Jillian's Basic Guide to Charm Bracelet Making

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I am often asked quite basic questions about how I make my bracelets.  It is pretty simple if you have plenty of imagination!  This guide will describe the basic steps and you can fill in the rest with your own creativity.

First of all you need a few items to get started:

1 a curb bracelet with nice big links
2 plenty of charms and beads
3 jump rings of various sizes - I use 5mm, 6mm and 7mm for bracelets and 8mm for necklaces
4 headpins/eyepins if you have beads to thread and attach
5 pliers and wire cutters

I find the best way to organise a bracelet is to lay the charms out flat on a table.  Before you do that it is worth counting how many links you have on your bracelet.  The ones I use have 19, so the number of charms I use are usually multiples of 19.  I like to select a balanced collection of 19 large charms first and place them in order on the table.  The size and number of your charms are linked.  If you put nothing but very large charms on you will end up with a beautiful object but one which does not function as a bracelet!  This is a potential problem with my custom-made bracelets as everyone wants all the biggest charms without realising how slender the average human wrist is.  The key is to create the volume with smaller charms and beads so that the final piece will still go round your wrist.  Once I have the 19 largest charms laid out I add 19 medium-sized charms, placing them above the large ones.  Finally, I add the small charms and beads above these.  This gives three items per link and almost 60 charms and beads altogether.

Having done that you now need to construct your bracelet.  If you have any beads you will need to thread them onto your headpins/eyepins, clip off the excess wire length with your wire cutters, and then create a loop with the end of the wire reading for attaching to the bracelet.  To attach your beads and charms to the bracelet you use the jump rings.  These are circular metal wires with a break in them so that they can be opened with pliers, looped around a charm and the bracelet, and then closed again.

It's that easy!  The only thing I can't help you with is the imagination bit but I'm sure you will have no difficulty managing that yourself.  Please vote if you found this helpful and let me know if you did not as I would love to know how to improve it.
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