How to make a beaded charm bracelet:
This beaded charm bracelet leans itself to the use of different themed charms. The chain of the bracelet is made from S-clasps that were linked together. The links have been forged (hammered) for durability and to give it a flattened appearance. The first step is optional, so if you’re planning to do it you will need a bench block and flat-faced hammer.
I’ve used combinations of beads with a grayish and white tones. The fun part is that you can use bead and color choices that you love. Keep your bead sizes within 10mm, otherwise the beads might become too heavy for the chain you’re going to make. Headpins won’t hold large beads, therefore it’s handy to have small, round (2mm) spacer beads at hand to slide onto the headpin before using the large beads. Click on the
Bracelet size guide
to find the right bracelet size for you.
What you need:
Step 1: Making the S-clasp chain
- headpins (1½” or 2”)
- collection of beads (scroll down to have a closer look at the bead selection I’ve used.)
- 20 silver bell dangle beads
- silver charms (5 or more)
- 4mm jump rings
- 18 gauge wire
- round nose pliers
- chain or flat nose pliers
- wire or side cutters
- bench block (optional)
- chasing hammer or any other flat-faced hammer (optional)
- safety glasses (optional)
Making the chain for your beaded charm bracelet is much easier than it looks. I’ve used 10 s-clasp links (and a hook of ½ an inch) to make a chain of 7½”(19cm). Put your s-clasp links in a line while you’re making them, and measure constantly to make sure that you have the right measurements. Let’s start. Follow the steps for making an s-clasp and a hook as described on the page
Step 2: Forging (Hammering the links)
Place the links one by one on the bench block and hammer with continuous light strokes starting at the center of the link and moving outwards. Hammer each link on both sides. Forging stretches and compresses metal, which results in your links being stretched out of its original form (see graphic below). Use your round nose pliers to bend it neatly back in position.
Look at the difference between the round wire link, and the forged link.
Step 3: Attach the links
When your s-clasp links are ready, you can attach them to each other using 4mm jump rings. For best results see
how to open and close jump rings
properly, to make sure the round shape of the rings are not distorted. Attach the hook with two jump rings as shown in the graphic below.
Your s-clasp chain will now look like this:
Now that your chain is ready, it’s time to attach the charms. Attach the charms with your jump rings to every second link of the chain.
Slide your beads in interesting combinations onto the headpins. You are well on your way making your beaded charm bracelet.
You are going to attach the headpins to the chain by making a wrapped loop. A wrapped loop is more secure than a single loop. Follow the steps for making a wrapped loop on a headpin as described on the page
Instead of sliding an earring hook onto the loop, slide the loop onto a link between the charms before wrapping the loop.
Continue to attach your beaded headpins to the links between the charms.
You’re nearly done. The last thing to do is to attach the bell dangle beads to the small loop of each s-clasp link. Open a jump ring, slide two bell dangle beads onto the jump ring and attach it to the small loop of the link. Continue to do this for the rest of the bracelet. Make sure the small loops of all the s-clasp links are closed properly. If there is an open space, your beads and charms might slide off.
Congratulations, your beaded charm bracelet is ready to wear.
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