Just over a week ago I was contacted by Frances, the editor of JewelleryMaker and asked if I would like to blog about one of their recently launched project kits. The kits are for charm bracelets and contain all the components you need to make the bracelet, the only items you need yourself are two pairs of pliers and a good pair of reading glasses if your eyesight is anything like mine!
The bracelet kits are available in plated gold, plated silver, plated antique bronze and plated rose gold. There are different charms available too - stars, leaf and heart mix, gemstone dangles and hearts.
I chose a rose gold plated bracelet with leaf and heart charms. It's a far cry from the type of jewellery I usually make but I thought it would be fun to do for a change.
I sat down in my shed with my two pairs of pliers, glasses and a cup of tea and began.
So what's in the box?
The box is a square shape with a lift off lid and multi-coloured stripes down the sides. Inside you find the instructions and all the components you need for making the charm bracelet in separate plastic bags.
For anyone using the kit who hasn't done any jewellery making the all-important instructions for opening and closing jump rings the correct way are found on one side of the instruction card.
The card also contains a list of the 80 components in this kit and the instructions. There are five steps to making the bracelet and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
I started by linking one end of the toggle fastener and the S links together with the jump rings. The jump rings are quite soft but sturdy enough and neatly cut.
Once all the S links were joined together I added the other end of the toggle fastener then started adding the heart and leaf charms. All the charms have jump rings already attached which saves a bit of time. Adding the charms was a bit fiddly but not difficult. The charms are nicely made and light but sturdy. I added half to one side of the links then the rest to the other side.
The finished bracelet. As you can see there are plenty of charms - you get 20 of each design making the bracelet jingle nicely when you wear it. The toggle makes it easy to fasten too. I used all of the S links and the finished bracelet length was 10 inches/26cm which was too long for me but it would be easy enough to alter the length by adding or removing an S link. Or do what I didn't do and check the length as you make it!
I was left with 19 jump rings which puzzled me a bit but these could be used to double up on the joins between the S links and the two toggle parts for added security.
The kit costs £9.95 and for that money I think you end up with a decent charm bracelet that can be made in less than an hour. It would make an ideal present for someone who is thinking about trying jewellery making for the first time and teaming it with a pliers kit would be even better!