As I am sure many of you can relate my girlfriends and I go way back. Some of them I remember having birthday parties with as a kid, complete with balloons, uncomfortable cardboard cone hats with the tiny elastic strings and ‘pin the tail on the donkey.’ Others I had sleepovers with in my teens, breathlessly discussing the latest school gossip, who liked who and how late would we stay up?
Nowadays it’s book clubs, dinner parties…wine. While the venues have changed somewhat, the best part remains the same–the heart of the friendship. The part where you can relax, be yourself, laugh, cry or do both at the same time without fear of judgment. It’s an environment that is ultimately about fun and support–a treasured respite from our day to day grind.
Now, you might call me a perfectionist (obsessed?) but seeing as I am in the jewelry party-throwing business when I am hosting these soirees I have to pay meticulous attention to detail. And while it’s not for everyone (that’s why I write this after all) it is a sure way to guarantee everyone has a great time. If it’s your turn to host and you’re not sure what to do (or simply don’t have the time or energy to create a new theme, you’re in the right place! I’ve laid out the steps to throw a fun unique and inspiring jewelry making party for grown-ups. Kids don’t get to have all the fun! If you’re worried your jewelry skills are limited to shopping on Etsy or ogling art on Pinterest–fear not! we make it simple and fun!
First of all, let’s determine your goals:
Goals!? I really just want a party in a box, can you help? Sure, we have a DIY party box that contains everything you need for jewelry making the party fun.
I think I’ve got this, what do I need?
Good for you! A do it yourselfer! A girl after my own heart! Here is an outline of what we use when hosting a jewelry making party for the BIG kids (we mean adults!)
What You Will Need
We’ve approximated what is needed per guest in terms of jewelry making, use your best judgment in terms of getting some extra help if you’re throwing a larger soirée for all of your gal pals!
1-3 plastic bead organizers (or more for really large groups – organized by color pallet)
1 Adult sized measuring chart template per guest – (grab our free download)
A 3-piece Pliers Set per adult who is designated to finish off the jewelry that the whole group is making – Round nose, chain nose, flush cutters (all projects can be completed with these pliers alone)
2-3 small individual bead containers per guest; we recommend small sushi dishes
Jewelry gift pouches to store completed handmade jewelry – 1 per guest (optional)
Some inspirational images to spark your imagination (optional–see below)
Bead scooping spoons (1-2)
Flexible beading wire; for stringing beads (brands include Softflex, Accu-Flex, Beadalon)
Extra flexible beading wire; have an extra 100’ spool on hand
Beads n’ things!:
A color-coordinated assortment of beads.
Charms Selection – 1- 3 per guest/per piece of jewelry being created (As an alternative to charms, you can use large beautiful focal beads & fancy clasps as in the examples shown)
Focal Bead selection (optional)
Metal Spacer & Accent Beads; we love incorporating metal spacer beads into our designs; see our inspirational sample photos
Jump rings (to attach the charms)
Bead Stoppers (optional, but super handy especially if you are creating multiple strand pieces of jewelry)
Pro-Tip: you can use tape in a pinch but it makes the beading wire sticky
2 – 4 Crimp beads per piece of jewelry to be created (to add clasps and close your finished designs–see our instructional video)
Before The Party
Practice! Adults all have individual tastes and tend to get overwhelmed with all the possible jewelry making options, beads & colors available to them. We’ve found it’s easier to have a couple of jewelry project samples ready that you’ve made yourself before the party to inspire your guests & to give you the practical know how to assist your girlfriends at the party!
Practice! If you don’t have time to make jewelry in advance, pick out a few beaded jewelry examples that you like on Etsy or Pinterest and create a board of inspiration to share with your guests – heck you could invite them to do the same prior to the party and come ready with their own inspirational ideas.
Practice! If you want to keep it really simple, make beaded bookmarks or keychains (we have kits for this purpose) These are easy and fun & “less stressful” projects because there’s nothing to measure and you won’t be wearing these items in public!
Did we mention you should practice! the projects yourself? Use your prototypes as examples to display.
Make ready to bead bracelets & necklace wires; 1-2 premade “set-ups” per guest. By doing so, you’ll create a relaxing flow where those who finish early can move into their next project. Zen? Yes please!
With the practice you’ve gained, you can have fun teaching your friends to close the jewelry or make yourself available to finalize the jewelry pieces for your guests. Alternatively, place our easy to follow illustrated instructions on the table for guests to follow by themselves and have the short illustrated video available to watch on an iPad or phone!
We all have such busy lives and it’s often nice when someone else makes the decisions for us so that when we get together we can just be creative. That’s the vibe we’re going for here.
Decide in advance how many pieces each guest can make & let them know at the beginning of the party “We are each going to make a single strand bracelet tonight” then we’re moving on to ?” You choose… a movie, book club discussion? More wine?
Snacks! Grub, refreshments, culinary fare…
Ok we’re not really caterers and you know what you and your friends will enjoy so we’ll let you figure that out. But since we’re on the subject, may we recommend my current personal favorite drink of the moment?
Classic Daiquiri Recipe
2 1/2 ounces light rum
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup or superfine sugar
Shake all ingredients well with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy!
Party Set Up
It’s almost show time!
Place your color coordinated bead organizers & 1-2 spoons for bead scooping into bead cups, on or near the table where you and your friends will be doing the beading.
Make sure each guest has a place to sit at a table with a printed measuring chart (have you downloaded our freebie yet?)
Place sample jewelry in the center of the table
Prepare light appetizers and drinks of choice to nibble/sip during the jewelry making activity
Have fun noshing and beading and Zenning (is that a word? We think it should be!) with your girlfriends
At each place set:
1 ready to bead bracelet or necklace string, complete with one clasp & extension chain at the end
3 bead cups; to scoop beads into in order to keep them organized
A jewelry pouch (we like Organza pouches!) to take home completed jewelry (optional)
Give clear instructions to all guests at the beginning of the party:
“We are each going to make a bracelet tonight.” (If your party has a theme go ahead and name the bracelet after the guest of honor or occasion!)
Take a peek at the sample jewelry and any Pinterest board you’ve created for yourself as inspiration.
Look at the beads and when you’re ready to use the spoon to scoop your desired beads into your individual bead cups with the spoons you’ve provided. You’re going to have extra beads when you’re done creating your piece. The bead cups allow you to keep the beads organized and easy to pour back into the correct cell of the bead organizer.
Help each guest measure their wrist and determine which size is best to use on the measuring chart.
Select beads & begin beading.
After each guest has made as much jewelry as they are allowed, have everyone put away their extra beads, finalize each piece of jewelry and wear their new handmade pieces.
We guarantee everyone will be excited and proud of their creations and looking forward to showing them off to the cashier at Trader Joes… the dentist and their kids! “Look what I did!”
Enjoy camaraderie with your girlfriends until it’s time to clean up & call it a night! Have fun and let us know how it goes!
Some Jewelry Design Ideas to Inspire
Incorporate metal beads organically combining glass beads, gemstones and metal bead elements for interesting designs and textures.
Choose beautiful focal point clasps and incorporate metal spacer beads, and a variety of bead textures and sizes + natural stone elements. Add more than one strand to your design.
Chose a large beautiful bead or gemstone for the center accented with metal spacer beads on each side. Use two strands of flexible beading wire rather than one to create a double strand bracelet or necklace as shown in these samples.
Create designs that are mostly metal beads with pops of colorful glass bead, pearls and natural stones.
Too much? If this overwhelms you or is more than you bargained for, you can still party! In order to help you create and host a perfectly executed jewelry making party, we’ve created DIY Jewelry Making Party Kits that have everything you need to host a fabulous blingy beaded bash! Our kits include all of the beads, clasps, gift pouches, measuring charts, bead organizers, charms and easy to follow instructions to save you time, money and the overwhelm of not knowing what to purchase at the craft store. They are all ready for a party of 10+ guests. You’ll need just provide the refreshments, venue and BFFs!