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Making a Handbag Charm

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Making A Handbag Charm

If you love making your own crafts and enjoy creating unique and individual accessories, then you’ll love making your own handbag charm!

The humble handbag charm swept into fashion a few years ago and suddenly it became hugely fashionable to have a charm on your bag. Whether you’re someone who enjoys following new trends, or you like to develop your own style and accessorise outfits in creative ways, then a handbag charm or two is likely to be just your thing. They’re easy and fun to make, are relatively inexpensive to create and you can even use them as keyrings too, if you wish.

There are various ways in which you can make a handbag charm, depending on your existing skills and creativity. If you have any experience making jewellery or using pliers, then the tools you’ll need will vary slightly. However, the important component is a bag lever clip or a keyring – as this is the part that will clip on to or hang from your bag.

All good jewellery making shops and websites will sell these components. They’re both inexpensive to buy, but you can expect to pay a tiny bit more (still under £1) for a bag lever clip, as opposed to a keyring.

Handbag Charms for Absolute Beginners

If you’re an absolute beginner, don’t panic – you can still make an effective handbag charm without any prior crafting experience.

In the first instance, you will need to purchase either a bag lever clip or a keyring component from a jewellery making supplier. Choose a selection of different ribbons – look for different colours, patterns, textures and widths.

Tie the ribbons onto the bottom of the keyring or lever bag clip – they’ll be a small metal loop where you can fix the ribbons on. If you’ve got any beads, then try threading beads onto the thinner ribbons, remembering to put knots in the ends so they don’t fall off.

Simply tying an assortment of ribbons on can look really effectively, but you could also add some beads or other metal charms too. Beads can be threaded onto narrow ribbons and hung from the clip, as can charms. If you’d like to create a jingly jangly sound as you move around and carry your bag, then add some metal beads to your charm.

Handbag Charms for Intermediates

If you’ve already got a bit of crafting experience under your belt, especially with jewellery making, then there are lots of ways in which you can create unique, custom-made handbag charms. Firstly, you’ll need:

  • A bag lever clip or blank keyring.
  • Jump rings.
  • Headpins, about 1.5 inches long.
  • A small piece of chain – approx. 1.5inches in length, with open link curbs.
  • A selection of beads and charms – different sizes would be great.
  • Pliers.
To make a unique handbag charm, first use a jump ring to fix the small piece of chain to the base of the clip or keyring. Thread beads onto the headpins, leaving a gap at the top. Use your pliers (ideally flat or round nosed pliers) to bend the remaining piece of metal over at a 90 degree angle.

Grip the end of the headpin with your pliers and carefully roll it over into a loop. Before closing the loop fully, hook it over one of the loops in the chain, then carefully close it. The chain will have about six open links per inch, so you should have about six to nine holes on which to hang headpins from.

Secure the headpins firmly to the chain. Continue working down the links of the chain, adding beads attached to headpins. For a spot of variety, you could instead add charms to the chain, using the jump rings.

If you wish, you can add a focal bead to the very bottom of the chain – choose a special bead to go here, such as a large bead, something colourful or a bead that’s got great texture. When you’ve filled in all the links of the chain, your charm will be finished and you can add it to your bag and enjoy it!

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