It’s no question that bag charms are the playful accessory du jour. Fendi’s furry monsters may have started it all, but the trend has spread to include everything from the now-ubiquitous and relatively plain furry pompom to the meta mini bag bag charm and the playful cocktail-themed bag charm from none other than kate spade.
As I’ve already amassed a significant stockpile of plain fur bag charms, I thought it was about time I started dipping into the kookier creations. So when I spotted these colorful dinosaur-tassel bag charms by Lenora Dame, I knew they was the perfect candidate for the DIY Discount. The original bag charms cost $5o each, but I was able to make them for around $10 each—plus I got to customize them to my preferences (hello Iowa-inspired pig figure).
For this project, you’ll need the following:
• two gold key rings
• two big lobster claw clasps (I used these in gold)
• two gold eye pins
• faceted glass accent beads
• four jump rings
• a small drill like a Dremel or a pin vise
• two small plastic animals (I used a dinosaur and a pig, but you can use whatever strikes your fancy)
• two skeins of embroidery thread
• two teardrop crystals
• two strands of crystal cup chain
• neon spray paint or model paint
• super glue
1. Start by drilling a small hole through the top of your animal with a very small drill bit. I used a manual pin vise, but a small rotary tool like a Dremel would make this task a breeze. Once the hole was drilled, I stuck a spare nail through the hole to keep if from closing up and to give myself something to hold while I was painting the animal.
2. Paint your animal figurine with one or two coats of neon paint. You can also leave your animal unpainted, if you prefer that look—totally up to you.
3. While your animal is drying, make a tassel using the method outlined here. You’ll want to use a whole skein of embroidery thread for the tassel, and be sure to comb through the ends once it’s assembled so looks nice and full. Attach a large jump ring to the top of the tassel.
4. Using a small jump ring, attach a teardrop crystal to the front of the tassel by theading it through the strands that are wrapped around the top of the tassel.
5. Once your animal is dry, it’s time to attach the crystal cup chain. Cut two lengths of cup chain that are long enough to span the back of your animal. If your little dude has spikes like my dinosaur, simply cut the chain into four pieces and attached two to each side rather than draping it across the back. Use super glue to secure the crystal chain.
6. Finally, we assemble the keychain. Attach the circular end of the eye pin to the jump ring you secured to the top of your tassel. Add one glass bead, the animal and another glass bead to the eye pin and close it with a loop. Attach the key ring to the eye pin and the lobster clasp to the key ring.
7. Use your playful new accessory to add color to you car keys or your handbag. Or do like I did and clip it onto your dog’s collar so she looks extra fancy. The possibilities really are endless.