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It is that time of year when everyone lists their top songs, blog posts, books, recipes, and everything else for the year that is about to come to a close. It is a time to look back and forward at the same time. We look back on what has happened, what has been popular, and what has worked in order to formulate what we would like to see happen, what we have to work with, and how we can make our businesses and lives even better than they were in the past year.
By looking at last year's top trends, we can see into the future a bit. Trends don't tend to change overnight but evolve over time. Fads develop overnight and then disappear as fast as they came. But trends, current and recently passed trends can help you develop your spring line or to know what types of materials to carry in your shop. Looking back at recent trends can help you predict what future trends might look like, and that can help your bottom line.
Here are some hot handmade jewelry trends from 2020 that you will probably still be seeing in 2021.
Trend #1 - Fibers in jewelry - in 2020, we saw a lot of string, yarn, sari silk, embroidery floss, and ribbon in jewelry. Adding fibers gives jewelry an elegant, feminine touch. It's also an affordable way to add texture and more color. Sometimes beads can be expensive, but a short length of fabric can be free or nearly free.
Trend #2 - Natural elements - This past year - and continuing into next year - we saw everything from sticks and stones straight from the nature walk to beautifully polished geodes. River stones were hugely popular when drilled to create pendants. Sticks were bent into bracelets and used to suspend other finds; whether used as they were or gold-leafed sticks are a super attainable resource for all.
Trend #3 - Mixed metals - from hardware store washers to high-end materials, mixed metals were everywhere. Copper, silver, and gold hung out alongside rose gold, which is growing in popularity again. Necklaces and earrings with several findings made of various metals appeal to people no matter what finish they tend to prefer.
Trend #4 - Tassels - now, tassels might be considered part of trend #1, but they were so hugely popular that they qualify for a trend all their own—tassels on every kind of accessory and home decor project you can imagine. Handmade, store-bought, and everything in between. Tassels of fiber, tassels of metal or chain. And they show no signs of slowing down in 2021.
Trend #5 - Feathers - this is another trend that could fit inside a previously mentioned one - natural materials. But again, feathers were all over the place due to the continuing popularity of the bohemian trend—feathers in necklaces and earrings and even small feathers on bracelets.
Trend #6 - Leather - Natural, man-made, or suede leather was easy to find on necks, ears, and arms this past year. Leather gives jewelry a warm, cozy, bohemian look that you just can't get from other materials. It's easy to work with (especially if you have the right tools), and it holds up well.
This is not an all-inclusive list of jewelry trends from 2020 - you may have spotted some different things where you work and live. Make your own list of handmade jewelry trends that you think really rocked it in the last year, and you will have a great idea of what to make for 2021.
What's Trending in Jewelry 2021?
Make a Statement
Do you love BIG, BOLD jewelry pieces? Do you like for your jewelry to really stand out? Here are some great tutorials for creating amazing jewelry with a lot of presence.
Crochet jewelry patterns are an easy way to create statement jewelry. Create several strands of single crochet with pearls on silver wire and then embellish each strand with loops of seed beads. With the texture of the wire, smoothness of the pearls, and sparkle of the crystal, this necklace is all-around gorgeous.
Chunky Beaded Ring
This is a super fun statement ring. It is made up of beads, pressed glass flowers and leaves, a band of tiny metallic seed beads, and a backing of soft leather. This ring is comfortable to wear, and for those with metal sensitivities like me, the glass beads of the band won't irritate your skin. The great part of this Chunky Beaded Ring is that you can make it any size to fit anyone. Simply beautiful and simply perfect.
Handmade chain necklaces offer a versatile project to give a bit of glamour to many outfits. Its dainty size will work as a perfect accent to your wardrobe. Small golden jewelry is in this season, and this chain necklace would pair beautifully with a set of thin gold rings and match just about any color.
Jewelry with Fringe
Jewelry featuring fringe--usually metal fringe and often metal chain fringe--is hot for 2021. The jewelry pieces with fringe making the biggest splash are huge statement necklaces, some with fringe that covers almost the entire bodice and dips below the natural waistline.
Although necklaces are probably the showiest fringed jewelry pieces for fall, bracelets, and earrings featuring fringe are in the trendy mix too.
Petites should have no problems wearing fringed jewelry so long as it's in proportion to their petite size. Accessorizing with long, fringed earrings can add a nice, vertical touch for a short woman.
Beaded, Stitched Statement Necklaces
Making a fashion statement, beaded, stitched statement necklaces tend to be big and bold for 2021. Beaded, stitched statement necklaces are fabricated with a leather or fabric backing onto which beads are sewn, or faux jewels are sewn or sometimes attached with glue.
For petites who want to wear a beaded, stitched statement necklace, the best bet is to look for a necklace that forms a V-shape, which helps visually elongate the figure.
Also, avoid the biggest necklaces and opt for a necklace that's more in proportion to short stature.
DIY Jewelry Trends 2021
DIY Inspiration: Marblesque
Unless you under a rock (har har), marble is everywhere. As the background to your favorite Instagrammer's carefully arranged morning latte and a scone, taking over Pinterest with marble contact paper crafts... it's hard to resist the luxe look of the swirled black and white stone. I've also noticed marble's doppelganger, the stone howlite, popping up more and more in jewelry. Howlite beads are easy to find, a simple way to get the marblesque look for less. I grabbed myself a strand of howlite beads and can't wait to share how I used them!
Box Chain + Crystal Earrings
For holiday jewelry, I'm all about this combo of box chain and crystals, with both a touch of sparkle and a little shine. Whether for studs or long earrings, a box chain is an interesting alternative to a regular link chain, plus its flat sides make it easy to work with when attaching to a crystal! A few of these earrings are no longer available online, which means it's time to DIY!
With holiday giving around the corner, now's the time to start planning your projects! I plan on making a batch of bracelets in different colors to give to my girls. I'm inspired by the different styles for easy, customizable bracelets, all of which would translate well into a DIY project. Now, which one to pick?
I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I love all the new styles of earrings that are available now. While massive ear cuffs or jackets aren't exactly my day-to-day style, I'm a big fan of how earrings are being reinterpreted, with the back as exciting as the front. For everyday wear, I look to these modern versions of pearl earrings for inspiration. They're simple enough for work or casual wear but still have a playful, untraditional touch.
Bar and Chain Earrings
I've always been an earring girl. For years it was danglers and chandeliers for me, which eventually were swapped for studs and smaller posts. I'm ready to branch into new earring styles, and now couldn't be a better time. Ear cuffs, crawlers, jackets, staples, front-back earrings... there are so many ways to up your earring game; it's overwhelming! I've been particularly drawn to bar and chain styles like these pictured here. I love how they're so subtle but so much more interesting than your average studs.
I was cruising AZ Findings for jewelry making supplies at low wholesale prices the other day, and my eye was caught by these spike pendants, rings, necklaces, and earrings. I've had a few materials rolling around my workspace that would be perfect for a project inspired by these spike jewelry.
Here's the thing about summer and jewelry: while it's the perfect time for layering on colors and textures with your accessories, during the swampy high-80s, I can't take the idea of anything sticking to my sweaty skin. However, I still feel incomplete without a few pieces of jewelry. For those hellishly humid days, I turn to easy, delicate styles, like dainty bracelets, thin cuffs, or simple stud earrings. I'm drawing inspiration on these delicate bracelets and can't wait to DIY my own with some fine chain I recently bought.
Lately, I've noticed a lot of stud earrings with a focal point--like a crystal or spike--nestled in a wreath of smaller crystals. I love the look and have a few DIY projects to show for it, like these Sterling Silver CZ Stone Spike Earrings and these crystal earrings.