Using What You Already Have (and an Invisible Chest)
Again, depending on what point you’ve reached in the game, you may already have access to lots of useless and cheap weapons and armor. The same goes with soul gems, unless you’ve sold them all off. If you have sold them, there are plenty to simply pick up from the Archmage Quarters in the College of Winterhold, and they’re strewn about dungeons all over Skyrim (especially Dwarven ruins). So, before you start going after the Iron Dagger method detailed in the next section, we recommend enchanting all of the useless equipment you already own and selling or stashing it.
Above: The fabled invisible chest of Dawnstar
In addition to that, we suggest you track down the invisible chest in Dawnstar (see video above) as it is filled to the brim with soul gems, enchanted gear, and non-enchanted gear. This chest belongs to Ahkari, a traveling Khajiit merchant who often appears at the entrance to Dawnstar. The contents reflect her inventory (so, for example, you can get your gold back if you were to buy anything from her). After looting the chest, wait 48 hours and the chest will be filled again with new goodies. If it isn’t, try speaking to Ahkari again.
Above: Little does she know they already are...
Simply disenchanting all the gear you continually find in this chest is a fantastic way to boost your skill, not to mention learn all the enchantments in the game. Just know that once you learn an enchantment, you can no longer disenchant items that have that particular enchantment, therefore disenchanting alone cannot be your sole means of maxing out your Enchanting skill.
This is all assuming, of course, that you are only interested in boosting your Enchanting skill. If you wish to level up your Smithing skills alongside your Enchanting skills, ignore this entire section completely and move on to the Iron Dagger/Gold Ring method.
The Iron Dagger/Gold Ring Method
The following methods have the benefit of not only increasing your Enchanting skills (since you’ll have an abundance of enchantable items), but your Smithing skills as well. Keep in mind while reading that ore can be turned into ingots at a Smelter.
Above: Get used to seeing these
Creating Iron Daggers at a blacksmith forge is extremely easy and cheap. The only required ingredients are one leather strip and one iron ingot. Not only are these ingredients easy to find/create, but blacksmiths such as Alvor in Riverwood sell both of them and have decent stocks. The point of doing this is so that you’ll have plenty of Iron Daggers to enchant at Arcane Enchanters, thus allowing you to easily boost your Enchanting skill.
Above: “I hope Lydia says yes!”
Now, creating Iron Daggers does slightly increase your Smithing skill and adds up given how many you can easily forge. However, if you have the Transmute spell, you can easily turn iron ore into silver ore or silver ore into gold ore. If you don’t have it, a Transmute spell tome is most easily found inside the caves of the Halted Stream Camp. The spell can be found on a table next to a mammoth corpse and a grindstone. The camp should only take a few minutes to clear out and is a short walk north from Whiterun.
Gold ore can be used to create gold ingots that are the only required ingredients to make gold rings, which of course can be enchanted. If you have the Transmute spell, this process is almost as easy as creating Iron Daggers, but gives your Smiting skill a much larger boost and a much more valuable end product.