By Cathe Holden
I have several necklaces with my children’s and husband’s names incorporated into the pendants, but I didn’t have one with their likenesses. So I spent an afternoon in the craft cave and created my own tiny family charms. Here’s how I did it.
For a PDF of this tutorial, visit the build page on Make: Projects.


Miniature corked glass vials, new or vintage
Hole punch
Faux grass as used in scale models, or green craft felt
Super glue
Light blue ribbon, fabric, or paper
N scale model people
Eyehole head pins or tiny eyehole screws
Jump rings and a necklace chain

Notes: I used tiny corked watch part vials collected from flea markets that are plentiful on Depending on the size and information on the labels, you may choose to keep vials turned in the direction of their little labels or backwards, keeping the front clear.
My family figures came from the following N scale sets: Children, Fireman to the Rescue, and Pedestrians. Check your local hobby shop or find them online at Woodland Scenics. N scale model train people are 1:148 scale, the perfect size for tucking into the tiny vials. Depending on your peoples’ body positions, you may need to make adjustments. (I had to break and reposition my miniature husband’s arm.)


Step 1: Punch tiny rounds of faux model grass and lightly glue them to the bottoms of the vials.
Step 2: Adhere narrow cuts of blue seam binding ribbon to the inside backs of each vial to act as a backdrop of sky. Use a toothpick to help position and press into place.
Step 3: With a tiny amount of glue on the feet of each figure, tuck them into the grass inside each vial and hold them in position with a toothpick until set.
Step 4: With a tiny drop of glue on the backside of each cork, seal the bottles. Snip the eyehole head pins to the length you want and glue the stems into the corks. Then string each little vial charm along a chain with jump rings.
These charms can be modified to hold pets, snippets of nature, word messages, baby’s first haircut, sand from your beach vacation, and more. Have fun!
About the Author:
Cathe Holden is a graphic designer, professional crafter, wife, and mother of three teens who lives in beautiful Petaluma, Calif. Cathe shares creative inspiration, craft tutorials, free digital downloads, and product giveaways on her blog,