How to Make a Charm Bracelet, Part Two: Chain, String & Stretch Cord

How to Make a Charm Bracelet, Part Two: Chain, String & Stretch Cord

Making charm bracelets doesn’t have to be complicated. With simple materials and the proper techniques, you too can make charm bracelets at home easily.

Let’s explore the different methods used by beaders to make beautiful charm bracelets from the comfort of their workbenches at home. Anyone can start making necklaces and bracelets at home.

In case you want to familiarize yourself with the tools and materials for making charm bracelets, be sure to check out part one of making charm bracelets

Do you need help in converting wire gauges and lengths? Download Xinar’s FREE Conversion Factors and Wire Gauges Guide PDF.

Do you need a handy, printable chart for bead sizing in metric, imperial, and decimal? Download Xinar’s FREE Bead Size References PDF.

Make a Charm Bracelet Using Chain

make charm bracelet

1. Prepare Your Chain

Begin with a chain around 10 inches in length. You may recycle an old chain necklace or even an old charm bracelet by cutting the chain. Alternatively, you can purchase a length of jewelry chain from a craft store.

2. Attach a Lobster Claw

With a jump ring, attach a lobster claw to one end of the chain. There is no purpose in adding another claw to the chain’s opposite end. Instead, secure the bracelet by grasping the chain’s end with the lobster claw.

3. Attach Jump Rings to Charms or Beads

Jump rings are used to suspend charms from the chain. Attach jump rings to any charms or beads you intend to hang on the bracelet using needle-nosed or jewelry pliers. Assemble the jump rings in such a way that the charms all hang on the same side, and they’re all facing the same direction.

What is the proper way to open jump rings?

1. Take two pairs of flat-nose pliers and your jump ring.

2. Grab one side of the jump ring with a pair of flat-nose pliers, while a second pair should be used to fasten the ring on the other side.

3. Gently twist the two pieces of the jump ring apart to open it. Do not simply pull them apart since this will result in the jump ring being deformed. Deformed jump rings are weaker and more likely to release when you least expect them to.

4. Twist the jump ring’s two halves together until it’s just open enough to allow you to attach your chosen components (remember, it’s critical not to open it any further than necessary since you risk destroying it).

5. Attach the component to the jump ring.

What is the right way to close jump rings?

After attaching your chain, clasp, or other component to the jump ring, it’s time to learn how to close a jump ring.

1. Use two pairs of flat-nose pliers again to close a jump ring. One pair grips the ring, while the other is used to manipulate one end to close/open it.

2. Gently re-twist the jump ring’s two sides together until they are slightly beyond the closed position.

3. Twist the opening of the jump ring toward the closed position until the two ends are flush. This creates a neater and more secure finish, especially when using gold or silver jump rings. Additionally, it will simplify the process of soldering your jump rings closed.

4. Soldering the jump ring closed is the final step in fastening it.

N.B. You may wish to leave the jump ring open, depending on the piece. For instance, if you’re adding charms to a bracelet and want them to be easily removed later, you’ll need easily openable jump rings. However, soldering creates the most durable jewelry for obvious reasons.

What is the correct way to solder jump rings?

1. Make sure that the jump ring is closed correctly, with both ends flush against one another.

2. Carefully apply solder paste to the joint. When welding jump rings, use a minimal amount of solder — only a tiny amount should be required to establish the common.

3. Heat the solder evenly on both sides of the junction with a small flame until the solder paste naturally flows into the seam.

4. Remove the soldered jump ring. Cool the jump ring entirely before cleaning it in a pickling solution.

What is a pickle or pickling solution in jewelry-making?

Pickle is a liquid chemical used to clean newly soldered jewelry of oxidation and flux. It is what you use to clean your soldered components once they have been soldered. Soldered metal oxidizes on the outside. Allowing the metal to cool before placing it in the pickle eliminates the oxidation. Additionally, the metal should be pickled before soldering to clean it.

Pickle is most effective when heated. A compact crock pot fitted with a lid is ideal for containing the pickle. Maintain a Low setting. The pickle will evaporate if the cover is left off. To replenish it, distilled water can be added.

Pickle can be stored for an extended period, but it becomes necessary to replace it once it begins to become blue due to the accumulated oxidation.

Before the disposal of the pickle, the solution must first be neutralized. Next, transfer the pickle to another container and stir baking soda until the mixture stops foaming. No foaming indicates that the substance has been canceled and disposed of. Therefore, pickle is considered hazardous waste.

A vintage crockpot with a glass lid makes an excellent pickle pot. Sparex No. 2 makes an excellent pickle and is significantly safer than some acid concoctions used in pickle making.

Additionally, you will need a pair of copper pickling tongs will be required for retrieving pieces from the pickle.

Copper pickle tongs are used because copper does not react with the pickle. However, if the tongs are made of ferrous metal, they will react with the pickle, leaving a thin copper plate on your pieces.

Make a Charm Bracelet with String and Safety Pins

make charm bracelet

1. Prepare the String or Yarn

Cut enough yarn, wire, or embroidery thread to make a bracelet. The length should be long enough to wrap around your wrist loosely and comfortably. Allow additional length to tie into knots.

2. Prepare the Safety Pins

Secure closed safety pins to the string using knots. Distribute the safety pins evenly over the string. Secure each pin by tying an overhand knot before proceeding to the next pin.

3. Add the Components

Add your chosen components to each safety pin. Each safety pin should be opened separately. Assemble the pins with a choice of beads and charms.

4. Install the Safety Pins

Reattach the safety pins. Once you’ve finished adding charms and beads to each safety pin, secure it to prevent the beads and charms from falling off.

5. Try It On

Put the bracelet on and assess its fit. Wrap the bracelet snugly around your wrist and secure the two ends. Shake it a bit to see how the components settle and look at your beautiful creation in the mirror. How does it look? Great?!

Make a Charm Bracelet with Stretch Cord

make charm bracelet

Making charm bracelets with stretch cords is a popular jewelry-making activity that is enjoyable and rewarding.

Stretch bracelets are a great craft activity for children and adults because they are so fast and straightforward to produce. Beginners should start with bracelets made of elastic string and beads. It’s an easy-to-do activity that’s perfect for those who want to get their feet wet.

You really can’t go wrong with a beaded bracelet as part of your jewelry collection. They come in various colors, may be personalized, and are comfortable to wear. They’re also ideal for giving presents to loved ones, coworkers, and even teachers. So follow the steps and don’t forget to have fun!

1. Gather Your Tools and Materials and Make Measurements to Make Charm Bracelet

Get your beading supplies (elastic cord, scissors, glue) together.

Next, measure your wrist. On average, an adult’s small wrist measures seven inches in circumference, a medium wrist measures eight inches, and a large wrist measures nine inches.

A bracelet with larger-diameter beads, such as seed beads, will be more restrictive than one with the same size but smaller diameter. The length of your bracelet may need to be increased if you use large beads.

2. Cut the Elastic Cord to The Desired Length

To produce stretch bracelets, I prefer to use a double elastic strand. The bracelet will last for a long time because of the added strength provided by the doubled cord.

Add an extra 12 inches to your wrist size to get a cable that’s twice your wrist. Double your wrist circumference by two and add 12 inches.

Consider cutting a length of elastic that is too long and afterward trimming off the excess cord. You can always trim excess stretch cord, but you can’t add to it if it turns out to be deficient.

3. Pre-stretch the Elastic Cord

If you pre-stretch the elastic before wearing the bracelet, it won’t stretch out as much over time. For example, a four-inch piece of elastic can be stretched between your fingers a few times. Then, repeat the process to the end of the cord. Keep going until the elastic cord is stretched to its maximum length.

4. Secure the Ends

Fold the cord in half to have twice as long a cord. Add a beading needle to the folded end if you’re using one. Bead stoppers or binder clips on the rope ends will keep the beads from slipping off as you string them. If you don’t have a binder clip or bead stopper, you can use a little piece of tape to secure the cord ends.

5. Lay Out Your Beads

Before you begin stringing the beads on the elastic cord, arrange them in a logical arrangement.

You can use a beading tray. The U-shaped channels on beading trays are also labeled in inches and centimeters, making it easy to keep track of how many beads you have in each section. Use a beading tray to prevent your beads from rolling about the table as you develop your design.

6. String Your Beads

If the beads’ holes are large enough, you can string them by hand instead of using a needle and thread. Place the beads on the cord with one hand while holding the cable’s other end. A needle may be necessary if the bead holes are too small for stringing. A lot of individuals highly recommend Large-eye beading needles. Unfortunately, beading needles might be hard to come by. A short piece of beading wire folded in half can serve as a substitute.

Try to begin by putting the largest bead on the cord first in both cases. Then, I’ll teach you how to hide the knot by slipping it into the middle of that bead when we get to the last step.)

Continue to add beads until you run out. Then, wrap the beads around your wrist to measure the length. Too loose or too tight isn’t ideal.

7. Knot Your Bracelet

Knot the elastic cord’s ends together once you’ve added all the beads you want. Disconnect the elastic cord from the bead stopper and needle. Bring the two ends of the cord together with care. You can insert one of the unfolded edges into the folded end. Two free ends will now be used to tie a knot.

In place of an overhead knot, you can use a surgeon’s knot to bind the ends of the cord.

This is much easier than it appears, and you don’t need a lot of practice. It’s the same as a square knot, except you’ll loop the ends twice instead of one. A second pass reinforces the knot. Remove slack in the bracelet by making the first half of a surgeon’s knot and pulling the ends of the cord. Tie the second half while holding the first half in place. Keep the bracelet’s tightness by tightening the knot.

8. Apply Glue

Apply a tiny glue dot to the knot while keeping the beads at a safe distance. G-S Hypo Cement or E6000 are two flexible, fast-drying glues that I recommend for jewelry-making projects. Due to its brittleness and potential to wear down the elastic cord over time, I do not suggest using super glue.

9. Hide the Knot

It is possible to cover the knot to not detract from the bracelet’s design. Make charm bracelet professionally! A bead can be used to hide the knot.

The simplest method is to slide the knot into the adjacent bead’s hole. For this to happen, the bead must have a large enough hole for the knot to pass through. This can be done by applying a small glue to the knot. Next, slide the neighboring bead over the knot while the adhesive is still wet. Wait for everything to dry completely.

Trim the cord’s ends after the adhesive has dried completely. Many types of glue dry completely after 24 hours. After the glue has cured, gently stretch each cord end, and clip the excess cord as near as possible to the bead with small sharp scissors. This makes it easier to make charm bracelet.

Another option is to use a crimp cover to hide the knot.

Make sure to hide the knots if the beads next to them don’t have holes big enough for the knots.

A crimp bead cover is a good option for concealing a knot. Put a tiny drop of glue on the knot to keep it in place.

To seal the crimp cover, use a set of chain-nose pliers (or any other small pliers) to squeeze the edges together. Trim the excess cord using scissors or flush cutters once the adhesive has cured. It is possible to cut through elastic by compressing a metal crimp bead, so be careful.

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