This evening we let Darlek stay up late so she could play with her ‘Charmies’ set, UKMumsTV sent it through as part of the creative feature they’re running this week. She’s been absolutely dying to have a go with it. Problem is, her brother is like a bull in a china shop, or should I say like a ‘bull in a Charmies’ shop. He’s a little disaster on legs and wrecks her toys, especially ones with small parts – so we had to wait until he’d gone to bed to get to grips with it. Here’s what the packaging looks like!
Once opened we found all the bits and pieces on display, here they are!
So, the next step was fixing it all together and working out how to use it. In my humble experience, necklaces and bracelets are made with a piece of string, a needle (a plastic one for kids) and a keen eye. This is one step beyond!
OK, (deep breath….are you sitting comfortably?) you place the circular pink spaceship type thing on a hard surface if possible, and arrange the beads on it in the order you wish it to appear once completed – like this:
Then you slot the star handle thingy in and turn the top part clockwise, whereupon a plastic circular needle slides through the beads and holds them in place. Next you insert the ‘threader’ which has the plastic thread/string held in position, so the needle can catch on it – then you rotate the top again, anti-clockwise this time.
This cleverly threads the string back through the beads, which have been clipped into place by the yellow things you can clearly see at the side of the pink spaceship….erm beady machine dooeywatsit. Once threaded you can release the yellow clips, and lift out your bracelet. If you want to make a necklace you simply restart the process using thread attached to the first shorter piece you just made.
Is your brain hurting yet?
Then for the bit which, if you’re anything like me, has the potential to drive you to smashing plates. You have to cross the ends of the thread over the base of the bead stopper, and then push the top of the flower bead stopper over it, to secure the two ends. I got the distinct feeling that I needed four arms, Hindu goddess stylee, to hold all the bits in place, and it took ages & ages & I dropped the beads and rethreaded them, and went a bit red in the face for a while. I did manage it in the end though.
Now, I’m quite crafty, not that I get around to it much these days, so I’m fairly nimble, but OMG this is fiddly. My daughter loved it, but did hand it over to me quite a bit to help. She was much better at placing the beads, because she has smaller fingers, but the stopper was definitely too much for her to cope with. She is only 6 though. Maybe older children would fare better, I’m not sure.
One thing I do love, is that the finished Charmies jewellery does actually look like the pictures on the front of the box. My daughter loves her bracelets, and we managed to make three in the space of about an hour, so it’s fairly instant rewards for your time. I do think you have to be very careful not to lose bits of it though, if you lose the threader the whole kit is useless. I wonder if Flair supplies spare parts for people who’ve got a little too enthusiastic with the hoover?
If you’d like to buy one of these Charmies kits from Flair, you can buy them for £17.99 HERE!