Charms without Soldering*
©2006-2008 Suzanne Cannon
*links go to www.quietfiredesign.ca
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From the September 2006 byhand Newsletter
The classic method for making a charm is by sandwiching a collage
or image between glass, wrapping the "sandwich" together
with copper tape, and then using stained glass solder to finish. Don't
forget to solder in a jump ring for hanging.
This technique is perfected by Sally
Jean Alexander, so I won't even show you mine. I made one before
I took a class with Sally Jean and, well, it's just too embarrassing
to bring it out in public! If you ever get to take a class with Sally
Jean, run to sign up.
Here is her new book, Pretty Little Things, which is now available.
I don't know if she tells you her soldering methods, as my copy is
still on its way! Here are the Amazon links.
you can't get to one of Sally Jean's classes, I highly recommend you
take a class with someone who knows how to solder. It'll save you
a lot of time and aggravation!
Here is the Easy Peasey version of a charm.
Take two Microscope
Slides and sandwich a transparency or other artwork
between the slides. Edge the charm with
3/8" Copper Tape. To add a hanger to the charm,
use a Leaf
Bail bent over the top and glue it on with E6000
(which will make a neater job than the one I did on the charm
above!!). I always apply my E6000 with my handy dandy Spatula,
which wipes clean after gluing!
I just love this charm and wear it a lot. (It's
my Mom as a little girl in the photo) This is one of the smaller
Top Frames onto which I have jewellery-soldered a pair
of the Wing
Charms. Using E6000
glue, I glued the frame shut and added the "A"
Alphabet Charm. There is a loop at the tops of these
frames, but it wasn't large enough for the Chain
to pass through, so I used a Brass
Split Ring to attach the charm to the chain.
I had used a brass jump ring for this job, but the jump ring
opened up and the charm fell off - not great! The
Jump Rings I carry now seem to be more tempered and
not so susceptible to opening under pressure - but since I didn't
want to lose my charm, I've opted for a Split
Ring! Beware of jump rings that are very soft! They
might be easy to work with, but don't put them on anything that
You can have different artwork in each side
of these Flip Top Frames. They have a bit of depth, so you can
use 3D elements inside the frame. I use small pieces of Mica
for the "glass" and a small piece of bookboard to
fill the space in the middle, if necessary. (There is photo
of my Dad as a little boy on the back side of this charm.)
If you don't have any Mica to use as "glass"
for your frame, you can use Transparencies.
so you have a bunch of these Microscope
slides and you don't know what to do with them? Ranger
is now producing their Memory
Frames which are little metal frames which open easily
and allow you to pop in a transparency or flat piece of artwork.
There is already a jump ring attached so you don't even need
to think about that! What could be easier? Just note that you
can't have a lot of thick embellishments on your artwork, as
you can with the Flip
Top Frames. You can substitute Mica,
which is thinner than glass. This will allow you a bit more
room for bulkier artwork. If you don't have Mica, try using
Since you can't fit a lot on the artwork, add
the embellishments to the frame!
Well, if you're like me, you just can't resist
the classic square. This is another of Ranger's Memory
Frames - except they're square. They work just like
the rectangular, but you need the square