Charm Jewelry Components Overview
When you are beginning on an endeavor to create a piece of jewelry with charms, you need to know more than just what charms to use. There are a number of other jewelry components available that can help you define your jewelry look, accentuate certain parts of it, or even make part of the process easier.
Here are some of the items you should know about when you are considering a jewelry creation:
- Ball Chain - This can be used to create the foundation of a necklace, bracelet, or anklet by simply cutting the chain to length and attaching either a toggle or clasp set with a pair of jump rings or split rings. It can also be used as an accent. Dangling pieces of the ball chain from a piece of jewelry add dimension to the overall appearance.
- Split Rings and Jump Rings - From a distance these two items may look alike, but there is a difference. Jump rings are metal circles that has been cut so the circle can be opened or closed to attach charms and other items together. A split ring, meanwhile, is a metal loop that is just over two layers thick. In order to use this as a jewelry attachment, you will have to pry one end open (usually with a split ring tool or a fingernail) and then slide the charms or other components onto it(think of it as a small version of a keychain ring). While jump rings are easier to open and close, split rings are sturdier. Once you have a component attached to a split ring, it's not going to come apart. The downside to split rings is that they are a little more bulky and not as smooth and attractive as jump rings.
- Charm Rings - A great way to dress up your charms is to give them a charm ring to dangle on. These look wonderful for earrings and are easy to use. As soon as you thread the charm on, it will sway in the middle and is ready to be attached to your jewelry item. You can also place the charm on the charm ring and then dress it up by threading beads onto the ring around the charm.
- Charm Clips - When you think of attaching a charm to a piece of jewelry, you may think that once you have attached a charm to something, that's it. The piece will remain that way forever. Not if you use a charm clip. If you connect the charm clip to the piece of jewelry, then attach your charm, you will be able to open and close the clip as you see fit to attach one charm, then remove it and attach another. Charm clips alone are also a quick way to attach a charm to items such as a purse, backpack, or pet's collar, just put the charm on the clip, and snap the clip on wherever you would like it to go.
- Ear Wires and French Clips - If you want to make your own charm earrings, you're going to need ear wires and French clips. These are the pieces that actually go through the ear. In addition, they come with a small loop attachment area on the bottom so you can easily add on charms and other beads while creating your jewelry design.
- Toggle Sets and Clasp Sets - Every necklace or bracelet has a beginning and an end. Not too many people put a lot of thought into what those ends look like, figuring that they are not the focal point of the piece. However, if you choose a toggle or clasp set that does not go with the piece you are making, it may clash. That can have people looking more at clasp or toggle and how it does not match quite right, than at the parts of the piece of jewelry that you intended them to look at. You also need to consider the use of these items when deciding whether to choose a toggle or clasp set. A toggle set is the style of jewelry closure where a rod shaped piece at one end, is threaded through a hole shaped piece on the other end, and when it's straightened out, the rod will lock across the opening on the other end and keep it attached. These are alright for most creations, but if the jewelry piece is a little baggy, it could come loose on it's own while it's being worn (this is especially common for bracelets or anklets that are too loose) A clasp set meanwhile is a closure where two pieces interlock and you have to push a portion of one of the pieces to open the jewelry piece. These are usually more secure, but sometimes are more difficult to use for those who do not have very nimble fingers. They can also be hard for those who have joint pains, such as arthritis.
- Themed Pewter Beads - While charms are the focal point of your jewelry piece, sometimes they need a little accompaniment. This is when it pays to have invested in some quality themed accent beads. If you have selected pewter charms for your creation, consider pewter themed beads to accent. The accent could be a shape such as a heart, a cross, a star, or a moon, or perhaps a sporting theme, like a basketball or a soccer ball, or even using pewter alphabet letters to spell out a name or words of inspiration.