Make a Button Charm Bracelet
By Rachel Morgan Kalina
This bright and cheerful button charm bracelet is an ideal beginner and family-friendly project! It's simple enough so that kids can create their own masterpiece with just a little grown-up help. (Use your best judgment when determining whether a child is old enough to wear jewelry with small parts.) Plus, it offers a great way to use up that leftover button jar in the cabinet! Personalize the charm bracelet with whatever color palette you choose, perhaps a rainbow? Incorporate charms that have special sentimental value, or just go crazy and use the mismatched pieces you have on hand.
Two pairs of chain-nose pliers
Ten to 20 buttons of various shapes/sizes
Large (circa 10mm) jump rings (two per button, plus two more)
Chain with big links*
Lobster clasp (similarly sized to chain)
*Adult-size chain: 7 to 7-1/2" long. For a child, use a tape measure to determine the wrist size for the bracelet; take into account that the clasp will add about 1".
1. Arrange buttons alongside the chain in a pleasing pattern to determine design.
2. Pick up a jump ring with one of the chain-nose pliers, holding it tightly on one side. Use the second pair of chain-nose pliers to grasp the other side of the jump ring.
3. While holding the pliers, rotate one of your hands slightly away from you, twisting the jump ring open. Do not pull the jump ring apart, as this will distort it; rather use a twisting motion to keep its shape.
4. Put down one pair of pliers. Place the first button in your design onto the open jump ring.
5. While still holding a pair of pliers with the open jump ring and button in one hand, pick up the second pair of pliers in the opposite hand. Close the jump ring by twisting the hand with just the pliers toward you.
There should be a slight feeling that the ring has "clicked" back into place, and there should not be a gap visible in the ring. Now you have a button charm!
6. Repeat steps 2-5 for all of your buttons to make charms.
7. To attach the button charm to the chain, open a new jump ring as per step 2. Put down one pair of pliers, and pick up a button charm with the jump ring attached. Hook the open jump ring through the closed jump ring on the button charm.
8. Pick up the length of chain, singling out the second link from its end. While gently pinching this link in the hand not holding the pliers, place the link onto the open jump ring behind the button charm.
9. While still holding the pliers with the button charm and chain in one hand, pick up the second pair of pliers with the other hand. Clamp the pliers onto the opposite side of the open jump ring. Repeat step 4 to close the jump ring around the button charm and link.
10. Repeat steps 7-9 to attach every button charm in your design. Add one or two button charms to each link of the chain, leaving one link at both ends of the chain without a charm. Ensure button charms are situated along the same side of the chain so they will properly hang.
11. To finish the bracelet, open a new jump ring as per step 2. Put down one pair of pliers, and pick up the clasp. Hook the open jump ring through the small loop of the clasp.
12. Pick up one of the end links of the chain. While gently pinching this link in the hand not holding the pliers, place the link onto the open jump ring behind the clasp.
13. With the pliers holding the opened jump ring, clasp, and chain in one hand, pick up the second pair of pliers in the other hand. Clamp the pliers onto the opposite side of the open jump ring to close it around the
chain link as per step 4.
14. To complete the bracelet, add a jump ring on the end of the chain onto which you'll hook the clasp.
This article was also published on Interweave's Jewelry Making Daily site.