A Charmed Life: Tips on Creating Your Own Charm Bracelets and Necklaces

We’ve reimagined the charm bracelet as a necklace with new combinations of chains, ribbons, and jump rings, all found at crafts and bead shops. The handmade jewelry isn’t just easy to produce en masse. It’s also tailor-made for customizing. So go ahead and mix, match, loop, and string to your heart’s content.

Photography by: YASU+JUNKO

Chain Reactions

Necklaces are typically 16 to 18 inches long, but you don’t need to limit yourself to one material to make a strand. We mixed assorted chains with one another, as well as with sturdy ribbons and braided embroidery floss that withstand wear.


In the Loop

Show off the charms your grandmother gave you, or see a selection of our favorite charms, below.

  • Dime Store Emporium: The Dime Store Emporium’s extensive collection of charms offers adornments to fit any style. Personally, we find the intricate owl, beetle, and love letter designs, below, downright charming. 
Photography by: Bryan Gardner
  • Brass Kicker: Brass Kicker’s whimsical charms, like a miniature wishbone or a life-size seed pod, shown below, are sure to attract compliments.
Photography by: Bryan Gardner
  • Brass Charm Company: Show some home state pride (or represent all fifty) with these adorable state-shaped charms from the Brass Charm Company
Photography by: Bryan Gardner

1. Make a Tassel

a. Thread a beading needle with a 10-inch piece of embroidery floss through a crimping tube, then a jump ring. Pull so that tube and ring are 2 inches from end. Thread back through crimping tube, locking jump ring in place.

b. Thread floss back through crimping tube so needle comes through opposite end and through jump ring again, leaving a 2-inch loop.

c. Thread floss back through tube. Push it tightly against jump ring; use flat-nose pliers to flatten tube. Trim loop; fray ends.


2. Braid Into Ends

a. Cut 3 pieces of embroidery floss, each twice the length desired. Loop through jump ring; fold strands in half.


b. Make a braid using the 3 double strands, with loop at top.


c. Tie a knot at end of strand; trim. Open jump ring and attach to chain.


3. Use a Jump Ring

a. To open, use 2 pairs of needle-nose pliers to grip sides, pulling one pair toward you and pushing the other away, as shown.


b. Slide on tiny beads or a charm, making sure it’s facing correct direction.


c. Attach to necklace; use pliers to close.


Jump rings, 0.8 mm, in assorted sizes and finishes, from $1 for 5 g; chains, in assorted sizes and finishes, from $1 for 1'; beading needle, $1.50 for 5; and crimping tubes (#PD1369L1), $4.50 for 30, tohoshoji-ny.com
Embroidery floss, by DMC, in assorted colors, from 40 cents a skein, michaels.com


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