Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Travel Charm Bracelet

September's DIY Project

Charm Bracelet

Brought to you by The Charm Hunter

 I love to travel and always save memorabilia, currency and coins that from around the world. What a wonderful idea it is to a charm bracelet using these coins and charms to remind you of your travels, like a scrapbook on your wrist!

Original design by The Charm Hunter
Custom made to order on Etsy

The supplies are pretty basic....

  • Coins, tokens, travel charms
  • Chain link bracelet (I used an old one I had on hand!)
  • 9mm and 11mm Jumprings
  • Small square of scrap wood
  • Clamp

  • Hand Held Electric Drill 
  • 1/8” Pilot Point drill bit (or drill bit specifically for metal)
  • Needle nose pliers (Jewelers pliers would be even better)
  • Brass or Copper polish (optional) OR ketchup!

Step 1

Heads up! This project involves power tools and other sharp objects. Please use precaution and style yourself up with the proper safety gear (like goggles or gloves) when necessary.  Proceed at your own risk!

Look for drill bits specifically made for metal.
Either 3/32" or 1/8" makes a good hole size for charms

First you’ll need to identify where you’d like the hole in your coin and then position it accordingly.  I used a small block of wood and clamp to help stabilize coin.  Carefully and slowly begin drilling the hole through the coin.  Be patient, this may take a full minute and several intervals to drill through the coin.  You'll know it's gone completely through when you feel the bit hit the wood block beneath the coin.  Repeat with remaining coins.
 Some metals are thicker than others

Step 2
Once all of the holes are drilled, you can polish up your coins if you want to! Some of these were a little grimy, so a quick clean up really helped! You can use store bought cleaners such as  Brasso, but you could use any formula meant to clean metals.  Make sure to use gloves and do this step in a well ventilated space.  BUT, did you know that plain old ketchup works too?  Ketchup is a great metal polish!  Squeeze on tarnished copper and brass, rub with a cloth and the brilliant metals should shine though in a few minutes.  Just rinse and buff.  Silver coins can be soaked in vinegar for a few minutes, rinsed and buffed as well.

Step 3
Assemble jumprings to each coin, token and travel charm.  If you are not familiar with using jumprings, view this quick and easy tutorial first. You can use two different pliers, a screw driver or dull knife.  Play around with this step and be patient.  Two pliers work best.  Repeat with all the elements you wish to add to your bracelet. 

Step 4

Lay your bracelet out and lay then out your coins and charms in different patterns to determine the final look. Play around with the placement and remember the bracelet will form a circle, so you will want to alternate colors and sizes.  You can use all coins or a combination of coins and travel charms.  Once you're happy with the placement, using the same jumpring technique in Step 3, attach them to your bracelet links.  Consider having the same amount of space (link spaces) in between each charm

You can use only coins for a simple look OR add travel charms as I have 


Wallah!    YOU can do this!

See more handmade charm jewelry here

You could do this project with a combination of so many little things! One reader on facebook suggested guitar picks! The sky is the limit! Just make sure you use the proper drill bit and allow one or two of your “charms” for trial and error!

As always, I would love for to share your travel charm bracelet with us here.

Warmest aloha, Susan
aka The Charm Hunter

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