No dog bites, no bee stings... Just a few of our favorite things.
500+ Staff Choice favorites may seem like a lot, but each of us has our own unique jewelry-making styles -- from stringing and beadwork, to enameling, resin or riveting, or... simply an addiction to trying new metalworking tools. What makes each of these jewelry-making supplies a favorite? Oh, there are soooooo many reasons!
~♥~ For similar items, more info, or additional colors of an item, click into a product's details. We hope you enjoy checking out our picks, and have fun making stuff!
I LOVE tumbling my wire wrapped pieces after antiquing them with liver of sulfur and watching the shine pop in the higher areas. Lortone makes the best tumbler. Do NOT settle for cheap barrels as they will degrade, and ruin your jewelry. Trust me, I speak from experience!
#69-282 Stainless Shot - for using in my Lortone tumbler
#69-355-08 Shine Brite - I like this product even better than using Dawn dish soap!
I love this thread for seed beading! It is superior to Nymo, in my opinion. The color is easy to use with most all beads because it is neutral. There are other colors that we have available that work well, too. (61-001 black, 61-002 white, 61-003 lt. gray)
What's not to love about color-changing "mood" beads with lovely patterns?
#81-500-0000-S Thompson 80-mesh Enamel for Metals - 169 color sampler [A little bit of everything. Perfect for experimentation!]
#65-153 Torching Basket for Enameling by Eugenia Chan [Essential for torch firing enameled copper. Pairs perfectly with the EURO TOOL tripod.]
#63-175 Tin, Metal, 1.25x.75", Set of 20 [This storage set is super cute and handy for lots of small things.]
#69-271-99 EURO TOOL Glitter, Four-Piece Set [This is an affordable set of basic jewelry-making tools, that work great.]
#69-199 EURO TOOL Dapping Block & Punches, 8 Punches [I love the dapping set for what it is intended for--dapping and doming metal; but did you know you can also use the back of the block as a bench block, and all the punches work as mandrels for shaping wire and sheet?]
#69-235 EURO TOOL Metal Punch, Two Hole [This hole punch is easy to use and has two very usable hole sizes.]
#69-138 EURO TOOL Hammer, Chasing [The face of this hammer is domed, which means the edge of the hammer won't leave marks on wire and metal.]
#69-118 Rubber Block [This is a super base for supporting work to be polished. It keeps small pieces from scooting around and protects metal from getting scratched.]
#63-528 EURO TOOL Polishing Pads, Ultra, 2x2" [If you like a bright and shiny finish, these are the polishing pads to use.]
#69-257 3M Sanding Sponges. [800-1000 Grit might be my favorite, but all of the 3M sanding sponges work great for prepping and finishing metal.]
#69-172 Saw Frame, 4" with Screw [We carry several more expensive saw frames, but for usability, this is the one I prefer.]
#69-191-40 EURO TOOL Saw Blade, #4/0 [I buy the Euro Tool saw blades by the gross, because the price break is outrageously good.]
#69-404 Swivel Vise, 3" [Everyone needs a vise! This vise is my must have for use with the Crafted Findings riveting system; it holds the tool so I don't have to.]
#69-993 Crafted Findings 332" Long Reach Rivet Piercing/ Setting [This is one of those tools that you think you can live without until you have one. I like that I am able to rivet fragile materials, like glass and ceramics, that would not be possible with traditional methods.]
#44-721-08 Brass Blank, House with Square Window [This is such a sweet shape and a good size for pendants, charms, or earrings.]
Niobium Earring Hook Findings [Niobium is the best metal for sensitive ears. I love all the colors, so it's hard to pick a favorite.]
#23-2463-Cut Matubo E BeadsFor a small bead, these have a good-sized hole that will accommodate 1mm cording. These will be good for macramé and other knotting projects.
#44-048-16 Sterling Silver Celtic Moon Charm -- A sweet little moon accent!
I've been making jewelry for as long as I can remember, helping out at Rings & Things over the years since I was old enough to see over the counter -- Rings & Things' founder Russ Nobbs was my father; he started Rings & Things when I was 4, and so I grew up surrounded by beads, cool hand-made stuff, and fun jewelry-making supplies.
I don't get along well with glues or resins, but I love connecting items by riveting, whether it's traditional hammer, wire and block, or the fun new tools that make it so much faster and easier. Torch enameling is fun too, but I haven't managed to clear out a proper workspace for it so I take a workshop every time I want to enamel something. I enjoy stringing when I get a chance (and even bead weaving when I have time again some year). If you have questions about riveting -- or jewelry-making in general -- reply to our e-newsletter, and I'll do my best to help!
Ear Threads: In 2020, with a grandbaby living in my house, I discovered a new reason to love ear threads: they stay in nicely all day at work, even without a "keeper" on the back, and then if I forget to take them out when I get home, baby/toddler hands can pull these out without hurting my ears. Sure, it's an annoying tug which alerts me to what he's doing, but that give me just enough time to snatch the earring out of his pudgy little fingers.
#69-066 -- Digital Caliper: I use this thing almost daily, for measuring new bails, the thickness of wire, the size of chain links, new gemstone beads, which size jump ring I just used from the assorted bag, etc. No trying to focus on tiny lines on a ruler, just read the nice clear numbers of the digital readout. Bonus: If you're not good at converting mm to inches, have no fear, this thing converts back & forth between the two at the literal push of a button.
#65-555 -- "The Whammer Deluxe": Multiple-head hammers have some construction draw-backs, but they are great for traveling. Plus a 5-head hammer is cheaper than buying 5 new hammers when you're still learning which types of hammers you're going to want to invest in for the long run.
#69-981-05-9 TierraCast rivets in gunmetal go great with just about any color of metal or leather, and these are super easy to use, with very inexpensive tools.
#01-695-10-03 Swarovski 1695 Sea Urchin Stone, 10mm - Crystal Bermuda Blue: Click into the product details to see how pretty this Bermuda Blue "Sea Urchin" stone is from a different angle! Bonus: we have settings for these that don't require my nemesis: glue.
#63-175 Tin, Metal, 1.25x.75", Set of 20 It's a tin ... filled with colorful little tins ... what's not to love? These little tins are perfect for storing and organizing rivets, eyelets, and other tiny jewelry and craft-related items.
#50-101-25-22Adjustable Sterling Silver Cable Chain Necklace - I love being able to have just one chain that fits the necklines of all my favorite shirts! And the end ring is small enough that I can trade pendants and large-hole beads to match my outfits too.
#22-111 Little White Heart beads: have a wonderful glow. I made a simple necklace out of red white hearts, turquoise white hearts, and a few brass spacers, and whenever I wear it, I get tons of compliments.
#21-888-125 8mm Round African Turquoise Beads African turquoise is a descriptive name: although it looks a lot like turquoise, it's actually a form of jasper, and the patterning is a little different than the matrix you'd find in true turquoise. I love the color; it goes well with a lot of the things I make, and looks great with copper.
#63-140 Alcohol Ink Storage Tin It's a tin ... that perfectly holds all my colorful Alcohol Inks and Vintaj Patinas! Well... it holds most of them (I had to get 2 to hold the overflow, but #2 has plenty of spare room... for now).
#26-813-115 Handmade Copper Beads, Spacer, Flower These beads are excellent spacers not only for traditional stringing, and cute earring additions, but also they are excellent enhancers and spacers for 1/16" rivets. I use them in a lot of my riveted designs.
#34-003:Niobium ear wires come in some awesome colors, and are a very non-reactive metal. Very few people are allergic to Niobium and it is nickel-free and lead-free so is an excellent material to use for earrings sold in California, the EU or anyplace that has stringent guidelines about jewelry-making materials.
#34-840:Titanium is another excellent non-reactive metal for ear wires, and it is available in a basic gray-silver, the one color the Niobium ear wires are not available in. It is nickel-free and lead-free just like Niobium, and is available with 3 different loop sizes.
#34-586 Sterling Lever-back Hoop Ear Wires: These are my "go-to" hoops. I have a few pairs, so I can always find a pair. They are nice to wear plain, like a pair of plain hoops. Or slip different charms on them to fit the theme of the day. Or different colors of beaded dangles, to match every outfit variation.
#37-100 The assorted size jump rings are excellent for when you start a new batch of projects and don't know which sizes of jump rings will work best for each part. Later you can re-order just the sizes that worked best.
#49-947-22 Spiral Heart Charm: This has been my favorite charm for years. The copper is such a warm color for a heart, and this is a great size to hang off the back of a necklace. It is double-sided and comes in silver too!
#88-850-03 - It's a cyclist! And I ride my bike (or walk) EVERYWHERE. We try to drive as little as possible. Unlike my brother Skylar, who you might know from our old road shows, I do not run or jog, or I would love the whole product line of sterling Iron Woman charms from Nina Designs.
#63-543This storage box is a great size for "in progress" projects and traveling. And it's inexpensive so you can afford quite a stack of them as you work out the details of a new batch of projects. Plus it closes securely enough that you won't be losing your little parts out the edges if a pile falls over.
#65-150 + #65-151:I haven't gotten to use these as much as I'd like to, with how crazy the last couple years have been, but I love the precision hole sizes and the jig for keeping holes all the exact same distance from the edge of your piece(s).
#69-205-41: This Fretz hammer feels great in my hand. Such a nice weight, feel and balance.
#44-722-10-0: Paisley blank: This is a great canvas for embellishing. Click into the details for one of my favorite projects, that was actually very fast and easy to make ... with a few of the tools below.
#44-463-0: Brass Paint Palette Charm: In my head there is a project for this ... I want to hammer in a few divots where the paint colors should be, and then enamel a few colors of "paint" onto these palette charms. Brass sometimes does funny things to enamel colors but I think with a white base layer underneath it would turn out great.
#69-235 EURO Tool 2-hole metal punch. This thing is a workhorse. It cuts precision holes like butter, with no distortion. It punches through all types of materials that it's not recommended for ... but sometimes that abuse takes its toll. Good thing the replacement punches are only about $3!!! Which is why "if in doubt" I use this punch instead of my more expensive Crafted Findings riveting tool's punch when I'm unsure of what my metal is. "Found" steel washers can look deceptively like aluminum sometimes. And yes, I regularly pick up "shinies" from the ground when walking places!
#69-281 Tumbler: I really don't enjoy the tedium of extensively filing, sanding and polishing. So I LOVE this tumbler. Many metal blanks require finishing to remove minor scratches. And disk cutters and other cutting tools often leave rough edges. So after punching or cutting items, I often drop them in the tumbler (with steel shot and ShineBrite) for 30 minutes to 3 hours to shine them up. Then I might finish with an "Ultra" polishing pad followed by a bit of Ren Wax.
#69-610 9-shape Disk cutter: I love this quite a bit too, and I plan on writing a blog about the fun eyelet-holed beads I made with it.
#69-347:This tube-cutting jig is awesome -- it works for tubing and heavy-gauge wire, and works both left-handed and right-handed. You can hold it in one hand, while using a jeweler's saw with the other hand, or for finer control, you can place the red handle in a vise.
Crafted Findings riveting tools -- Here is what I consider to be the essentials:
Original (or long reach) 1/16" riveting tool (which includes a cutter on one end).
1/16" Domed piercing base (for cutting a hole in curved object like bracelets, without flattening a section of the bracelet)
1/16" Reverse Rivet Flaring set: You only need this if you try to rivet a ring, bracelet or other curved item. It's hard to explain why it's useful, until you try riveting a curved item without it.
I prefer the 1/16" rivets, because I like the look of the smaller head, and they fit more of the items that I try to rivet together. But I prefer the 3/32" eyelet because they have a more usable size hole than the tiny hole in the 1/16" eyelets. So here are my favorite supplies for the eyelet portion:
The original or long reach (empty) body + a 3/32" piercing set and a 3/32" eyelet setter set.
A few colors of assorted rivet sample packs, so you have plenty of sizes to pick from for your new projects.
#86-915 Renaissance Wax -- it's a nice sealant to keep your items looking nice while they are in the display case. I use a lot of brass and copper and a bit of sterling, and all 3 like to tarnish once they get some finger oils on them. Seal them with Ren Wax to help prevent this. For extra durability, read the instructions, and add another layer periodically. Then it will be longer lasting when you sell or wear it.
#04-470-12-70 Chrysolite Cushion Square: Chrysolite and Chrysolite AB are such pretty colors of green -- Not too bright, not too pale; they go well with most other shades of green. And this stone is soooooooooooo sparkly in the crown-bezel ring setting.
#51-000-62-12-3 Adjustable Bezel Ring Setting for 12mm Square Stone My list of "favorite Rings & Things" wouldn't be complete without a ring!
#54-622 1/20, 12kt Gold-Filled Plain Hoop Earring Finding, 12mm Sometimes I have a tough time latching these in my ear, but aside from that, I love the versatility of these hoops. (And the fact that they don't make me itch.) It's easy to slip a Swarovski crystal pendant onto the hoop, for fast no-tool earrings to match any outfit.
#55-000-01The Tim Holtz Sprocket Gears have 3/32" center holes ... perfect for fast easy joins with 3/32" rivets or 3/32" eyelets.
Rita Hutchinson Marketing and product development specialist, jewelry purist (mixed metals are great, mixed qualities make me twitch), designer and dabbler in almost all jewelry techniques, bead and tool hoarder, baker, pool player.
#05-750-13-152 Metallic Blue Crystal Skull Bead This bead says "rock and roll". The metallic blue color is a great complement to this angular skull design. Make simple earrings with these beads.
#27-399-01 Barrel Shape Mirage Bead Mirage Beads are a fun reminder of the mood rings I remember as a child. These can be incorporated with other types of beads or simply strung on gossamer floss, for a fun color-changing bracelet.
#30-533 80mm French Barrette Real French barrettes make a real difference. The spring is built into the barrette design, so it doesn't pop loose. I've been known to wear one of these without any decoration in the warehouse on a bad hair day.
#61-459 7" Spring Bracelet These don't look like much from the picture, but they are a great product. Our original source closed down, so we didn't have these for 5 years or so, but now they are back and great for a variety of bracelet styles. I'm recently recorded a short "how to assemble" video and now I'm patiently waiting for our website and social media team to upload it.
#34-569-01 Sterling Silver Angular French Hook Earwire Just a little different, the angular earwire makes your jewelry stand out from the crowd. This is a nice sturdy design with a modern look.
#40-092-04-MS Matte Silver Plated Shell Dangle ChainShe sells seashells by the seashore. This charm chain with seashells is great for dangly earrings with some crystals added in for color, or make a lush bracelet instead and sell them in town, in the country, or by the shore.
#47-405 20-gauge copper wire This raw copper wire comes in gauges from 10 to 30. Use the thick sizes for wire shapes, and the thin sizes for wire wrapping. It takes patina like a dream.
#60-230 Epoxy 330 I don't really trust glue, but when I have to use glue, this is the one. I can mix up a small amount, and find that the bond is long lasting, and dries clear.
#60-250 Hypo Cement The pinpoint applicator on hypo cement makes it ideal to use to seal a cloth knot when stringing. It can be a bit tricky to get the wire back into the nozzle, but it keeps the tip clean so you don't have clogs the next time you want to use your glue.
#64-999-4287 Brass Floral Pattern Sheet This is great to cut into strips for layering and riveting, or to cut out shapes with a disk cutter or saw. The all-over pattern is different than anything you can create by texturing, and adds interest and depth to your designs. This and several other patterns are now available in copper, as well.
#64-981-20-100 Copper 6x1" 20-gauge sheet This pre-cut copper strip makes a great start to a cuff bracelet. Texture it, Etch it, Paint or Patina it, Layer on it, Rivet it. The possibilities are endless. (If it bothers you to have a green wrist, seal the inside with renaissance wax or spray sealer.)
#61-130-05-02 1.5mm Black Greek Leather Greek Leather is such a nice material to work with. The color doesn't flake off, and the size is remarkably consistent for a handmade item. Besides, black goes with everything.
#51-810-10-40 Scarlet Leather 1" Cuff Bracelet What can't you do with a leather cuff bracelet? I have stamped these with staz-on ink, colored them with patinas and alcohol inks, sewn embellishments on them, punched and riveted to them, and sometimes even wear them "as-is". The two snaps allow them to fit, even if you have a bigger wrist.
#61-720-49-87 Beadalon .018" 49 strand When you are using quality beads and findings, you want a quality stringing material. This size beadalon fits most of the beads that I work with, and drapes wonderfully.
#63-528 Ultra Polishing Pads I have introduced dozens of people to this little wonder item. The ultra polishing pads are great on all types of raw metal. There is a micro abrasive imbedded in the foam, and they work even after they are black all over. The multi-pack and reasonable price allow you to include one with each customer purchase as a bonus, too.
#69-275-xx Wubbers full size jewelry pliers (-02, -03, -09, -31) Wubbers full size pliers are so comfortable to work with. The longer handles don't strike the fleshy part of my palm and cause my hand to hurt, plus the polished jaws are great for preventing damage to your wire.
#65-507 Heavy Duty Flush Cutter Don't ruin your other cutters. Get a pair of these, and use them for memory wire, and heavy gauges of other wire styles.
#69-380 Xuron Tapered Cutter This cutter works great for trimming the ends of wrapped wire loops. It gets in where you need and doesn't leave a sharp end.
#69-245-44 Spiral Metal Stamp I love spirals. I picked the spiral metal stamp, as a favorite item, because it works as a design element or a background texture. Check out lots of great spiral charms, too!
#69-385 Stubby Brass Hammer The stubby hammer is my go-to for metal stamping. I feel that I have better control of where I am hitting, and the brass will keep your stamps from becoming damaged. Try this out for yourself.
#51-750-150-0 Brass 1-1/2" Domed Cuff Bracelet I like this brass domed bracelet as a base for so many projects. It can be punched, riveted, etched, and painted, or use it as a backing for beadwork. If you want to prevent your wrist from getting green, apply some renaissance wax or spray sealer to the inside.
#60-244Loctite Ultra Gel Control Superglue I am not a fan of glue, but if I need to get a quick bond, this product does it. Since it is a gel, it stays where you put it, and doesn't run. Give it a try!
Ronnie Greenwood Showroom CSR and Jewelry Designer
#61-130-05-12 1.5mm Greek Leather Cord - Brown [Great leather with lots of color options]
#41-151-99-30 JBB Findings Center-Crimp Tube with Loop, 2.8mm I.D. [Perfect for using with the leather]
#44-050-70-71 Sterling Silver Jewelry Link, Marquise, 9x21mm [Great for using as a decorative end with a lobster clasp]
#44-551 Sterling Silver 19mm Llama Charm [So cute. Just throw it on a chain and done.]
#46-690-14-042 Cubic Zirconia 4mm Gold-Filled Channel Charm - Diamond [I love the simple sparkle]
Nice thick wall to really hold tightly to the beading wire
#65-153 Torching Basket for Enameling by Eugenia Chan
Really a fab tool for enameling
A. Nonnie-Mouse's Favorites Some folks are shy, so here are anonymous notes about MORE favorites:
#69-194 Dapping Block & Punches: So fun using this with metal blanks to add dimension to your projects.
#86-343:Win-Ox miracle oxidizer black colorant is a bench staple. It is a reliable, fast antiquing solution.
#69-613:The perfect torch! Use MAPP gas to enamel, change the fuel tank and use Propane Gas to anneal! Definitely use with the fuel tank holder (#69-614).
#69-380:A strong, reliable tapered flush cutter that works well on heavier wire.
#69-271...The Glitter line of tools aren't quite as nice as Wubbers or Lindstrom tools, but they are great entry level tools -- not too expensive, but they are reliable, and their sparkle makes them easier to find in your work area.
#69-205-52We love all of the Fretz Hammers, but this is amazing. You just can't beat a good chasing hammer!
#63-255-34-04These pink organza bags are perfect for packaging bridesmaid gifts, party favors and other small tokens. Keep a few different sized bags on-hand for last-minute gifting crises.
#59-500:This sterling silver flower button is also pretty as a pendant.
#45-210-001:Metal etching is fun, safe and addictive. It's amazing that simple metal blanks can transform into such beautiful jewelry components. If you haven't ever etched metal, it's time!
#43-392-3 8-Strand Silver Chain Tassel: We love cutting the chain links to be shorter - creating a tiny tassel!
#34-986:Wear alone as loops, or add a dangle. However you choose to do it, these secure earwires are amazing.
#34-572:Add a crystal to these sterling silver long kidney wires and you have stunningly simple earrings.
#44-773-001 25mm Round Aluminum Blank with Hole, 30-gauge These are very lightweight and great to make earrings that weigh next to nothing.
#49-958-62-AS TierraCast Antiqued Silver Plated ''12'' Charm, 19x15mm My Seahawk friends have really enjoyed these on gifts I've given.
#40-800-24-30-6 Antiqued Brass Plated Semi-Finished Stainless Steel Ball Chain, 2.4mm Easy to use necklaces for quick projects and gifts.
#46-309-121-6 Antiqued Brass Plated Bezels for 12mm Rivolis, 1 Loop These are so easy to use and very secure around the crystals.
#41-878-52-12-6 JBB Antiqued Brass Plated 1-Loop Bezel Setting for 12mm 4470 Cushion Square Stone I like that the corners are secure, but don't cover too much of the crystals set in them.
#60-270 EURO TOOL Adhesive, Super New Glue I've used this on so many projects with several materials and have never had any issues with them discoloring or coming apart.
#69-407 Diamond File Set, 4pc These are great tools I've used in so many ways, including tiny areas of my embossed blanks to remove patina that wasn't where I wanted it.
#69-055 The BeadSmith Jewelry Pliers, 1-Step Looper, 1.5mm When I first started out jewelry making, this tool kept every loop looking consistent and finished cleanly.
#69-165 The BeadSmith Stringing Board, 7.75x11.25"I am constantly leaving projects half finished and the lid snaps on tightly and stacks well with other boards so I come back to all my pieces together.
#41-050-6 Wire Protectors - Antiqued Brass Plated These are great to match plated metals in your project rather than standard bright silver and gold.
#61-132-05-24 Greek Leather Cord, 2mm, 5 Meter - Bordeaux This is a true red I have used in a gift to match a college's colors.
45th Anniversary: Sapphire, most likely because of sapphire's "true blue" reputation -- The true blue of Sapphire signifies faithfulness and sincerity. Over the centuries, the deep blue of sapphire has also symbolized wisdom, virtue, and good fortune.
For the 47th Anniversary, the internet lists these as the common traditional or modern 47th gift themes from around the world: Amethyst, cashmere, the Camelia flower, and books.
48th Anniversary gifts are awesome from the jewelry-maker's perspective:
The traditional gemstone gift for the 48th anniversary is Feldspar, which is more glamorous than it sounds: The feldspar family includes Labradorite, Moonstone, Sunstone and Amazonite. (Sodalite is a close relative, but is technically a feldspathoid, rather than feldspar.)
49th Anniversary: Copper -- ohmigosh, we LOVE copper!
The common gift theme for the 50th Anniversary is gold! Rings & Things is more a silver and copper type of place (maybe because we're between the Plains and the West Coast), but hey, if you want to send us some gold -- now or in 2022 -- we won't turn it down!