[The DIY Files] letterman charm bracelet, grown.

Like many of the 20-something American women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!


I remember making friendship bracelets, plastic lace lanyards, and stretchy bracelets from plastic letter beads when I was in elementary school. Its funny how the desire to personalize and hand-make things can appear at an early age, but as we grow older, personalization is something left to the upper crust; you know, with letterman jackets in high school and monogrammed towels and robes in the adult world. With the resurgence of personalization (i.e.  Jennifer Fisher’s gold letter pendants) and casual-wear being fashionable (via athletic-wear as luxurious), we have the perfect storm to bring a kid’s summer camp project to the adult-level. And for SUUUPER cheap, too.

Gettin’ those materials, yo:

  • 2+ types of chains (you can mix silver and gold and brass and shit, or keep it simple. ALSO, this way, you can add more chain and charms later on for layering madness!)
  • some plastic letter beads. I bought a package of 250 letter beads for $2 from Joanns. So YEAH.
  • jewelry pliers — round tip for curving the head pins, and cutting pliers.
  • 1 closure set (clasp + links)
  • 2 additional jump rings for the ends of the bracelet.
  • smaller 4mm jump rings for each letter you’ll be attaching. Don’t be a smartass and attempt to attach the pins directly. :grumble grumble:
  • flat head pins for each letter.
  • an idea of what you want your wrist to say, obviously.

pliers and pins, oh my.

collage 1

oh, and small jump rings. I learned that about halfway through the project, haha.

1. Measure the chains to be the length of your wrist, end to end. Subtract 0.5 in from the length to accommodate for the size of the closure clasp.


2. Attach the ends of the chains to a jump ring, then attach the clasps for closing to each end as well.

closures and ring things.

closures and ring things.

 3. Pick out your letters from the massive pile of letter beads…


yep, that would be me.


…or go the funny route.

3. Once your letters are picked out, pull the individual head pins through each letter.

4. Taking the cutting pliers, cut off to 1/4 inch of the head pin remaining from the letter bead.

collage 2

5. Using the round pliers, curve the pin to form a loop and make the bead into a charm.

6. Taking the smaller/4mm jump rings, open a single jump ring for each letter.

7. Measure out the letters and placement to your preference.


looks about right, right?

8. Begin attaching each charm to links on one of the chains that are going in the same direction, so the letters hang the same way.

9. …and you’re done!


quasi say whaaa.


they’re like little pills. on your wrist.

Now I remember why I had stacks and stacks of these bracelets. Easy to make AND addictive.

Oh, and I have ANOTHER letterman-inspired project coming this week. Promise, it won’t be jewelry but rather… something more artistic.

Now to get through the Monday-before-the-long-weekend… :grumble:grumble:



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