Designing a charm bracelet

on Thursday, August 21, 2014

Figure 1

Figure 2

While designing this week, I made notes of a few rules that I needed to follow to make the charm bracelet that I was working on turn out the way I wanted it. I called this one “The Love of Dragonflies” (Figure 1).

The first thing that I did was pick out my clasp and attached to the end of the chain that I was going to use, and then measure it to my wrist. I then added about half an inch to the length of the chain to make sure that I had a charm bracelet that would be musical. I wanted to charm bracelet to move on my wrist.

Once I had done that I started counting the number of links that I had in the chain, including one jump ring, and had a total of 31. From that I subtracted one. I was left with 30 links, and so I decided to place the charms every second link starting with link number one. By the time I got to link number 31, my 17 charms were placed evenly on the bracelet. The formula is simple; the first charm goes on link #1. The next 16 charms go on all the odd number links, finishing with link #31. So, count your links, minus one, and then decide how you’re going to divide up the links you have left.

I then went on to design a copper bracelet, but this one had larger charms. Instead of putting a charm every other link, I decided to put one every third link. With 31 links, -1 to get 30, I have enough room for 10 charms. But to add fullness to this bracelet, instead of adding the charms all on one side of the chain, I decided to put charms on the opposite side of the link (Figure2).

I tend to layout my bracelet once I have made design decisions like what beads to use. Of course, no bracelet is going to look like my layout above. Stay tuned next week to see how this one turns out! I will probably call it “The Love of Butterflies” just to continue the line.

Dr. Gail H. Devoid, Ph.D. is president of Need for Beads, Inc. and teaches beading techniques through programs at the Bead Society of New Hampshire. She also co-hosted a live, free, Internet radio show called The Jewelry Connection.

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