Mini Folk Charm Necklace

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,

18 thoughts on “Mini Folk Charm Necklace

  1. Diane :D says:

    This is absolutely SOOOOOO cool!!!
    Thanks for sharing it with us – I plan to try this with the dozens of ideas running thru my brain!
    D :)

  2. Lisa Lee says:

    How fun!!! Love this…so cute

  3. Jason @ Gold Work embroidery says:

    Absolutely brilliant. I’m going to have a go myself. I just hope that they come out as good as yours!

  4. Molly Smith says:

    Cathe, these are the most adorable ever! The necklace is brilliant and I cannot wait to get all the necessary items and make one for my daughter. I’m also thinking keychain gifts at Christmas and to hang off a tag for any other occasion. For that person who seems to have everything.
    Thanks for sharing the tutorial and the fabulous photos!

  5. charlotte lyons @ housewrenstudio says:

    you always have the most amazing ideas and such beautiful execution – right down to the step by step. love this one!
    how cool to see you featured here! (see you soon!)

  6. Karla of Dreamaginarius Arts says:

    Ohhh! how cool! Love them! In my case would be my husband, dog and I :)

  7. Connie says:

    Lovely! What’s the sweater the person has on in the background? It’s gorgeous!

  8. Mini Folk Charm Necklace says:

    […] The idea is very creative and uses scale model figurines to capture the designer Cathe Holden’s family. For the full tutorial check out […]

  9. Mini Folk Charm DIY Necklace | For the LOVE & JOYS in the finer things in Life... says:

    […] For the step by step for this gem of a DIY idea, please go to Makezine […]

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