I would like to buy a quality kit and tutorial for my 14 year old niece who is very creative. However, I can only spend about $30.00. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for your help.
First of all, it sounds like Jennifer is gunning for Cool Aunt status. What a neat idea for a Christmas gift. I suggested she keep it simple and stick to one type of jewelry: earrings. Simple drop earrings are a really basic technique but one can do a lot with it just by varying the size, shape, and color of the beads. Maybe add a bead cap, or with a pair of beads try the big bead on the bottom vs. the big bead on the top. I suggested that Jennifer print out the supply list my Earring Basics tutorial and head to the craft store.
If you want to put together a kit for someone on your Christmas gift list to make simple drop earrings, she'll need round-nose and chain-nose pliers, wire cutters, packages of headpins and earhooks, some practice wire around 20-24 gauge and (if there's room in the budget) a small assortment of beads. That way you've provided what the recipient needs to practice making loops and then several pairs of earrings. Then she can pick out more beads on her own to suit her taste. Plus, with that practice wire and her extra beads she can make a Link Bracelet (free tutorial download).
Jewelry making: The gift that keeps on giving!