2016 saw the release of some incredible new products for decking out wild animals in handmade jewelry, so it was no easy task narrowing them down. Here are the top picks.
Beadable “Woodland Wanderer” GPS Beads: As any hobbyist knows, watching a piece of jewelry scamper off into the forest around a critter’s neck is a bittersweet moment. Who knows if you’ll ever see your handcrafted creation again? That’s why Beadable’s GPS beads are such a game changer: Each gorgeous bead emits a GPS pulse, letting you track your piece with its simple mapping app. And with proximity-activated push notifications, you may even get to catch a glimpse of your handiwork before the wearer bounds away.
Cabela’s Bracelet Snare Kit: Gone are the days of tranquilize-and-bedeck, and say goodbye to hoof bruises and claw swipes: Cabela’s is literally making wild animal jewelry a cinch with this humane bracelet snare. Once you’ve loaded up the loop with beads and trinkets, getting your bracelet onto a deer or coyote is as simple as setting and forgetting; the snare will tighten around any leg set inside it until the bracelet snaps off, firmly in place. Trust us: Once you start using it, there’s no going back.
Hobby Lobby DIY Bear Broach Kit: Dauntingly elusive and dangerous, the mighty bear remains virgin territory for many in the wild animal jewelry community, which makes Hobby Lobby’s entry such a godsend. With artisan-quality materials and detailed step-by-step instructions, the DIY Bear Broach Kit shepherds a rank amateur to new heights of jewelry artistry while encouraging personal flair, capping it off with an illustrated tutorial for safely securing your creation to the breast of a brown, black, kodiak, or grizzly bear. If you’ve ever wanted to take up the hobby, this kit is the perfect starting point.
Michaels Natureline Hemp Twine: For the eco-conscious game jeweler, Michaels has finally created an Earth-friendly alternative to traditional chains and wire. Its hemp-based twine is fully biodegradable, so if a fox manages to chew through its necklace, there’s no risk of polluting a delicate ecosystem. Natureline twine is available in both traditional olive drab and an array of vibrant colors, so going green doesn’t have to get in the way of creating wild animal jewelry that pops in the brush.
Wing Bling Featherweight Gemstones: Avian jewelers, rejoice, because your prayers have been answered! Need a jaw-dropping ruby that won’t keep a crow grounded? These specialized hollow precious stones are light enough that even a sparrow can soar while looking pretty as a peacock wearing them. They’re cheap, strikingly cut, and glam up even the drabbest pigeon. Finally, we have liftoff!