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Tips on Composing Your Italian Charm Bracelet

Let your imagination go wild when composing your Italian charm bracelet. Here's some ideas for your special Italian charm bracelet.

My Life Italian Charm Bracelet: Put your first name, nickname, three initials, or just your first initial. Add your birthstone, zodiac star sign, country flag of ethnicity or nationality, Chinese zodiac sign, and then charms to represent your profession or job, favorite sports, hobbies, or interests. Add charms to represent your family members (their initials, birthstones or favorite hobbies or activities), pets, or a memorable trip abroad (like that honeymoon trip or Grand European adventure). HOT TIP: When looking for a particular birthstone, type "[month e.g. "January"] birthstone" in the SEARCH box. It will pull up many stones and CZ stones in the birthstone color for you to consider.

Mom, Aunt, Sister, Grandma or Godmom Italian Charm Bracelet: After putting "MOM", "GRANDMA", "AUNT", "GODMOM", or "NANA", add a Photo Charm with an actual photo of a beloved family member or friend, the birthstones, zodiac signs, first initial of each child or grandchild, or each person's favorite activity, profession, or sport. You can also put "BEST MOM", "#1 MOM", "Super Mom", and "Soccer Mom." And don't forget an "I Love You Mom" charm. Or, what really looks super are the birthstones of the family placed every other charm against a matte base bracelet.

Trips of My Life Italian Charm Bracelet: Feature on your Italian charm bracelet all the colorful country flags of the countries you have visited in your lifetime. See the Flag section for country flags, and the Travel section for landmark charms (e.g. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Seattle Space Needle, Golden Gate Bridge). If there are no country flags available for a particular country, use indigenous animals to represent the country (e.g. kangaroo for Australia, camel for Middle East, panda for China). Add a globe, airplane, world map, and luggage charms to represent a world traveler. Add a Photo Charm of you at a memorable site (the Eiffel Tower, a pyramid, a pagoda) to remember a trip.

Earthshaking News Italian Charm Bracelet: Give your fiance something to remember by composing an Italian charm bracelet that says "MARRY ME" with wedding bells, Cupid, red heart with an arrow, Love, and a bride charms. Announce your pregnancy by composing a bracelet for your mom that says "GRANDMA" and shows a baby carriage, pacifier, baby booties, or baby block. She'll never forget it!

Patriotic Italian Charm Bracelet: Express your support for your country with a US traditional, heart or map flag, red/white/blue stars or hearts, Uncle Sam hat, Statue of Liberty, USA, or other patriotic theme charms from our Flags or Patriotic section.

Sports Italian Charm Bracelet: Make your Italian charm bracelet a homage to your favorite sports team. Start with a professional sports in the Sports Logo area or a college logo charm for your favorite college team in the College Days theme area. Then search the Sports theme area for more charms like footballs, basketballs, baseballs, gymnastics, volleyball, crew, hockey and more. We have created 49er football and Giants baseball bracelets for customers who are avid (read "rabid") fans. Example: "GO GIANTS" in black letters, surrounded by black and orange oval stones, with these charms: SF giants sports logo charm, baseball diamond, Giants cap/bat/ball, baseball, puffy gold baseball hat, hotdog, beer mug, seal (team mascot Lou Seal), cactus (for Scottsdale, the Spring Training site), sunglasses, and a sailboat (for McCovey Cove). Example: 49er sports logo charm, Garcia player charm, "49er", "Go 49er" charm, brown football, red helmet, hotdog, beer, red cheerleader, red megaphone, and a Golden Gate bridge.

I Love My Pet Italian Charm bracelet: We have put together many bracelets dedicated to a beloved pet. For a favorite pooch, put on the pet's name, a dog breed charm, dogbone, fire hydrant, dog paw, and a heart. We carry many cats, bunnies, lizards, geckos, birds, and even armadillos!

Nautical Flag Italian Charm Bracelet: Spell out your or your boat's name in marine flag Italian charms, and add a sailboat, anchor, ship's wheel, compass, sun, moon, star, marine knot, or sea creatures like dolphins, whales, or sharks. The nautical flags are so colorful that these bracelets are fabulous conversation pieces.

Beach Party Italian Charm Bracelet: Create a sunny beach party on your wrist with a bikini, sunglasses, palm tree, beach umbrella, beach ball, martini or margarita, volleyball, surfer, windsurfer, sailboat, and sea creatures charms like bright tropical fish, clamshell, starfish, seahorse, octopus, shark, or a whale. Look in Ocean and Beach, Animal and Girlie theme areas.

Safari Italian Charm Bracelet: Create a safari Italian charm bracelet with lions, tigers, rhinos, monkeys, snakes, elephants, hippos, hippos, and parrots on your bracelet. You will find animals in the Animals and Chinese Zodiac areas, and birds in the Flying Creatures area. We also carry animal print charms in the Fantasy Link area, such as tiger, zebra, and leopard prints.

Racing Italian Charm Bracelet: Create an Italian charm bracelet for a race fan with "RACEGIRL" in black letters on a checkerboard base bracelet, a race car, black and white race flags, sunglasses, champagne bottle and moneybag!

Color Themed Italian Charm Bracelet: Purple or pink your passion? Many of our customers build color-themed Italian charm bracelets. Think pink! Rally for red! Are you bully for blue? Show your patriotic pride with red white and blue! Black and white is tres chic! These bracelets are color-coordinated with your outfit, of course. It is very effective to place stones, CZs in the color (or Fantasy Links) every three charms.

Holiday Theme Charm Bracelet: Love the festive air of the holidays? Our customers have created cheery holiday theme bracelets that said "CHRISTMAS", "MERRY" or "HO HO HO" and featured all Christmas theme charms on it -- Santas, candy canes, snowmen, ornaments, Christmas bear, Santa hats, candle, holly, Joy, Cheer, wreath, etc. Look in our Holiday theme area. Another built a bracelet with a charm for each holiday per month: New Year's = champagne bottle, Valentine's Day = Cupid or heart with arrow, President's Day = White House, St. Patrick's Day = shamrock or leprechaun hat, Columbus Day = Mayflower ships, Easter = Easter egg or bunny, Memorial Day = US heart flag, soldier, or US Flag with "Veteran"; 4th of July = 4th of July charm or firecracker, Labor Day = hammer or tools, Halloween = jack o'lantern or witch hat or cauldron, Thanksgiving = turkey, and Christmas = Santa. See our Holiday Theme area for more creative ideas.

Disney Mania Italian Charm Bracelet! The Walt Disney Collection charms are perfect for gung ho Disney fans to create Italian charm bracelets with Winnie the Pooh and his Hundred Acre Woods gang, Mickey Mouse and his gang, the darling Princess line charms, and hip characters like Kim Possible, The Incredibles, Buzz Lightyear, not to mention the lovely script Disney font gold alphabet. Perfect gift for a child or the perennial young at heart! See the Disney theme area for ideas. Disney keeps releasing more and more great Italian charms every month!

Sorority Italian Charm Bracelet: Our customers who are sorority members or relatives of sorority members often purchase their sorority Italian charm (See Greek Life theme section) or the gold greek letters of the sorority name, the year of initiation, Big Sis, Lil Sis, SIS, and the sorority's symbol or flower. Here are some sorority symbols and flowers: Delta Gamma - anchor and cream-colored (use white) rose; Alpha Delta Pi - lion; Gamma Phi Beta - crescent moon and pink carnation; Tri Delta - pansy and dolphin; Kappa Kappa Gamma - old fashioned gold key, fleur-de-lis; Sigma Kappa - dove, heart, and violet; Chi Omega - owl, white carnation, skull and crossbones; Alpha Chi Omega - red carnation, lyre.

FAQs

How Do I Attach the Links for My Bracelet?

No special tools are required to learn to attach your new charm links to your base bracelet or existing bracelet links. Each link has a spring loaded clasp mechanism inside the charm. Use your thumb to push towards the left on the front right side of the link (which will slide open the clasp). This clasp hooks into the opening on the right side of the second link (use your thumb to push towards the left on the front right side of this second link to better expose the opening). Hook the two links together at a 45 degree angle. The springs inside each link come together into a closed position, locking them together.

Italian Charm Newbies: We Can Help You Build the Bracelet!

If you are an Italian charm newbie, please don't be shy about asking us to assemble the bracelet for you! When you order a base bracelet and charms from Carina, use our "Building Instructions" field in the order form to tell us to assemble the bracelet for you, the length of the bracelet (see Sizing Tips), and in what order you want your charms. It is part of our service with a smile!

Carina Answers Your Most Frequently Asked Questions About Italian Charm Bracelets

Question: How do the Italian charm links attach and detach to each other? Will I be able to attach Italian charms by myself?

While it may look puzzling at first, Italian charms can be easily put together and taken apart by anyone with a little know-how and practice. Each link has a spring loaded mechanism, with a hooking side on the left and a side with a hole that accepts the hook to the right. Use your thumb to push on the top right side of a link to slide open the clasp, and once the hook is exposed, hook the link onto another charm's hole to the left. The springs inside the link come together into a closed position, locking them together.

Note that if you are new to charms, Carina is happy to assemble your bracelet for free. In the Build Instructions part of the order form, tell us to build the bracelet, give us the order in which you want the charms, and the total length of the bracelet desired. It is part of Carina's service with a smile!

Question: What are the latest trends in Italian charms?

1. Handpainted Italian charms by artists. These are Italian charms that are handpainted by an artist. Each charm is carefully handpainted in layers using enamel paint and very tiny brushes, baked between coats, and then coated 2-3 times with a clear coat to protect the enamel artwork. The final result is a detailed work of art! CarinaCharms has four talented California artists producing unique charms for us. We are thrilled to have Mahgie Murphy, Loraine LeBlanc, Shani Yokoyama, Marina Bichinsky and Marina Apostolova working with Carina. Look for their works in the Art Gallery, posting daily.

2. Laser links. These Italian-style charms are matte base links that have had words, symbols or designs laser engraved on their surface here in the United States. The image or word is a very dark grey, and does not wear off. The laser charms are very detailed and readable, and often are uniquely local or regional in theme. Laser links began to be made in the US to meet a need for quickly made charms with local or regional themes. An Italian-made 18 kt. gold charm typically takes 4-9 months to be designed and produced in large quantities of 200-500 pieces, whereas a laser charm can be designed and made in a day. The most popular laser links are school or organization names, sassy phrases and unusual pet breeds. Ask Carina about custom laser charms for your group.

3. Licensed characters. We have seen a boom in licensed characters hitting the Italian charm scene. The impressive Walt Disney Collection had a huge impact on the Italian charm scene when introduced in August 2002. Now you can find many of your favorite characters in Italian charms, including The Simpsons, Madeline, Cathy, the Beatles, Tom and Jerry, Betty Boop, Looney Tunes, Garfield, Peanuts, Spongebob Squarepants, Popeye, Mr. Magoo, Candyland, Monopoly, Curious George, Grateful Dead, Chilly Willy, Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, Hello Kitty, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Blues Clues, Dora Explorer, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, the Muppets, Sesame Street, and more. Watch What's New for daily announcements of more licensed charm news.

4. Photo style charms. New to the scene are photo charms, either of particular landmarks, dog and cat breeds, or even personalized photos of actual persons. We have seen varying quality of these photo charm products so buy carefully.

5. Megalinks. New to charms in 2004 are "megalinks" which are oversize Italian charm links that hold two medium charm bracelets.

Questions: What size is my Italian charm bracelet? What is a "medium" size bracelet versus a "big" size charm bracelet? Italian charm bracelets come in various sizes: medium, big, mini and micro. The most popular size in the U.S. is the "medium" (or "classico" in Italian) size, which is 3/8 of an inch wide or 9 millimeters (mm). 90% of all bracelets sold in America are in the medium or 9 mm. size. All our medium charms are compatible with any medium size base bracelet, no matter what manufacturer.

Carina carries the hard to find "Big" or Large size Italian charms which are 5/8 of an inch wide, or 13 mm. The Big size charms are worn by men and women preferring a bolder look. Carina always tells you the size of the charm in the detailed description (click 'More Info' or the charm title if you are viewing the thumbnail view to see the detailed information about each charm). Also, all "Big" size charms are clearly labelled "Big" in the beginning of the charm title. The Big size charms are the same length as the medium charms so the Charm Sizing tips apply to both Big and medium charms.

The anklets we stock are made of "micro" size charms. They are very skinny 4 mm. charms. Carinacharms does not stock the "mini" size charms, which are 6 mm. Mini size charms are wider than the micro charms but skinnier than the medium charms.

Question: I am overwhelmed by the thousands of Italian charms offered at CarinaCharms.com. I've been at the computer for hours! How can I look for a specific charm faster (and maybe work in a potty break)?! With over 5,000 Italian charms, CarinaCharm's selection can be overwhelming. First, think about what type of charm you are looking for. Then jot down the best keywords to find that charm theme. Second, discover our SEARCH function found in the upper right side of each website page. In the SEARCH box, type in what you are looking for, e.g. "white poodle", and then hit the SEARCH button. This will search every item description for those words. If you come up with too many items, try clicking on the word "Advanced" under SEARCH. In the top "SEARCH BY FIELD" line, type in "white poodle" in the SEARCH FOR field and make sure it says "TITLE" on the right. Hit SEARCH, and this will search only the TITLE (and not the full description) of each item. Be sure to scroll down when you get your results of the search to see all items found.

Alternatively, if you know what general category of Italian charm you want (e.g. Dogs and Cats), go to our CHARM homepage (click on ITALIAN CHARMS link on the homepage). You will see dozens of Italian charm categories on that page. If you click on a category, e.g. "Dogs and Cats", it pulls up the thumbnail photos of all the charms in that category for you to view. Scroll down to see them all. There may be more than one page shown at the bottom of the first page; if so, so click on "Next" to see the next page of search results. Click on the charm title or photo to get more information about that Italian charm (e.g. meaning of symbol, where it was made, color). Once you found a great charm design, search that charm's keyword to see if other artistic versions of that charm design are available from other manufacturers. Finally, don't hesitate to call Carina's friendly and knowledgeable staff if you are looking for a specific charm or have a question. Our phone number is 1-415-753-2274 and we are open Monday to Fridays.

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