Sunday, January 27, 2008

Charm, charms and more charms

I am in 2 charm swaps - One for Inspired and a Valentine's Charm Swap I signed up for on 2Peas. My Valentine charms are due on Wednesday (this was an extension-thank goodness) so I had to get cracking. They took much longer than I expected but only because I am new to the art of charm making and had to learn a couple things the hard way.
We were each assigned colors - mine was white so I decided to make white hearts with opaque glitter hanging on a gold wire with opaque and gold beads. I had to make 75 charms so I wanted to create something that was pretty yet not too time consuming or expensive. This took strategy. After wondering through Michaels for hours, I finally committed to wooden hearts. I punched holes in each heart then sprayed them white and sprinkled Crystal Clear Glitterex on them while they were still wet. I cut 2 inch pieces of Gold Plated Memory Wire (1/2 oz.) and bent each end into a loop after slipping 2 bead on the wire. I put a gold jump ring into the charm and loop on one end and attached a lobster claw into the other loop. This process took upwards of 20 minutes for each charm because the wire was so rigid. The first night I worked on them I only made 10 charms and the next day, my hands ached. It wasn't until I had made 25 charms in this manner that it occurred to me that there had to be a better way to do it.
I spoke with the manager of the beading department at Mikes and she laughed out loud when she learned about the wire I had been using. Apparently it is not meant to be manipulated. She recommended a much lighter weight wire and sent me on my way.
Wow! What a difference the 32 g wire made. It was so easy to work with that I no longer had to add jump rings - I could string the wire right through the heart, add beads, the lobster claw and twist it closed. This made the charm making so much fun! I finished my last charm yesterday and I am anxious to start working on my Inspired charms. I've added another medium to my list of artistic expressions! I love thinking about the great gifts I can make and can't wait to learn more!


  1. Those look cool! So glad you got some great treats!

  2. Your charms are just precious! :)


  3. these are so beautiful- i got your little package in the mail ---- thank you, thank you-----so sweet

  4. Love your Valentines charms! What a great idea to add the glitter to the paint before it dries! I would have been trying to figure out how to get it to stick later! Too funny - love how they turned out! Can't wait to see what you come up with for the Inspired Swap - I'm still drawing up designs and trying to decide what to make for my charms.

  5. Wire gage is really important ... I would not have been so patient to do that many with the rigid wire. It's tough because you have to optimize between strength and ease of handling. I love your charm design.

  6. ooh I just love love love your charms