A charm bracelet is a type of bracelet which carries personal jeweled ornaments or simply “charms.” These charms usually take emotional or sentimental attachment by the owner. The great thing about charm bracelets is there are no limitations on the materials you can use.
You can be unconventional, or you can reinvent or modernize the classics from the comfort of your workbench.
You will only need a few tools and materials to get started. However, if you wish to make durable charm bracelets that will stand the test of time, we highly recommend 925 sterling silver charms.
Xinar’s sterling silver charms are mainly nickel-free and lead-free and will not cause irritation, rashes, or itching. They’re hypoallergenic and perfect for people with nickel allergy.
With that said, let’s dive into part one of our series on making charm bracelets!
What Materials and Tools Do You Need to Make a Charm Bracelet?
Making charm bracelets is accessible not just because they’re literally easy to make but because charm bracelets are also the least demanding jewelry type.
As we mentioned earlier, silver charms are particularly desirable for charm bracelets because they’re sturdy and well-detailed. The result will be greatly appreciated by whoever wears the charm bracelet. Bench jewelers use lots of tools to get the job one.
If you’re planning to branch out to making other jewelry in the future, then it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the essential tools used by jewelers, too:
Make Charm Bracelets with the Right Tools
Flat Nose Pliers
Flat-nose pliers will likely become your go-to pair when making jewelry. Flat-nose pliers will assist you in opening jump rings, completing wire-wrapped ends, and a variety of other chores you’ve yet to envisage. Consider purchasing two pairs to ensure that you can hold anything without crimping the metal. Be sure to check if the pairs you’re buying have a smooth area between the jaws.
Round Nose Pliers
Round nose pliers are super valuable for fabricating hoops and wire loops. A pair would also help manipulate gold-filled jump rings, clasps, and bends. You’ll likely reach for a couple whenever you want to create a lovely, smooth curve.
Nylon Tipped Pliers
Learning to bend wire requires practice, and your material will undoubtedly develop kinks. Never fear! Grasp one end of the wire with your nylon-tipped pliers, tighten the grip and draw the wire through to smoothen it.
There is an endless stream of inexpensive wire cutters online but be warned that they can wear away rapidly if you regularly make jewelry. Cutters are especially vulnerable when used in cutting thick wire gauges. If you don’t like buying tools repeatedly, it’s a good idea to invest in your workbench early on with a better quality tool.
Are you planning to cut more wire to practice wire-wrapping techniques? Then, consider purchasing a flush cutter. You’ll use them just like you would a decent pair of ordinary wire cutters, but they’ll never leave any loose ends! First, however, keep in mind the wire gauge you’re cutting – flush cutters are limited to a specific gauge.
Having a ruler with clear markings and no damage on the edges is a good idea when making any jewelry for obvious reasons.
Cords and Stringing Materials for Charm Bracelets
Cords and other stringing materials are the foundation of durable charm bracelets and other jewelry. If you’re planning to string necklaces and charm bracelets, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the different materials you can use. Each cord and string has its perks.
Silk thread is a well-known classic for bead stringing and is frequently used for pearls. Additionally, some beaders enjoy using it with stone beads. We rarely use silk due to its propensity towards fraying. However, we know a few folks who earn a little extra money by stringing pearl beads, and they exclusively use silk for their pearls. Silk is a superior thread to nylon. Therefore, it’s only natural to utilize a high-quality thread if you’re charging customers to hand-knot their pearl strands. Silk is available in giant spools or cards with twisted needles attached.
We often see monofilament labeled “Jewelry Thread” in most craft stores. However, many people don’t know that this is the same stringing material used on fishing poles.
Avoid stringing crystals or hematite that could stretch or cut the monofilament. Monofilament is often used for those $3 bracelets. A $3 bracelet can last long if the monofilament isn’t twisted and the string doesn’t coil in the process.
If you’re assembling a collection of items for your discount bin, you might as well use it. However, if you’re creating a necklace to sell in an exhibit, we recommend using a different sort of cord.
Nylon is an excellent material for creating necklaces and charm bracelets with stone beads. Nylon is also available in cards or long rolls, and you have the bonus of having neat needles attached. Nylon is a manufactured material that does not usually tear or stretch. Nylon is also available in a variety of colors and sizes.
Silamide is often partnered with seed beads. It is pre-waxed with twisted strands, making it both convenient and robust. Initially, many seed beaders were unimpressed with the color selection available for Silamide. However, it is now available in various hues, including pink, mustard, and turquoise. Another reason some seed beaders dislike it is because the spiral shape makes it difficult to thread correctly with a needle.
It is a fixture in many bead boxes across the country. Nymo is available in a variety of sizes and colors. It is available in both huge rolls and little bobbin-sized rolls. Typically, beaders use the smaller rolls when they are on the go. Nymo must be waxed with Thread Heaven or beeswax before use. Nymo is primarily used with seed beads but can also be used with heishi and pearls.
Before the invention of commercial coated wires, tiger-tail was the preferred wire for heavier beads like hematite and other semi-precious crystals. Tiger-tail is a nylon-coated wire cable. It is, however, significantly stiffer than the cords described above. Additionally, it is available in a variety of sizes.
The downside is tiger-tail is only available in one color: steel. Nevertheless, it is extremely strong since it comprises numerous strands of steel. As a result, beaders continue to use it, even though the other cord is sometimes challenging to work with. However, we believe that it may simply take some time to adjust to its physical traits.
Beading Wire or “Coated Wire”
There is so much variety available for coated wires, depending on the maker. This cord is ideal for stringing stone beads and crystals. Even particular pearls can safely be strung using the higher gauges. It’s easy to know the smaller cords with bead tips (clam shells). Stringed creations are typically completed with crimp beads. Additionally, this cord is ideal for creating illusion necklaces.
Waxed Linen Cord
You need to get a waxed linen cord if you think of macrame designs. It is not available in a wide variety of hues and is frequently found only in brown or black. It’s pretty strong, as it’s waxed. This is a top cord to consider if you’re interested in creating long necklaces with hefty beads.
Leather cords are ideal for donut necklaces made of heavy stones. In addition, leather cords are appealing enough to be included in a bead pattern without risking obscurity from the primary or accent beads.
Typically, you’ll leather cords in 1 and 2 mm diameters, and these do come in a variety of colors, so you’re no longer limited to just black or brown. If you are hesitant to use leather products, there are various imitation leather products accessible nowadays.
This thread is utilized in the construction of bulletproof vests. It is frequently used in seed beads when weight is a factor. It is fragile and comes in a limited number of colors. Although it is naturally yellow, I have seen it in black. Additionally, it cannot be bleached white. Believe it or not, this is only a sprinkling of the accessible bead-stringing medium.
Not long ago, hemp was only available in one dull light tan color. However, it is now available in various colors, including black, blue, green, and purple. I’ve even seen it at our local department store’s craft area. It also works well with macrame and is relatively robust. It pairs well with large beads, and the colors work well with polymer clay beads.