Jewelry Hacks: Makeup Mandrels

Being blind, the average way someone does something, or is told to do something, isn’t always the easiest way.  I’ve found this especially true with designing and making jewelry, as I’ve stated in past posts.  In my quest to find things that work for me, I’ve found some work arounds, alternative ways, and what I’d like to call “jewelry Hacks” for doing certain techniques.  Not all of these are hacks for doing techniques, per see, but also may be alternative versions of tools, handling wire, and things like that.  For my first jewelry hack:  Makeup mandrels!


Let me explain a bit more.  As I’ve said before on this blog, I’ve been practicing and perfecting the Viking knit technique.  With this technique, it says to have a pencil, dowel, or rounded object in the middle to weave around to form it’s tube shape.  I don’t really have a lot of pencils laying around the house, and didn’t want to have to ask my Mom to hunt one down, but you know what I did have and know exactly where they were?  Eyeliner pencils!


I’ve been weaving around one eyeliner pencil I got in an Ulta sample set I got from a friend a while back.  It works just as well as weaving around a normal, number 2 pencil, and has made working Viking knit properly a breeze.  The one issue I had, was the fact that the cap to the pencil was a bit more raised than the rest, like a pen, and I wanted a more flat shape.  So, off to my Ipsy bag!


I remembered in an Ipsy bag I got about a year ago, there was another eye liner pencil in there.  It looks like it’s going to be perfect for Viking knitting, because not only does it have no raised areas, and a completely flat surface, but it has curves like a number 2 pencil does!  I can already tell, it’s going to be great for weaving around and keeping my loops arranged nicely (which is something I’ve been struggling with just a bit).  Now to see if my idea for starting the foundation stitches pans out, and I’ll be in business!


I realized something when I was looking at the pencils, too:  They would be perfect for using as mandrels for wrapping coils, and making bails with.  So, I just went ahead and moved them both over to my jewelry making supplies, because I know that I will be using them a lot more there!  I don’t know why I didn’t think of using these, before:  I always use my lip gloss tubes for mandrels when I’m making a bigger shape, so I’m a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t just thing I could use eye liner pencils for that too.  At least I know now though, so live and learn.


Do you have any household objects that may seem rather odd to use for wire looping mandrels around your house?  I’d love to hear in the comments!


Author: Crystal

A California based musician who is as passionate about music as she is video games,, Crystal (or ValkyrieCeles around the interwebs) loves to gush about her various nerdtastic loves, rant about anything currently catching her fancy, and generally just express herself in any creative outlet she can get her hands on. An avid reader, writer, and dreamer, Crystal has been leaving pieces of herself around the internet since 2006.

2 thoughts on “Jewelry Hacks: Makeup Mandrels”

  1. It is frustrating when you don’t have the right tool to hand. I’ve used Sharpies, soft drinks cans and the cardboard inner tubes from parcel tape before as mandrell for rings and bracelets

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love those ideas for bracelet mandrels! I use a wine glass to shape bracelets right now: I find the widest part is great for a wider bracelet, and the lower part is perfect for a smaller one for tiny wrists like mine XD I haven’t thought of using anything around the house to shape rings, I will have to give that a try!


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