So Charming! The Best Guide To DIY Charm Bracelets
Charm bracelets are making a come back this year, so it’s only right that you need one! Here’s the only guide you’ll need to read on making your own!
Did you know that charm bracelets have been a part of our culture since 600 BC? Despite this lengthy history, these bracelets remain popular even to this day.
Who doesn’t love the unique style and creative symbolism that make a charm bracelet so special?
The best part is that they’re not difficult to make on your own. With the right tools and technique, you’re able to create a personal bracelet that’s one-of-a-kind.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide so that you can make your own bracelets that are always charming and beautiful!
Collecting Your Supplies
The nice thing about creating charm bracelets is that you don’t need much to get started. With a few key items, you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful jewelry in no time!
The most exciting part of your supply hunt is the search for the perfect charms and beads. There are countless shapes and sizes to choose from such as:
- Sport icons
- Uplifting messages, and more!
The material also varies, going as luxurious as gold and silver, or as down-to-earth as porcelain or glass.
Once you get savvy with your jewelry making, it’s even possible to make your own charms.
Don’t hesitate to gather up a whole bunch of different types of charms, beads, and accents. These are the main stars of your bracelet, so having a good variety makes the design process even easier.
The only tool you’ll need to get started is a pair of needlenose pliers. The points are agile enough to work on the small details as you put your bracelet together.
As you get more comfortable with the process, you can expand your DIY toolbox to include things like a bead reamer, jewelry hammer, and crimping pliers. These things are not necessary for beginners, but they do make your life easier as you make more jewelry!
The next supply to focus on are the small bits of wire that help you put all of your bracelet pieces together. Jump rings are one of the most important parts of a charm bracelet, so always make sure you have plenty in stock. Lobster clasps are the perfect way for beginners to finish off their bracelets and allow for adaptability.
The final supply is the base of the bracelet. The most common and easiest to work with is a chain. The links work well to hold the charms in place and make it easy to create a pattern.
These chains vary as much as the charms, so make sure to pick one that suits your desired charm design!
As you get more experienced, you’ll have no problem diving into other types of bracelet bases like bangles and knotted leather.
It might seem intimidating at first, but putting together your first charm bracelet isn’t as scary as you think! If you ever feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to watch a few tutorial videos to help get the technique down before moving on to the next step.
1. Start with a Vision
Before you start putting any of your new tools to use, it’s good to sit down and think about what you want to create.
What kind of symbolism do you want to evoke with this bracelet? Is it a gift for someone? What colors or patterns would work best for the mood of the bracelet?
As with many other types of crafts, this is the part that might take the longest until you find a design that you love. Don’t rush it, or else you might not be happy with your results. Let your creativity take over until you’re excited to move forward!
2. Prepare the Chain
Measure out the length of your chain, using your wrist (or the recipient’s wrist) as a base. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and you should leave an extra link or two so that it’s easy to adjust later. Use your pliers to clip off the unneeded links.
On one end of the chain, you’ll want to add a lobster clasp to hold the bracelet in place on your wrist. Test the clasp to make sure it can clamp onto the links of the bracelet, otherwise, you’ll need to find a bigger lobster clasp!
Open a jump ring with your pliers, making sure not to bend the wire too much, and slide it through the back loop of the lobster clasp. Then slip the jump ring through the end link of your bracelet chain, which ends up hooking the lobster clasp to the link.
Close the jump ring and admire the beginnings of your work! You’re already well on your way to a beautiful bracelet!
3. Prepare the Charms
The nice part about this next step is that it’s very much the same as putting on the lobster clasp.
Each charm has a small loop on one end. This is where you’ll put the jump rings so that they’ll sit on the links of your chain. It’s easier to put all of the jump rings on the charms in one go, and then work on the next step.
This way, you’ll have a visual representation of the bracelet before you commit to your design. Spread out the charms in the order you intend to make sure you like it before continuing!
4. Putting the Pieces Together
Now that everything is ready, all you need to do is put the charm jump rings through the links of your bracelet chain. This is the same process as the lobster clasp from earlier, so already know how to do it.
If you feel like there’s not enough space between the chain and the charm, add on an extra jump ring to give your charm more length. This keeps the pieces more movement on your wrist and gives the charm bracelet even more charm.
Congratulations, you’ve made your very own charm bracelet!
Once you’ve created a couple of bracelets, it’s time to dive into some of the more advanced techniques. At this point, you feel comfortable with the process and want to learn how to bring your bracelets to a whole new level. With a few extra steps, you’ll create bracelets that look as good as professional ones!
Instead of using jump rings, use a bit of thin wire to create beautiful effects of wrapping the wire around the charm or bead. This still creates the loop to secure it onto the bracelet, but it makes for a more interesting design.
It takes practice to learn how to maneuver the wire, but once you get the hang of it, your bracelets will look even more unique.
Using that same small wire and similar techniques as wire wrapping, you can create unique charms. Loop wire through a couple of beads for a cool effect, and use wire wrapping to keep them in place. Link a couple of charms together for a layered look.
Some people even use a tiny drill bit to bore holes into things like rocks and seashells and then use those as a charm instead. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating a DIY bracelet!
Using Different Bracelet Bases
Chain bracelets are the traditional way of charm bracelets, and they’re versatile too. If you’re looking for something even more unique, try making a charm bracelet that uses a different base.
Create a charm bangle, or a knotted cord charm bracelet instead. The basic process will be much the same as what you’ve done in the past. You only need to adjust your design for the new material.
For example, a bangle bracelet doesn’t have individual links to keep the charms in place. You’ll either want to secure the charms in place with extra wire or simply enjoy the extra movement!
Extra Tips and Tricks
Now that you’re on your way to creating beautiful works of art, we’ll leave you with some advice to help your jewelry-making go even better.
- Good organization is important for DIY projects. Start organizing your supplies early so that they’re ready for whenever inspiration strikes. No one wants to start creating only to have their efforts undermined by a mess of charms, loops, and wire!
- Once you get the hang of making bracelets, diving into other DIY jewelry projects is easy. Earrings, necklaces, and even rings all take similar skills as bracelets. If you want to make matching earrings for your favorite bracelet, go ahead and try!
- Don’t be afraid to explore new ways of putting bracelets together. There are classic designs that never fail, but when you’re making bracelets, there’s no reason to hold back. If it doesn’t work out, you can always try again.
Create Unique Charm Bracelets for Your Favorite Outfits
It’s always disappointing to lack the right kind of accessory for your favorite outfit. That’s why DIY charm bracelets are the perfect solution. They’re fun to make, easy to do, and they give you all the skills you need to dive into other types of jewelry making.
Plus, they’re exceptional and one-of-a-kind gifts!
If you’re looking to get started on your charm bracelet journey, check out our high-quality supplies that are perfect for both beginner and advanced bracelet makers!