July19 , 2024

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    Explore different materials and how to use them in your jewelry-making. Learn to work with nontraditional materials like plastic netting, kid’s toys, buttons, and more.

    Aluminum is an affordable metal that can be shaped into elaborate cuff bracelets and delicate earrings. It can be oxidized for a bright, shiny finish or anodized (passing an electric current through it) in various colors.


    Elastic cord is an excellent stringing material for alternative jewelry, as it is strong, easy to knot, and available in various colors. You can even get a stretch elastic cord nearly invisible and designed to hold your beads without showing the ends!

    Cotton cord is another durable option glazed with wax to prevent fraying. It is usually 1-2mm thick and can be knotted easily. It can be used for making woven bracelets or macrame designs.

    If you decide to use this type of cord, pre-stretch it before you start stringing. It helps prevent the cord from stretching too much and breaking the beads. It also makes it easier to tie your surgeon knots. You can use bead tips on the ends of your cord to hide the knots and finish the bracelet with a clasp.

    Stretch Magic(tm)

    This polypropylene fabric cord is strong, reliable, and suitable for beading and kid’s craft projects. It also does not crack or harden over time, making it ideal for bracelets and necklaces that do not require a clasp.

    This particular string is 0.8mm thick and offers 10 meters of length. It is easy to thread and can be finished using a surgeon’s knot or other secure knots, such as a figure-eight knot or a carrick bend knot. You can seal the knots with hypo cement glue for extra security.

    A good quality glue is essential for ensuring the elastic knots hold up over time. Cement glues like Epoxy 220 and Epoxy 330 are recommended because they have a fine nozzle that can be used on small areas to create a strong bond.


    Rattail is a shiny stringing material that comes in a variety of colors. It is great for Shamballa and macrame jewelry projects and also kumihimo braiding. It is strong and knots well; it is easy to use with beads with large threading holes.

    Rat tail cord is available in many different thicknesses, giving you plenty of options for your jewelry-making project. It is often a good choice for earrings, as it can look very subtle and elegant. It is perfect for a corporate, semi-casual, or casual outfit and can also be worn to a party.

    Alternative metals like tungsten are tough and durable but can be difficult to resize. Considering this before ordering jewelry made from an alternative metal is important.

    Silk Thread

    Silk thread is a great choice for creating alternative jewelry with beads and charms. It is a natural, biodegradable, and eco-friendly stringing material. It is also available in various colors, so you can find the best one to match your beads and charms.

    Besides being smooth and supple, it is also extreme. It makes it ideal for kumihimo braiding and Chinese knotting techniques. It can also be used in macrame to create firm and secure knots.

    It can be used alongside other fiber types to add texture to your projects and visual interest. For instance, combining spun and filament silks can create a more interesting effect than using all one type of fiber. It also adds a shimmering element to your woven jewelry designs.


    Beads are crafted from various materials and come in many shapes and sizes. These beads can be used in various jewelry projects, especially necklaces and bracelets. String them on memory wire or a silk thread, and use end caps or fold-over crimps to finish your designs.

    Other beading materials include lava beads that absorb essential oils and make an aromatic scent bracelet. They can also be strung on silk or leather cord and finished with a clasp. Glass beads are made in various ways, including mold-pressed and mosaic beads. They can be drilled in many ways, too: center-drilled, side-drilled, and faceted beads with six sides. Other types of beads include briolette beads, which are teardrop-shaped, and drop duo beads, which have two holes along one edge.