Introduction: Charm Bracelet Jewellery Design - Emma

Picture of Charm Bracelet Jewellery Design - Emma

I decided to make a charm bracelet, to raise awareness for children who don't have access to education and I decided to put school related things on my charm bracelet as my charms. My charms are a book, a Save The Children logo (this organization is trying to give every child around the world access to an education), a graduation hat, a heart with the word education written on it so that people understand my charm bracelet is on education and lastly a young girl because my target audience is little girls. I am creating this charm bracelet as my design project and here are the steps I took to create my charm bracelet. Enjoy!!!

Step 1: My Plan

Picture of My Plan

These are the steps I am going to take to create my charm bracelet on children education.

  1. Create your charms on 2D cad (think of what level you want everything, and if you want to cold enamel it think of the filling and you need to have a contour if you want to cold enamel it) (very small and specific detail you should laser engrave on your pewter casted charm because if you pewter cast your detail it will not be as neat or professional)
  2. Check the sizes of your charms and make sure they are the size you want them and that they are all around the same size (I made mine all around 1.5 - 2 cm width and length but for example, for the pencils, I made them 2cm height and 0.5cm length)
  3. Take the measurements of the modeling foam to make sure that your charms will fit on it
  4. Use the milling machine to mill your 2D cad file with your charms (chose the cut which will be best for your charms, I am going to do the V cut)
  5. After it has been milled add the well and the runner to your modeling foam with your charms on it
  6. Take another piece of modeling foam which is the same size as your piece of modeling foam and put those two pieces of modeling foam together by using elastics but make sure that the design of your charms is on the inside so you cant see it.
  7. Then use the pewter casting machine to pewter cast it (filling your well with melted pewter) wait 10 mins so that your pewter can dry.
  8. Take your elastics off and using clampers take off the well and runner and the extra bits of pewter attached to your charms
  9. Then sand out your charms
  10. Laser engrave the detail you want on your charms
  11. Add cold enamel to the charms you want to be cold enameled
  12. Pick a loop to put on your charms and put it through the hole and then seal (soldering)

Step 2: Design Your Charms on 2D Design

Picture of Design Your Charms on 2D Design

These are my 6 charms that I created on 2D cad. I took some images from the internet like for the image of the girl and the Save the Children logo I took those from the internet but I had to tweak them because the girl's hair was too detailed and I didn't like the shape of her hair so I changed it and the Save the Children logo was all deformed, the image was such bad quality so I had to edit the Save the Children logo a lot. I then decided the depth of my charms, as you can see the book has this salmon color fill that is because I want the lines on the book to stand out and then the salmon bit to be filled with pewter but not to stand out. I checked the size of all my charms and I made them all around 1.5 cm - 2cm apart from the pencils, I made the pencil 2cm high and 0.5 cm long. Make sure that all your charms are around the same size if not your charm bracelet will look strange and unprofessional.

Step 3: Milling

Picture of Milling

Then you add your 2D cad fill on a copy of the modeling foam on 2D design and you need to position them in a way so that the pewter flows through all the small parts of your charm bracelet and all the details. Then mill your 2D cad file, I milled them all together so I had to get the measurements of the modeling foam to make sure that they all fit on it. I milled it with the v cut. It will take about 15 mins to mill your design.

Step 4: The Well and Runner

Picture of The Well and Runner

Then using the dremel create a well and a runner and then using the xacto knife cut a few lines going from the outside of the modeling foam into the charms. Make sure that all the charm are attached to the well so that they all get pewter.

Step 5:

Step 6: Pewter Cast

Picture of Pewter Cast

I then put together my modeling foam with my charms on it and another modeling foam the same size and mine and I stuck them together by using elastics and then I put it in the pewter casting machine. Then you wait until the pewter has filled up all your charms and it is about to overflow out of the modeling foam stop adding the melted pewter and put it on a rack for 10 mins so that it will have time to harden. After 10mins take off the elastics and take your pewter cast designs out of your modeling foam, separate them by using the side cutters so that you don't have any extra pewter on your charms but be very careful not to bend your design because it will still be hot. Whilst I was taking off the extra metal on my charm bracelets I broke 2 and when I pewter cast it the writing on the logo and the heart was unreadable and it ruined my whole design, the pencils also looked really untidy and I also noticed that my charms didn't have a hole for the charm bracelet chain so I decided to modify my design (improve it). I changed my 2D cad file and used my pewter cast design as a prototype, I had to change my original plan because in my plan I was only supposed to mill something once and pewter cast it once but after I pewter cast it I realized several things didn't work so I had to change them for example for the writing I decided to laser engrave it and not to pewter cast it because pewter cast it looked messy and unprofessional.

SAFETY
BE CAREFUL BECAUSE THE PEWTER IS HOT

BE CAREFUL WEAR GLOVES

BE CAREFUL AND DONT GET THE PEWTER ON THE ELASTIC BANDS BECAUSE THEY WILL SNAP AND THEN ALL THE PEWTER IN THE MODELING FOAM WILL SPILL EVERYWHERE AND YOU WILL GET BURNED

WEAR AN APRON

Step 7: My Second 2D Cad File

Picture of My Second 2D Cad File

This is my second 2D cad file I made several changes (improvements) to my charms, I added holes to the charms, I filled the heart so that could laser engrave the writing and so that I could cold enamel it, I decided to laser engrave the detail on the pencils because when I pewter cast it, it looked really messy and you couldn't even tell what it was. I made them the same size as my prototype was because I was happy with their size when they were pewter cast.

Step 8: Adding My Modified Charms on the Modelling Foam

Picture of Adding My Modified Charms on the Modelling Foam

On my 2D cad file, I recreated the modeling foam and I added my charms on it, I had to position them in a way so that the pewter would flow into all the little lines and curves of my charms.

Step 9: Milling It

Picture of Milling It

I then milled it, I used the v cut to mill my charms since that is what I used the first time I milled it and I liked how it turned out. It took a little longer to mill than last time, it took about 15-20mins.

Step 10: Well and Runner

Picture of Well and Runner

I then added the wells and runners like last time, but I made them a little bit smaller because last time they were so big that it was so hard to get them off the charms since they were so thick whilst my charms were very thin. The first time I tried to take the extra pieces of pewter off my charms I broke one of them. Make sure that all the charms are connected to the well because if not it will not get any pewter.

Step 11: Pewter Casting It

Picture of Pewter Casting It

I then pewter cast it exactly the same way I did the first time.

SAFETY

BE CAREFUL BECAUSE THE PEWTER IS HOT

BE CAREFUL WEAR GLOVES

BE CAREFUL AND DONT GET THE PEWTER ON THE ELASTIC BANDS BECAUSE THEY WILL SNAP AND THEN ALL THE PEWTER IN THE MODELING FOAM WILL SPILL EVERYWHERE AND YOU WILL GET BURNED

WEAR AN APRON

Step 12: Sand Your Charms

Picture of Sand Your Charms

I had to change my plan because I couldn't smooth my charms because if not I would lose all the detail and the layers and I realized that my charms looked more professional without being sanded so I had to change my plan to make my charms look more professional and desirable. If you don't have detail on your charms and you really think that they will look more desirable and professional if you sand them, take your charms and blu tack put the blue tack on the back of your charms, hold onto the blu tack and press your charms one at the time on the wheel and then when you think it's shiny and smooth enough take it off. Then do that to all your other charms, just don't sand it too much because if not it will be too thin and too fragile and it will break really easily.

Step 13:

Step 14: Filing Your Charms

Picture of Filing Your Charms

After you have pewter cast your charms, take off all the extra pewter by using then filers and smooth out the pointy edges so that they aren't as sharp meaning they will be more comfortable for the client.

Step 15: Laser Engraving the Writing

Picture of Laser Engraving the Writing

My pencil and save the children logo were too thin so I couldn't laser engrave on them so I had to change my plan and only laser engrave on the heart. I tried laser engraving the word education on my heart but because of a technical difficulty, it wouldn't show.

Step 16: Drilling Holes

Picture of Drilling Holes

Take a mill according to what size you want your holes to be I used the 1.5 mill but you can use whichever one you want and put your mill in your milling machine. Put a block of wood under the mill and take your charms and one by one put them on the block of wood and slowly bring the mill down until it drills through your charm, (you can choose where you want to mill the hole I did it close to the top).

BE CAREFUL DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGERS CLOSE TO THE MILL BECAUSE IF NOT YOU WILL GET HURT

WEAR GOGGLES FOR THIS STEP

Step 17: Adding Loops

Picture of Adding Loops

Get thin nose pliers and chose a loop, I chose the same type and size loop for all six of my charms because I wanted them to be the same. I also only put one loop on my charms. I bent the loops with my thin nose pliers put the loop inside the hole on one of your charms and then add a sort of clip thing so that you can clip it onto whatever bracelet you want them on. Then repeat this for all your charms but don't attach them to your bracelet yet because you need to solder them to make sure that with time they don't fall off.

Step 18: Soldering It

Picture of Soldering It

Solder your loops to make sure that with time your charms dont fall of and that the loop doesn't open. You first take the sponge and wet it then you take the metal wire and press it on the hot pencil-like object then you put it on the opening of your loop and keep it on there for 6 seconds and then take it off so that your charm's loop is sealed. Then do that with all of your charms, until you are satisfied.

Step 19: Cold Enamelling

Picture of Cold Enamelling

I had to change my plan because I didn't have enough time to cold enamel my charms but you can!

Step 20: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

Here is a picture of my final product, the final step is to wear it!!!

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