how to make your own charm bracelet

Charmed with charms? Move over, your love is shared by many! One of the hottest fashion trends around, charm bracelets are fun and easy to assemble. Want to make a statement about who you are, what you believe, what you do, or what you spend your free time doing? Then create a charm bracelet and tell the world.

The charm has been around for centuries in various forms. Sometimes carried in the pocket, other times wore around the neck and still others used for openly mystical purposes, as in a milagro(s) attached to an altarpiece, the charms of today are making a fashion statement like never before. Found mostly on the wrist or around the neck, many have accessorized their clothing, their hats, and their handbags with a charm or two. Creating a charm bracelet requires some forethought and the ability to shop smart.

WHERE TO GET STARTED

Choose a topic. A charm bracelet can run the gamut from patriotism to hobbies to personal opinion but it can go other directions as well. Clear, colored stone charms paired with a series of leaf-shaped charms in gold or silver or a bracelet of mixed styles of charms made of bone in black and white both have their place among trendy charm bracelets. Decide before you head out in search of your charms, what focus your bracelet will have. It makes it so much easier to locate what you want if you know what that want is.

Choose a style. Charm bracelets are not a standard, look-alike jewelry item. You have some choices here and they are bounded only by your own creativity. The two most popular are the trendy Italian bracelet, which is stretchy to slip over any sized hand fitting snuggly on the wrist and requires a particular type of charm that is flat and can be snapped into place, and the standard chain bracelet with a clasp that requires a dangly charm. Deciding which type of bracelet fits your look du jour will help in choosing the actual charms.

More creative types may want to experiment with the bracelet style. Try a leather strap that is thin enough to securely knot the charm into place and tie it closed or find a clasp that might fit the look. Ribbon can work as well as leather and you can braid the charms into place with both if you find the right material to braid with. Use ribbon and leather together, or alone and think about doubling and tripling the material to give it some visual weight.

Other ideas might include scouring garage sales for cheap costume jewelry that can be modified or searching through your already loaded jewelry box for an outdated piece that can be changed up with a charm or two. Finding a jumper ring or other jewelry findings to assemble your jewelry is easy. Just locate your neighborhood crafts or bead store. They are sure to have what you need.

Choose a price range. Generally speaking, most charms start in the $15 range and end in the $50 range. Of course, the price depends on where you are shopping and when you are shopping. You may find a charm that is $150 and well worth the price. Vintage charms, of course, may run in the high dollar range.

Price is also dependent on what you are looking for. You may be able to locate a bracelet with a single charm on it at a garage sale and pay $1 for it. Or you may have some charms in your jewelry box to begin with or may have been given. Decide on a general price for the bracelet as a whole and stick to it as you shop.

Choose a size. When beginning your bracelet search know that stretchy Italian bracelets will be supplied in three sizes, small, medium, and large and chain bracelets will probably need to be adjusted to fit. An Italian charm bracelet requires 17 panels (or charms), a medium requires 18, and a large needs 19 charms. The three sizes will generally fit most female wrists, however, you may find that you need to adjust up or down for your particular needs.

WHERE TO GO TO FIND YOUR CHARMS

The shopping choices for a great charm are endless. Traditional retail and online jewelry stores can both provide you with great inventory. Think broader and take a look at craft stores, flea market vendors, and garage sales if you are looking for a campy or exotic bracelet combination.

Search the Internet and you will be able to see a much wider variety of available charms than you would in a retail store. Use some ingenuity and keep your eyes open for the unusual or exotic. The charms you want are as close as your imagination.

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