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Easy DIY Instructions for Making Charmed Jewelry

30 Minute Charm Bracelet

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Fascinated by charms and charmed jewelry? This Mother's Day series of articles gives information about charms, simple DIY instructions for making a charm bracelet for that special lady in your life and suggestions for modifying the simple charm bracelet instructions for those with some jewelry-making skills.

1. DIY Charm Bracelet in 30 Minutes or Less

Maire Loughran

This charm bracelet is quick and easy to make. Many arts and crafts stores sell kits with all the materials I reference in thes instructions for less than $10. I purchased this kit at Michaels. If you can't find a kit, this bracelet requires the cord, a selection of charms and a clasp with a crimp end. You'll also need some quick set glue, a pair of pliers and a ruler.

The first step is to determine the appropriate length. Most ladies bracelets are sized in the USA at 7.5 inches. If Mom wears a bracelet frequently, measure it's length to get a better idea as to what length for this bracelet will fit perfectly. Make sure you factor in the length of the clasp you are using for your project.

2. Tying on the Charms

Maire Loughran

To start cut a piece of cotton cord 14 inches long, leaving a tail of 2 inches from one end and tie on a charm using a simple knot. Approximately every 3/4 inch tie on another charm. No worries if this is off a bit. When the charm bracelet is done it will not be noticeable. When all charms are tied on, use a ruler to trim the charmed section of cotton cord to measure the length of your bracelet less the ledngth of the clasp.

For example, if your clasp add 1.25 inches and you are making your bracelet 7.5 inches in length, your cord should measure 6.25 inches. At this point, one side of the cord is more than likely longer than the other. Fix this by trimming both ends of the cotton cord so that it is the same length.

3. Gluing on the Clasp

Place one end of the cotton cord in one side of the clasp. Dot with some quick set glue and use the pliers to first fold one side of the crimp down over the cord. Then, crunch the other side on top of that. Repeat on the other side using the opposite side of the clasp.

If you can't find a crimp-end clasp, just use a regular clasp on tie on the cord. See my instructions to make a wrapped leather bracelet for more info. It's also quite on fashion-point right now to tie on charms to a wrap bracelet too.

4. Making Your Own Charms

To personalized the charm bracelet, you could also make photo charms. These are very easy to make, but are not a suitable arts and crafts project for a child. For more information and instructions see my article about using two-part epoxy to make a resin charm.

You could also use polymer clay. Using the basic instructions from Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay, I used black polymer clay to create a mold for this piece of turquoise.

It was very easy. I dusted the turquoise with corn starch, pressed it into a ball of polymer clay, removed the turquoise, added a clasp and baked for 25 minutes. After it was done, I used quick-set glue to place the turquoise in the polymer clay setting.

5. Using Purchased Charms With Open and Close Locking Links

TIffany lock charms are very cool in the fact that the lock mechanism allows you to easily move the charms around. For example, you could start off by buying three Tiffany charms to start a charm bracelet and over time purchase more.

If after purchasing your additional charms you did not like the original placement of the charms it is quite easy to undo the lock and move the charms around on the bracelet. Of course, depending on the type of precious metal you choose and the design of the charms and chain, a piece of charmed jewelry from Tiffany and Co. can be rather pricey.

I designed this knotted sterling silver figaro bracelet about ten years ago. The open links in the figaro design make it easy to add lock charms. Another cool idea would be to hang the charms on the chain between the knots so they slide back-and-forth from knot to knot.

Check out these easy DIY instructions to make this knotted bracelet!

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