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ornate heartsTwo ornate 'puffy' silver heart beads, hollow in the center with holes at top and bottom for stringing. Each is about 1" wide and lightweight. Sold as a set of two. I will consider selling them separately -- so let me know if you'd like to buy only one for $19.00.

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bloodstoneI know not many folks design men’s jewelry, maybe because during our time, so many men haven't worn it. But our experience has been that the guys who are interested will take great care in seeking out the things that appeal to them, so we thought we’d share some tips in case you want to try your hand at this angle.

One thing to think about before you start is the fact that you may not know what guys would want in a necklace or bracelet. You can ask your guy friends and just start experimenting, but you still might not feel confident about the approach. One big piece of advice is to always remember that for men, some of the most important elements are color, material, scale and style.

• Scale – Men are generally bigger than women. So design their jewelry that way! Thick, chunky and simple are usually better than delicate or elaborate.
• Color – Usually the best bet is with darker, more subdued colors. If you introduce something lighter/brighter, keep it subtle rather than letting it have center stage.
• Materials – Consider ‘guy’ materials – dark-grained woods, natural stone, antiqued bone, horn, shell; with gemstones, look for hematite, onyx, obsidian, bloodstone, amber, jasper, turquoise, lapis lazuli, amethyst, labradorite, sardonyx, and malachite.
• Shapes – Look for natural/raw nuggets, heishi, chip beads and squares

Why launch into this realm? For one thing, there isn’t a lot of competition – certainly not like with women’s jewelry! And you know that generally a man is very discerning about what jewelry he chooses to wear. Lots of guys rule out wearing any type of jewelry that’s handmade – but those who wear it can be very interesting! They may be young, a rebel, generally unconventional, or have some special ‘story’ or ‘image’ to express through their jewelry. They might be interested in a slim necklace with a small pendant, like a star of David, or a zodiac sign -- or a beaded necklace that looks great on the beach or with casual clothing. You can still find articles seriously debating whether or not men ‘should’ wear jewelry. But except for the most serious, business-oriented magazines and articles, the consensus seems to be this—

It’s fine for men to wear jewelry. Our society is now liberal enough to not think twice about it. They are generally ‘pressured’ to wear it only in moderation – and to be more conservative than women. But if they keep it simple, wear it in good taste, and avoid ostentation, most folks believe it can help a man look good rather than outlandish.

blue mensJust a couple more tips to keep in mind if you make men’s jewelry.

• Length – A good average men’s necklace length is 20”. Sometimes a shorter necklace is needed (say, 17” long), and sometimes longer (up to 30”). It just depends on how big he is and what style
he’s going for. Most men prefer choker length for beaded pieces and slightly longer for pendant necklaces. A good idea is to offer custom lengths so they can order a necklace that’s just right for them. One trick for helping them estimate length if they are ordering a custom piece is to have them use string.
• Strength: One of the most important considerations when making jewelry for men is to make the piece strong! Leather cord, thick hemp cord, and even fishing line can be used; just remember that guys tend to wear their jewelry like it's a part of them: in the shower, swimming, sleeping, at the gym, everywhere!

Finally, to inspire you, here are some of my favorite ‘men’s bling’ designs found on Etsy. From top to bottom are:

From mamisgemstudio, a handsome men's necklace made with natural Bloodstone beads in deep forest green, moss green, some maroon, brown and gray with occasional red spots that resemble blood, which was said to be the blood of Christ in legend. Mami added antiqued silver finish pewter beads to accentuate the necklace, and finished off with a pewter toggle clasp. 

surf braceletAbeni of KheperaAdornments created this stunning men's tribal necklace and bracelet set - designed for a man who appreciates statement jewelry.  It incorporates wooden beads, African trade beads, Hematite gemstone beads, and silver-plated clasp, and stretches to size.

Last but not least is AmberlillysHandmade surfer bracelet, of picture jasper, stone, wood beads, and a wax cord with a slider knot for adjustable size.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Give to Me Your Leather

Vernon of Panama Redux and

Ojime Beads

Until Next Time,

Sheila

 

 

 

 

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