I absolutely LOVE charm bracelets and the warm “clinky” sound they make when worn. My mother had a charm bracelet when I was little, and every special holiday meant we could give her a new charm as a gift. The sound of her bracelet was always comforting – it meant she was close by. Maybe that “jewelry lullaby” contributed to my bracelet obsession later in life.
These beautiful creations are very similar to the stretchy button bracelets in the Beautiful Button Project post, but since they are constructed differently, I thought a separate post would be acceptable. They are so simple to make that directions seem a little unnecessary, but as a Type-A crafty designer, I always like to have a blueprint, even if I don’t follow it (which is usually the case).
Start with a chain bracelet that is big enough to hold multiple jump rings of buttons / charms. You can buy one pre-made at any craft store, or make one your self from a length of chain and a toggle closure (my preference). I like to use antiqued metals for bracelets that will hold vintage buttons so it goes with the overall antique look. Clearly, shank buttons work the best so you can use a jump ring through the hole in the shank, but if you find a holed-button that you absolutely love, just thread a bendable wire through it so it becomes a “shank” button. NOTE: The buttons take up a lot of real estate on the bracelet and on your wrist, so the chain bracelet should be much longer than your wrist measurement. I like to wait an cut the bracelet length (and put the toggle on) until I’ve added all the buttons. That way, you get the precise measurement needed to fit your wrist.
The size of the buttons will determine how many you put on the bracelet, and how you space them out. If it seems they are crowded on the bracelet, just spread them out a little bit – that’s the beautiful thing about large jump rings. They are not too hard to open and close multiple times. Also, if you’re like me, you want your buttons to be seen – and if they are crowded on the bracelet, they won’t be able to be showcased. There’s a bit of trial and error in mixing button sizes and spacing, but remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. When you wear the bracelet, the buttons dangle and move, so perfection in spacing and button placement is completely unnecessary.
Keep adding – keep adding – and measure it against your wrist occasionally. I have a tendency to get carried away and start heading toward “necklace length”. I’m an overachiever when it comes to buttons and jewelry.
When you have the length you want, add the final toggle closure and go wear your one-of-a-kind creation somewhere fabulous! These charm bracelets make perfect gifts for family (use grandma’s stash of buttons) – or unique (and wearable) pieces of history for friends. Enjoy creating the gentle jingle of beautiful button charm bracelets. Feel free to post pictures of your special creations.