Quietfire Design's
Techniques Gallery


Making Charms without Soldering*
©2006-2008 Suzanne Cannon


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From the September 2006 byhand Newsletter

Option 1

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.

If 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!

Option 2

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!

Option 3

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 Flip 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.
(Previously 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 needs strength!)

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.

Here is one of the large Flip Top Frames in action.

There is a real little tiny starfish mounted between two pieces of Mica. The back piece of Mica was stamped on with StazOn ink and the the starfish was held in place with Perfect Paper Adhesive Gloss (recommended for use with Mica).


Option 4

Okay, 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 Transparencies as glass.

Since you can't fit a lot on the artwork, add the embellishments to the frame!

Option 5

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 glass, too.


 

 

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