal, but there is nothing wrong with looking outside your usual supplier for your beading needs. There are a lot of great sources online and offline that have weekly and monthly coupons, deals and discounts, free shipping, and great products. Signing up for newsletters will alert you to deals when they happen, and sometimes these sales and discounts are offered exclusively to newsletter subscribers.
2. Buying in bulk can save you a bundle
This doesn't only apply to rice and toilet paper. You'd be amazed of how much you can save by buying a certain amount of beads, wire, chain... and you'll need this stuff eventually, so in the long run, you save time too!
3. Copper, Steel, and Brass are metals too
Sometimes artisans that sell jewelry think only silver and gold can command the kind of retail sales prices that can actually pay the bills but that is not always true. I must admit, I do have a special place in my heart for sterling silver, but the possibilities of brass, copper and steel beads, charms, and findings should not be overlooked. There are a number of well respected and renowned artists making beautiful jewelry using these metals in their work. And the variety of beads and findings in these metals are growing by leaps and bounds as silver and gold continue to rise in price.
4. Watch for Garage Sales
Other people's junk is a jewelry maker's treasure. Don't necessarily look at an item "as is". Old costume necklaces are a great example. Remember that everything can be taken apart and used for its spare parts.
5. Check out Thrift stores
Other than bell-bottoms and romance novels, there are other great finds in those mothball-smelling treasure troves. They are one of the best places to find old costume jewelry, and I'm talking CHEAP! And if you're really lucky and determined, you might even find some actual vintage pieces.
6. Think outside of beads
Ever heard the term greencraft or eco-jewelry? Go green in your hunt for jewelry making components by reusing and recycling. Jewelry can literally be made out of anything, so look around! Old CDs, bottle caps, Christmas ornaments, games pieces, and old watch parts are great components for creative jewelry. Reusing and repurposing will save you money and result in a truly one-of-a-kind piece.
7. Go to a Hardware Store
If you need wire, chains, links and the like, head to the source! Amid countless racks, rolls and hardware bins you will find jewelry making supplies and fixings at rock-bottom prices. You will also find other things you can't live without, such as storage bins and baskets, small hand tools, torches and daylight lightbulbs for your photography setup.
Some last words of advice before you run off to shop for supplies. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, aren't we? Here's what I mean: We don't want to spend too much, but when we get to the store everything seems so shiny and beautiful, and there are such great deals too! Before you know it you've blown a wad of cash on stuff you didn't plan on buying until you saw them.
The best money saving tip I can give you is plan, plan, plan! Make a list (and stick to it), a spending limit (that you don't go over), and a reward for being so disciplined (or maybe even a price you need to pay if you have poor follow-through!). If you are particularly challenged in these areas, let a friend or a spouse know your plan and ask them to help keep you accountable. Better yet bring a friend or a spouse who is bored to tears by beads - you're more likely to quickly get what you need instead of lingering and browsing if you know that someone is waiting for you to finish up.