Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Using jewelery charms in miniature settings

Me again.

Megan at Modern Mini Homes asked me how I removed the links from full scale jewelery charms so that they could be used in miniature scenes (like the ones pictured below)

So you imagine (like in the bus charm above) that you have a jump ring soldered somewhere onto a charm and you want to remove it so that it looks like a miniature ornament.
It's really simple. I'm going to use the St Christopher pendant (below), simply because it's the only solid silver thing I have to hand.

You need to use solid metal charms. Plated items don't work...or at least it does work but you will be able to see the base metal underneath when you have removed the jump ring.

Use a pair of side cutters to snip the 'loop' from the charm. Cut as close as you can without actually damaging the charm.

Then use a needle file to file away any part of the loop remaining. Again, don't file so hard that you damage the charm.
At this point I have to say, use a file shaped for the job. In this example I'm filing against a straight edge so I'm using a flat faced file. If your charm is rounded, triangular, concave etc, use the shape of file that matches that profile. You can buy needle files (normally in a set) from any good jewelery making store.

File one direction. The fine teeth on these files are machined in a way that they only remove material in one direction. You can check by running your finger tip against the file. In one direction the file will feel rough and your finger will 'drag'. In the other direction, your finger will more or less glide over the surface.
When you're a gnats pecker distance from the surface of your charm it's time to get out the sanding paper

I use Tamiya P2000 finishing paper. This paper can remove tiny scratches in acrylic so it will polish the charm to a super smooth finish. Sand the charm with this paper until you have removed every scratch made by the file. Then, wet the paper under the tap (faucet) and polish again. Believe it or not, this actually helps to polish the metal to a very high standard

If you want to get a super shiny, professional finish you can apply polishing compound with a rotary buffer

This is the buffing attachment from my dremmel tool.

All done. By now your charms should glisten like sparkly things =0) Hope this helped Megan =0*

Oh, before I go I would like to thank Jazzi for the lovely giveaway prize I received today. I hadn't realized that I had entered a giveaway but Jazzi thoughtfully included me since I was a follower. I received this 'cute-as-a-button' set of mini cutlery in the post. Even has my name on it =0)

Thank you Jazzi, you're very kind

Okay, I'm off to do chores *blewth* and getting together a night bag for my trip to the Miniatura Show this weekend. Give me a holla and a wave if you're there. I'll be the one dragging a disgruntled bloke behind me. If you see him and he's mumbling about missing the football match, ignore him. He does that...often *grins*


  1. Glad you received your gift ok! Nail technicians file tools are good for mini work too. Hugz Jazzi x

    1. I did, thank you Jazzi.

      Yup, nail files work well. I'm all for utilising things you already have around the home

  2. Files:you never have enough of files ;) Thanks for sharing the tip. Hugs, Ilona

    1.'re right. I think I have three complete sets stashed away in various drawers. Thanks Ilona =0)

  3. THANK YOU!!! So very much appreciated!! Have a blast at the show. Can't wait to see your spoils. :D

  4. *giggles when imagines surly bloke hanging around you*

    at least minis don't weigh much....unless.....

    ...well if they do you've got muscle! :E XD have fun! ^ ^


  5. Gracias por tus explicaciones.
    Espero que disfrutes de un genial feria.
    besitos ascension