Attaching a charm or a dangle to a chain is quite easy if you have the right tools, and a bit of patience to go with it!
Charms have a tiny hole at the top, or sometimes on the side depending on the type of design it is. This hole is for you to slip a jump-ring through and then attach to the charm bracelet or necklace chain.
For this project you will need:
These often come in silver plate, gold plate, sterling silver, gold and gold-filled. You can also find titanium and brass jump-rings too. The sizes also vary but for a general small charm, a 6mm jump-ring is a good place to start. These are available in small packets at a local craft or bead store.
2) Flat-nose pliers.
A small pair of flat-nose pliers. You do not want anything bigger, such as the kind you might find in a toolbox! You will want a pair that fits comfortably into the palm of your hand and is not overly cumbersome to grip.
There are several types of charms; pewter, sterling silver, gold plate, gold-filled etc. If you are choosing a charm for a bracelet, try not to choose one that is too big as when you are typing or resting your arm, the charm can push or catch your skin causing a painful pinch. For a necklace you can chose a larger charm as you will want this to be your focal point.
With your jump-ring in one hand and your pliers in the other, gently pinch one side of the jump-ring with your pliers while holding the other side firmly between your thumb and forefinger. Gently push/twist the pliers to the right or towards you whatever is most comfortable to do. This should open the jump-ring up enough to slide it through the hole of the charm. Slip the hole of the charm over the jumpring so that it dangles on the jump-ring.
Taking your bracelet or necklace chain, find a hole in the chain that the jump-ring can slide through. Bear in mind that the finer the necklace or bracelet chain, the holes might also be a lot smaller and therefore will not take the size of the jump-ring. In this case, you may have to go with a smaller jump-ring (size 4mm or 5) For a charm bracelet or necklace, it is always best to start out with a chain that has good sized holes that a jump-ring can slide through. Slide the jump-ring through the particular hole in the chain where you want the charm to be. Hold onto the jump-ring and let the chain dangle next to the charm.
Again pinch one side of the jump-ring between your thumb and forefinger and grab the other side with the pliers. Using the pliers, gently pull the wire back so that it meets up with the other end of the jump-ring. There may be a slight gap. In this case, turn the pliers around so that they are set to squeeze the jump-ring from the other side. A gentle squeeze should push that little gap together. It will take some practice; if you push too hard you will end up with an 'oval' shaped jump-ring.
Dangles are attached in the very same way as above.
You can attach as many charms as you like this way. They are a great tradition as some charms have been handed down many generations. A good resource for charms is to look on the net. Shipwreck beads has a fine selection, as does Firemountain gems. Or stop by some antique shops if you want something with a bit of history and unique style. Charms also make great gifts when you want a 'little something' but nothing too over the top.