Charm bracelets have come back in fashion and are used for recognition through the STUDIO 2B program for older girls. Should your girls like to make charms for a bracelet of their own, check out the below ideas shared by WAGGGS-List leaders and compiled by Theresa who is a Cad/Sr Advisor in Utah*. After making a bracelet for themselves, girls might like to make a matching bracelet for their mother as a Mothersı Day gift. As you read through the below ideas, keep in mind too that many of the suggested charms could easily be adapted to make a unique SWAP!
simple charms from Shrinky-Dink plastic. Cut out a trefoil shape and use
a Dremel tool to put a hole in the top of the trefoil before baking.
After they cool, use a gold paint pen to color them and put a jump ring
through the hole.
Trace the Girl Scout Ways Try It onto Shrinky-Dink plastic, color it, cut it out, then use a paper punch to make a hole on the top. Do the same with mini versions of the girls' badges.
You can shrink special plastic that you've run through your color printer. (The regular Shrinky-Dink plastic DOES NOT hold printer ink.) This is great for making keychains, swaps, etc. I used graphics of the cookies last year and made necklaces for our cookie coordinators as a sort of gag gift. Two brands are Avery and Transfer Magic (see links below)
You can use something like the oven curing craft clay to make tiny trefoil beads or round flat beads. Depending on your and the girls skills, the beads can have a design on them, or be plain.
Make tiny trefoils out of Fimo clay and poke a hole in it before baking to add a jump ring later. The glittery gold clay turned out pretty. Shaping those can be a bit of a hassle. Inexpensive charm, but girl-labor involved.
If you have antique stores around, you may want to check for old type faces, I have a couple that have the official Girl Scout Trefoil (eagle) in different sizes. A Cadette troop I had in Germany (NAGS) made swaps for their trip to Our Chalet, stamping clay with the engraved type faces. (could also make an impression using the traditional GS membership pin)
Many craft stores have four leaf clover designs around St. Patrickıs Day. Cut the fourth leaf off so that the clover resembles a triangle -- instant shape of the Girl Scouts of America Trefoil. Remove the fourth leaf altogether and a darn near resemblance to the WAGGGS trefoil.
Download a good image of the trefoil, and using a graphics program, copy the mini-images to fill-up a page. Keep the size of the repeating image 1/2 inch or smaller. Print it out and glue a couple layers of paper to make a paper bead.
Look for inexpensive charms at the bead stores rather than the charm stores. The charm stores run a lot more. The bead stores sell charms as part of their jewelry makings. They also do not come with a ring so you will need to either buy rings (fairly cheap) or clasps (more of course).
Make a cute 3-bead angle charm.
Making Friends has I-Heart-GS beads, I-Heart-GS beads, and I-Heart-GS Bracelet Kits
GS letter beads & colored beads in film canisters with embroidery thread
(or elastic string) as make-your-own-bracelet kits.
A prayer box bracelet or necklace is another idea that your girls might be interested in. By writing a short prayer and slipping this into a mini charm box, you can keep the prayer in your thoughts all day. Girls might like to choose a patriotic theme by adding red, white and blue colored beads to their piece and insert a special prayer for our military troops overseas.
Ideas for bracelet designs are available at The Prayer Box website. If a prayer box charm is not available at your local Michaels or JoAnn craft stores, check Shipwreck Beads for an inexpensive option (type in "prayer box" in search block), or for sterling silver charms check: The Prayer Box or Cuddle Babies.
Donna, a leader in California, shares that her ³daughter has ordered lots of charms from Blue Mud and they are great for the price. She has also had all of them soldered on her silver charm bracelet.² Soldering is the best way to secure the charm permanently, but the cost runs around $5 each (more than the charm). A less expensive option would be to replace the jump ring on the charm with a split ring (designed like a key chain) to attach the charms. This would keep the charm secure while allowing you the option of moving it in the future. Split rings in various sizes are available at Blue Mud or can be found at your local crafts store in the jewelry section.
Bracelets With Meaning
A bracelet making activity with symbolic beads can reinforce many program themes. The below selection of activities was shared by Karen in Texas:
· Circles of the Earth Bracelet (pdf)
³Consider the humble paper clip: Itıs just a thin piece of steel wire bent into a double-oval shape, but over the past century, no one has invented a better method of holding loose sheets of paper together.² Your girls might enjoy some of the below paper clip art; then, just for fun, brainstorm all the uses for these little metal wonders (check the 101 Uses to get started).
GS Program Links
Making charms could be tied to: Art to Wear try-it, Art to Wear badge, Jeweler badge or Just Jewelry IP.
* Note - I unfortunately do not have a listing of all the leaders who submitted ideas for the charm compilation. Our thanks to all for sharing!
Updated April 2009