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How to create a vintage charm bracelet

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How to create a vintage charm bracelet

Charm bracelets are a personal form of expression, a collection of sentimental tokens which commemorate a moment in one's life. In time a charm bracelet becomes a magical history tour collected over years which can be passed down through generations. Many women have fond memories of charm bracelets they or their mothers had when they were girls. It was a tradition back in the day.

A history of charm bracelets

Charm bracelets first became very popular during the 1800s when Queen Victoria of England wore them. She was photographed wearing two miniature portrait charms with the likeness of her sons. Some of the most popular charms of this period were puffy hearts, lockets, and coins that were drilled with a hole so they could be added to a chain.

Fashion icons of the early 20th century helped to make charm bracelets even more popular. They became a staple of every woman's jewelry wardrobe. Famous designers and celebrities who wore charms on bracelets and necklaces included the Duchess of Windsor, Coco Chanel, and Elsa Shiaparelli were admired in magazines and newspapers. Women wanted to dress and look like them, so companies began reproducing their jewelry designs out of lower cost metals. This made charm bracelets affordable to the masses.

It was customary for a girl to begin creating a charm bracelet when she was young and add charms to commemorate events in their life. In the 1950s you could spot a charm bracelet on almost any woman that liked to wear jewelry. Many homes had televisions such that women could view how the women they admired accessorized their fashions. Elizabeth Taylor had an extensive collection of charm bracelets and wore them frequently. Both Mamie Eisenhower and Jackie Kennedy wore their charm bracelets to political and social events. Lucille Ball wore a musical theme bracelet given to her by her musician husband Desi Arnaz.

By the 1960s charm bracelets fell out of favour. The women's movement was taking shape and the symbols on a charm bracelet often represented the traditional themes of marriage, housewife, and motherhood. These were no longer themes of modern women of the 1960s who were more likely to wear a peace symbol on a leather headband than a dainty charm bracelet.

Today charm bracelets are experiencing a revival. Some vintage charms are affordable while others command premium prices depending on the maker, style, and rarity. Vintage charm collecting is a growing pastime, while being able to wear your collection every day makes collecting vintage charms even better. With a bit of planning, it is a simple process to create your own charm bracelet with vintage charms!

How to make a vintage charm bracelet

Choose the type and style of bracelet

The important thing is to be certain that the bracelet will work with your charms. Decide up front if you want a gold bracelet or a silver bracelet. Gold will not necessarily be more costly when dealing with vintage or antique charms. The sterling silver charms made in the 1920s through the 1960s are some of the most intricately detailed & desirable charms on the market.

Once you decide on the metal to use, choose the bracelet itself. Will your bracelet be single links, double links, or triple links? Maybe your preference is a unique and varied style of link. The thickness of each link is important as well. If your bracelet will be filled with dainty little charms it is best to stay away from a heavy thick link chain. Likewise, a delicate link bracelet will break if you adorn it with large heavy charms.

When it comes to keeping a charm bracelet on your wrist, different clasps offer different levels of protection. A box style clasp with a push button latch and a safety chain or bar is less likely to come unfastened while on your wrist than a standard spring clasp.

Choose a theme for your charm bracelet

Once your bracelet is ready, pick a theme for your charm bracelet. It can be mementos from special times in your life, or holidays, travels, animals, beach charms. The possibilities are endless. This is a great creative outlet, and an excellent way to express your personality.

Some theme ideas might include:

Attaching the charms to your bracelet

After you have purchased some charms, they will need to be attached to the bracelet. There are several options for this:

Showing off your completed vintage charm bracelet

Once your charm bracelet is arranged to your liking, put it and start jingling. Expect to receive lots of inquiries and complements on your creation. You may be surprised how addicting charm collecting can be!

Where to find vintage charms

Try any of the following to add to your vintage charm collection:


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