Rewind Review: How Cool Are Your Jewels?

Cool Jewels: Beading Projects for Teens | Naomi Fujimoto | 2007

Rewind Reviews are reviews of craft books that are five years or older. These are books that I still consider to be useful, interesting and contain projects that have stood the test of time. Some of the reviews may be expanded and updated from those originally published on my old Craftophile blog.

Teenagers can be a wonderfully fickle bunch. Something that was trendy last week is out this week, never to be seen or worn again.

This is why the hobby of jewelry making is perfect for teen and tween girls. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets can be easily created and then taken apart and made into something else when the mood strikes or fashion changes.

And any teen who wants to show off her creative skills will love Naomi Fujimoto’s Cool Jewels: Beading Projects for Teens, published by the same folks who bring us Bead & Button Magazine, Kalmbach Publishing.

But don’t let the title fool you, this book is also great for older girls (ahem) who are looking for some fresh ideas or budding craftophiles who are interested in learning more about jewelry making.

Cool Jewels starts out with the basics of bead types, findings and tools needed, as well as a section on different techniques used to make jewelry.

The rest of the book is divided into chapters concentrating on the different types of projects that can be made: necklaces, bracelets, earrings and a section of ‘more ideas’ which includes beaded snowflake ornaments, stack rings and a chain belt.

The book also contains concise instructions and full-color photos of each one of the over 30 projects in several stages, making it helpful for beginners or those who learn better visually.

Many different styles are illustrated, including a long and girly “Pretty in Pink” necklace as well as hoop earrings, a simple pendant hung on a cord, a chunky “Natural Material Girl” wooden bracelet using memory wire, a bracelet bursting with charms and funky pair of “Seeing Stars” earrings made from long chains and star charms.

Many of the jewelry projects include variations on the original theme or quick to make matching accessories.

So whether you–or your teen–leans towards princess-y, bohemian, trendy or punk, she’ll find something in this book to her liking.

As a bonus, Fujimoto also includes instructions on how teens can host a cool jewels party and get creative with friends.

Although the book provides listings of internet sources, the majority of materials can easily be found at your local craft or beading store, making it perfect for those teens–and anyone else–who are anxious to get started on these fun projects right away.

Difficulty: Newbie to Advanced Beginner.

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  1. When I was in college a coworker of mine made her own earrings and necklaces, and I used to go with her to the craft store and just stare in awe at all the beautiful beads, but I was too intimidated to try making anything myself! Maybe one of these days….? 🙂

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