It’s been snowing so much recently even though it’s meant to be Spring, so I felt like making something bright and white! This is a free tutorial for how to make a charm bracelet. I’ve made beaded charms here, but you can use whatever jewellery components you like: kitsch; steampunk, gemstones; precious metals; whatever you fancy.
I’m really pleased with how this one turned out. It’s quite versatile and could be worn with any outfit or even for a wedding!
You’ll need the following materials:
- Round nose pliers
- Flat nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Selection of round glass pearl beads (I’ve used 4mm and 10mm in white)
- Selection of Swarovski crystal bicone beads (I’ve used pale blue and pink 3mm beads)
- A couple of pinches of white seed beads
- A handful of silver plated headpins
- 6-8 inches of silver plated figaro chain
- 2 x silver plated jump rings
- 1 x silver plated filigree clasp
If you have your figaro chain on a coil, use your wire cutters to cut off a length measuring around 6-8 inches, depending on the size of your wrist (or the person’s wrist that you’re making this for!). This will be the chain on which the charms will attach to. Open one of the jump rings using your flat nose and round nose pliers to pull it apart slightly. Slide the end loop of the chain on to the jump ring and also one end of the clasp, like in the photo below. Close the ring up afterwards. You can buy ready made chains with clasps already fitted by the way if you want an easy option! Once the clasp is attached to one end of the chain, have a quick check to make sure the complete length is not going to be too long or too short. Now is the time to fix it, if so.
Start making your charms! When I made this bracelet, I counted the number of big loops in the chain – there were 25. To make this bracelet quite full, I decided to fit two charms to each loop, so I made 50 beaded charms in total. You make make less or more depending on how you want it to look. The good thing about making charms like this is that you don’t have to follow a pattern as such. I added seed beads here and there on most of the charms but I used different sizes of glass pearls and different colours of Swarovski bicone beads randomly.
Choose a few beads and slide them onto a headpin (a headpin has a flat plate at one end to stop the beads from falling off):
Using your round nose pliers, grip the headpin just above the top bead and pull the headpin over to one side:
Trim the headpin wire with the cutters leaving around 10mm of wire next to the top bead. Use your round nose pliers to form a loop (grip the headpin wire at the end and curl to make the loop). Important – don’t close the loop otherwise you’ll have to pull it apart again to attach it to your chain!
Carry on making lots more of them! I did random ones, like this:
Once you’ve made all your charms, you might want to lay them out alongside your chain in the order that you want to attach them. You could use a Bead Board to help with this if you have one, or you can just lay them out on a table.
What’s a Bead Board?
A Bead Board is a handy piece of jewellery making equipment, designed to help you measure out lengths and plan your designs for necklaces and bracelets. You just put your chain or beading wire into the ridges next to the measurements. It’s also handy for keeping your work central. And there are some little pockets to put beads or findings that you’re working with! You can pick them up for around £5 so well worth having in your jewellery making kit.
When you’re happy with the order in which you’ll be attaching the charms, go right ahead and attach them! After hooking each one on, you just need to close the charm loops up so that they won’t fall off.
When you get to the end of the chain, use the other remaining jump ring to connect the other end of the clasp, just like in step 1. Try it on and give it shake to make sure there aren’t any loose charms.
I hope you liked this free tutorial on how to make a charm bracelet! I would love to hear how you got on so feel free to leave a comment.
You can find other free crafty tutorials here.
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