Happy Valentine's Day. I'm off to deliver some charm bracelet goodness to friends around town:
Would you like to know how to make these bracelets?
You will need: conversation hearts, clear nail polish (with glitter if you like), five minute epoxy, toothpicks, a disposable container to mix the epoxy, jewelry eye pins (pictured below), wire snips, jewelers pliers (needle nose pliers), ultra fine iridescent glitter (optional), silicone parchment paper or wax paper, craft tweezers.
Gather your Necco conversation hearts. I like Necco brand if I can get them because they have the embossed words on them and they look old-school. Some of the new brands have dot-matrix computer style lettering screen printed on them and they just aren't as cute.
Sift through the candy bag and pick out the hearts and phrases you want to turn into charms. This is when I pick candies with nicely printed and centered phrases and aren't smudged. Pick many more candies than you think you will need - in my experience you may lose as many as a third during the process.
Using your craft tweezers to hold the hearts, paint one coat of clear nail polish on the sides of the hearts. Lay them out on your wax paper to dry. The nail polish will dry to the touch fairly quickly - by the time you are finished painting the edges you can start painting the back of the hearts. When the backs are dry to the touch, flip over the hearts and daub your nail polish on the fronts. Let the hearts dry for 24 hours. The reason that I like to paint the nail polish on the hearts before drilling is that if my hands get sweaty then the hearts won't get sticky or melt while I'm working - plus it strengthens them before drilling.
While the nail polish is drying, I prepare my eye pins. I snip them down to the short length that I need and gently crimp the cut end... this will help the pin stay inside the heart by giving it some "grab" when glued in.
Using a small dremel tool or craft drill, carefully drill a hole into the top of the heart. Don't drill too quickly, this increases the likelihood of splitting the heart in two. You only need to drill about halfway into the heart.
Mix the epoxy according to package instructions. Dip the snipped end of the eye pin into the glue using your pliers to hold the eyelet end... push it into the hole in the candy and pump it gently to ensure that the glue is deep inside the opening. Lay to dry overnight on the wax paper.
When the epoxy is set, I use my pliers to gently test each charm to ensure that the eyelet is secure.
Now apply a finish coat of clear nail polish to the back of the charms and when dry to the touch, flip the charms and paint the front. You can add a fine dust of glitter to the finish coat when the nail polish is still wet but don't add too much or you will masque the phrase and too much glitter will rub off anyway. That's why I prefer nail polish with glitter already added... and hey, couldn't you mix that up if you wanted it? Let your charms cure for 24 hours before using them.
That's it. Add jump rings or split rings and your charms are ready to go! I ran some pretty ribbon through the links of my bracelets... because Sassy brought me an entire tray of this ribbon... an entire tray. You'll be seeing lots of it.
Have a warm and loving Valentine's Day... don't eat too much candy.