Tuesday , 26 May 2020

Tips for Designing Men’s Jewelry

Tips for Designing Men’s Jewelry

Forest Fire Men’s Necklace – Black Pen Shell and Amber

Designing men’s jewelry was naturally a challenge for me, because I’m a girl.  I didn’t know what guys would want in a necklace, I simply couldn’t fathom it.  I asked around my guy friends and got a few responses, but still felt baffled about where to start.  I began making men’s necklaces, but wasn’t feeling really confident about them.  Then, I just happened to ask my Twitter friends and got a response from a nice lady who also makes jewelry.  What she said has made all the difference for me: “It’s a matter of color and scale.”

Somehow, that simple sentence clicked everything into place for me:

  • Scale:  Men are (generally) bigger than women.  So make their jewelry that way!  Thick, chunky and simple as opposed to detailed and elaborate.
  • Color:  Favor the darker, more subdued colors.  When you let in color, let it peep through instead of taking center stage.
The Tribe Men’s Necklace – Carved Bone and Mabolo Wood
(Yes, that’s me in the picture!  I don’t have a willing model for my
men’s jewelry line, but I do like to show a sense of scale for the pieces.
If you squint your eyes, I could be a hip, surfing kind of guy with longer hair!
I got started creating with my new guidelines and through some good luck I got picked up by a shop in Florida to sell my men’s necklaces there on consignment.  I still didn’t have a lot of manly designs in my shop, so this twist of fate got my creative juices flowing much like the creativity excercise for overcoming creative block that I shared in this previous post!
The other thing I discovered is that there’s not a lot of competition out there for men’s jewelry (not like there is for women’s jewelry!) and people really are looking for it, so it’s an important product line to add to your Jewelry Making Empire to bring in a different group of customers.  Here are some more tips that I hope will help you in your quest to develop a men’s jewelry line of your own!
  • Best Boy Gemstones: hematite, onyx, obsidian, bloodstone, amber, most jaspers, turquoise, lapis lazuli, amethyst, labradorite, sardonyx, malachite, darker agates.
Midnight Turquoise Men’s Necklace – Dark Turquoise and Black Pen Shell
  • Other Good Guy Materials: dark grained woods, shell chips, natural stone, antiqued bone, horn.
  • Shapes: Favor squares, natural nuggets and thin heishi and chip beads over round beads, facets and tear drops.
  • Lengths: A good average men’s necklace length is 20″.  I’ve had men special order as short as 17″ long and as long as 30″.  It just depends on how big he is and what style he’s going for.  Most men tend toward 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.  I tell them to use something the thickness of a laptop cord to measure necklace length with.  Since beaded strands are thicker, the measurement will be more accurate than if they use string!
  • Strength: One of the most important considerations when making jewelry for men is to make the piece strong!  I string all of my men’s beaded necklaces on thick, 30lb test fishing line.  Waterproof and long lasting because most guys tend to wear their jewelry like it was a part of them: in the shower, swimming, sleeping, at the gym, everywhere!  For making men’s pendant necklaces, 2mm thick leather cord or a thick hemp cord are nice :)
Well, that’s what’s been working well for me and for all the guys I’ve sold to who are men enough to wear necklaces!  I hope these tips help you in your quest to develop a more masculine jewelry line :)  Until next time, Happy Crafting, everyone!  (Happy surfing and/or lumber-jacking to all of you guys who stopped by!  Thanks for looking!!) ;)
Cliff Diver Unisex Necklace – Abalone Shell


Three Little Piggies Unisex Necklace – Red Agate, Wood 
Chocolate Surfer Unisex Necklace – Wood and Brown Pen Shell


Ironwood Men’s Necklace – Hematite and Wood


Rutilated Quartz Unisex Pendant Necklace

Article by: Jenny Hoople 

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  1. I’ve always been timid about designing jewelry for men too, but after reading your post I’m eager to try again. Also, I love your work! Brig

  2. Great article! Your men’s necklaces are beautiful and as a mom of a boy and wife of a boy, I agree that in jewelry and bath & body, there’s room for more stuff for guys!

  3. Thanks for this post! I have been wrangling men at craft shows with questions about what they want in a piece of jewelry for some time now! Coupled with your timely post I think I am ready to get some pieces made!!

    Your pieces are really nice by the way!:)

  4. Great article, I also have struggled with men’s jewelry. I have made a few pendants for my husband using leather cord with silver pendant. I agree men like it simple and not flashy. Thanks so much!

  5. I have a line for Metrosexual men in my shop. I started after two men asked me to design custom pieces for them and also to distinguish my jewelry shop from all the other jewelry shop out there.

  6. Jenny your pieces are wonderful – I ca smell the surf and aftershave over here :-) I don’t make any mens jewelry but I do love your tips – it’s so true that men tend to wear their jewelry all the time.
    Super article – you rock !

  7. What wonderful tips! And what fabulous “guy” jewelry! Thank you!!!

  8. This was so helpful considering that I was just asked to do a custom piece for a guy. And I honestly had no idea where to start!

  9. brilliant article on a market sector many of us struggle with; thank you

  10. Great advise. I’ve struggled with that as well. Many men prefer leather. Another suggestion I could add is a heavy silver initial, peace symbol, skull, surfboard, shark in place of a stone for a pendant. I love your combinations of a bit of colour and natural dark colours. Nicely done.

  11. Beautiful pieces….
    How can I buy your jewelry ..specially forest fire necklace?

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