NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano visited two Long Island locations where you can make your own charm bracelet. Credit: Anthony Florio; Newsday / Howard Schnapp

Charm necklaces are making a comeback. From teens wanting to make a statement, to adults on a nostalgia kick, people of all ages are stringing symbols signifying their favorite hobbies and interests together onto chains. In a new evolution of the trend, some Long Island boutiques have debuted do-it-yourself bars where customers can make their own charm necklaces, bracelets and keychains.

Michele Ortiz, 52, a school administrator from Hauppauge, is a repeat customer of Long Island Charm, a traveling jewelry business, who recently made the “it” accessory with friends from work. “Some people chose a theme like summertime. Some people picked letters from universities. There were just so many options, and as you look through the variety of charms, you can’t help but think of other ideas and want to make more and more,” says Ortiz.

The charm trend has grown in popularity again due to  social media, particularly TikTok, where content creators have documented their jewelry-making experience by filming it from start to finish. The necklaces tell a story; since the trend is completely customizable, you can pick charms based on personal aesthetic. You can even choose the type of chain to dangle your charms from. 

Creating charm necklaces is a popular group activity, with mothers and daughters, Girl Scout troops, couples and families making them together. 

The process is different depending on location. At some shops, customers do it all themselves from cutting the chain and clasping the charms onto the links with pliers. At other charm bars, customers pick out charms and chains and the shop puts it together.

“Each charm can represent a memory, a milestone, a passion or simply something that brings joy to the individual,” says Joseph DeBello of Hitch in Babylon, which added a charm bar this spring.

Additionally, it’s easy to make changes to your creations.

“You can change them at any time and easily update them to suit your mood,” says Nara Denson, co-owner of Long Island Charm.

Here's where to create your own statement piece:


Hitch LI 

37 E. Main St., Babylon

Sam Fiorino helps her mother, Denise Fiorino, left, make a charm...

Sam Fiorino helps her mother, Denise Fiorino, left, make a charm pin at Hitch in Babylon on May 22. Credit: Linda Rosier

Head to the charm bar where you can pick out your favorite charms. Options include flowers, hearts, bows, letters, numbers, zodiac signs, animals, food, candy and more. 

A variety of charms at the charm bar at Hitch...

A variety of charms at the charm bar at Hitch in Babylon on May 22. Credit: Linda Rosier

After, you'll choose the type of chain you'd like. You'll use a measuring tray to determine the length and attach the charms to the jewelry using pliers to clasp them on. 

COST $5-$8 per charm; bracelets cost $10; necklaces  cost between $15 and $20, depending on the style.

MORE INFO Schedule an appointment on the website; 516-519-2494,

Pretty Little Pearl

Wild Flour Studio: 70 Covert Ave., Stewart Manor

Owner Theodora Spanos of The Pretty Little Pearl in Stewart...

Owner Theodora Spanos of The Pretty Little Pearl in Stewart Manor, helps customer, Patti Badamo of New Hyde Park, put charms on her necklace on May 31.  Credit: Elizabeth Sagarin

Pretty Little Pearl, owned by Theodora Spanos, is an online boutique with a permanent pop-up shop at Wild Flour Studio in Stewart Manor. The charm bar features 24k gold bonded overlay charms, as well as mother-of-pearl charms, zodiac charms, birthstone charms, calligraphy script initials, a cubic zirconia evil eye, Baroque pearls, a butterfly, a sand dollar and a wishbone. Customers pick their own chain and charms. Depending on the chain, the customer can either loop the charms on themselves or after they choose their chain and charms, someone at the store can put the charms on the necklace for them on-site.

Charms and gold links at the Pretty Little Pearl in...

Charms and gold links at the Pretty Little Pearl in Stewart Manor on May 31. Credit: Elizabeth Sagarin

COST $16 to $110 per charm, with higher-priced charms consisting of mother of pearl and cubic zirconia. Necklace chains range from $68 to $136 or more, depending on the chain style and length. Charm bracelets made of 24k gold bonded overlay start at $88.

MORE INFO Schedule an appointment by messaging @shop_prettylittlepearl on Instagram.

Long Island Charm

Customers pick the location and the charm necklace materials are brought to them. This includes parties, corporate events and street fairs. Patrons choose their own chain and charms, as well as the length of their piece, paying per inch of chain. Chain options include rolo, paper clip, thin and chunky. There are birthstone charms, initials, pearls, sport charms, religious charms, lockets and charms. Each client is presented with a velvet tray where they can lay out their charm options and “dig for little treasures,” says co-owner Kerstin Murphy. “We are there to assist with the process, but they build the jewelry themselves,” adds Denson.

COST $4 per charm; keychains are $5; $1 per inch of chain, prices vary from piece to piece, with bracelets typically costing between $25 and $35 and necklaces costing between $40 and $60. 

MORE INFO Schedule an appointment on Facebook (Long Island Charm), Instagram (@longislandcharm) or TikTok.


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