How to Make a Cell Phone Charm (or zipper pull)

I don’t quite understand the appeal of dangling things hanging from your cellphone, but who am I to argue with trends? This tutorial will explain, as simply as possible, how to make your own cellphone charm.

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First, your supplies:

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My three favorite tools, Round Nose Pliers, Chain Nose Pliers and Cutting Pliers. If you don’t have these, you can make do with a small pair of chain or needle nose pliers, a skewer and a really sharp pair of scissors. (Don’t borrow your mom’s/friend’s fabric scissors for this unless you wish for them to disown you.)

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Head pins and Cell Phone Lariats. You will only need one of each, but you will not be able to purchase just one. I recommend buying both in bulk as it will save you tons of money and you can always repackage them in smaller lots for friends who want to make their own charms. Ebay is a good bet for a deal, but I’ve actually found smaller packages in my local Wal-Mart.

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Crimp or decorative beads and your big bead for the charm. Here, I am using lampwork beads, because I find them to be unique and much more interesting that something that says “Juicy” or some such pop culture nonsense.

Onwards to putting this simple little charm together.

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Start your charm by settling a small crimp or decorative bead on your head pin so the larger beads don’t go sliding off. This is an important step as nothing is more frustrating than hearing the clatter of your beads coming off of your project and then having to search the floor for them.

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Continue placing your beads. I’ve chosen the froggy here because he’s cute, darn it. I like my charms to be symetrical, so I’ve ended with the same pattern of smaller, decorative beads that I started with. I recommend keeping your charm shorter than 3/4″ as well, because you will have to form the wire loop to hang it on your lariat, and you don’t want a charm that is larger than the cell phone it is attached to.

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Take your cutting pliers (or scissors) and clip off the excess pin. You will want to leave around 1/2″ (more if you are unsure of your wire shaping skill) . It’s much easier to trim later if you have too much than it is to redo the entire charm on a new pin because you left too little.

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Form the remaining pin into a 1/4″ loop on your round nose pliers. This may take a bit of practice, especially if you are are using a skewer and chain nose pliers rather than the round pliers. When you have formed the loop, apply a little force in the opposite direction to make the loop form a straight line with the head of the pin.

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Getting the charm on the lariat is the same as threading anything onto a keyring. You will probably need the chain nose pliers to give you a hand unless you want to completely destroy your fingernails in the process.

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The beading process for making a zipper pull is the same, you will just attach the charm to the lariat slightly differently. Start by stringing the loop of the charm onto the thread of the lariat.

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Then slip the metal of the metal part of the lariat through the loop at the end.

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Then simple pull the light taut. Attach the ring to your zipper and you’ve got a zipper pull.

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