How to Make Metal Charms

By Rose Brown

Things Needed

  • Copper, brass, sterling silver, or gold sheet metal
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tin snips
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Copper, brass, sterling silver or gold jump ring
  • Pliers

A collection of charms adds color, personality, and even a pleasant, tinkling sound to a bracelet or necklace. Often chosen to symbolize places, hobbies, people and events that have meaning to the wearer, charms are a truly unique type of jewelry in that they have the power to tell stories. While they can be purchased in all shapes and sizes, they are also fun and easy to make by hand. By creating a charm, you make it even more personalized and meaningful. A few guidelines will help you make charms in copper, brass, sterling silver or gold.

Making Metal Charms

Buy a square of copper, brass, sterling silver or gold sheet metal from a jewelry supply retailer. The higher the gauge, the thinner the metal.

Develop a design for your charm. Create a design that will be appealing when cut from a flat sheet of metal, such as a flower, leaf or butterfly.

Draw an outline of the design on a sturdy piece of paper and cut it out. Use this template to trace your design onto the sheet metal.

Cut the charm out of the sheet metal using scissors or tin snips. Tin snips may cut more readily through the metal, but scissors may be more useful for intricate designs.

Smooth the edges of the charm cutout with sandpaper. Make sure there are no sharp edges or points which can make the charm uncomfortable to wear and easy to snag on clothing.

Make a single hole in the charm by hammering a nail through it. Remove the nail. Rub sandpaper in and around the hole to smooth it out.

Choose a jump ring in a metal that matches your charm. Open the jump ring with pliers. Poke the jump ring through the hole in your charm. Slide the chain of a bracelet or necklace in the middle of the jump ring, then use pliers to close the jump ring completely.

Tip

For a more colorful and artistic charm, use a jump ring in a metal that contrasts with the metal of the charm. For example, a copper jump ring will look striking with a sterling silver charm. To prevent injuries, always thoroughly sweep or vacuum your work area after cutting and sanding metal. Brass and copper are less expensive metals than sterling silver and gold.

About the Author

Rose Brown began writing professionally in 2003. Her articles have appeared in such Montana-based publications as "The Tributary" and "Edible Bozeman." She earned a bachelor's degree in literature from the University of California at San Diego, and a master's degree in English from Montana State University. Brown has been a professional florist since 1997.