» How to Make a Simple Chain Necklace or Bracelet
Simple Chain Necklace or Bracelet
One of the most elegant and classic pieces of jewelry is a simple chain necklace. If you want, you can easily add a charm or pendant, but even standing alone, a gold-filled, silver-filled, or sterling silver necklace is the perfect accessory to any ensemble.
What You'll Need
- A length of chain (round up to the nearest foot) -
- A clasp: Match your metals plus the scale and feel of your chain; a delicate chain would look best with a smaller clasp and a heavier chain with a larger clasp. If giving this necklace as a gift to an older person, make sure the clasp is easy to open and close, maybe even choose a clasp which is a little larger than what you would normally. Lobster and Spring Ring clasps are the two most common type used for chain necklaces.
- Either split rings or jumplocks (or 18 or 20 gauge open jump rings)
- If necessary, cut your chain to your desired length. Lay it out flat against a ruler or yard stick. With some chains you can open the individual links like how you would open a jump ring but with others you will need to use your cutters to cut through the links. Cut or open the link which is at the point of your desired length along the ruler.
Connect your clasp to your chain using either split rings or jumplocks. Both of these will securely keep your necklace together. You can think of split rings as a teeny tiny keyring and jumplocks are like open jump rings with "locking teeth." (Video: ) If you want to use an open jump ring, make sure to purchase one in a heavier gauge such as 18 or 20. (Video: )
- You're done!
Browse these categories to get started on making your own chain necklace or bracelet.
For a last minute gift, we have many lovely pre-made sterling silver and gold filled necklaces in a variety of lengths and styles as well as finished bracelets. Pair the chain with a gift certificate so that your friend or loved one can pick out a pendant or charm to wear with it. If you are unsure about which length to give, choosing a longer necklace is a safer bet.
Making your own chain necklace is quick and easy. The advantage to making your own chain is you have a wide selection of chain styles (cable, rolo, ball, curb, curved, krinkle, oval link, short/long, etc.) which are also available in varying thicknesses—ranging from very delicate and fine to heavier and more substantial. Here are some things to consider when making your own chain necklace:
- Metal: Silver and gold are timeless. If giving as a gift, try to remember what your recipient usually wears.
- Use: Already have charms or pendants you may want to hang? If so, consider their size, color and the size of their bail. If you know there is a particular pendant you want to be able to slide on and off the chain, make sure the clasp is small enough to go through the bail.
- Length: common lengths are 16", 18", 20", 22", 24", and 36". The length of the necklace will be determined by what you want to wear with it and if you are hanging anything from it. If hanging a large pendant, choose a longer length, conversely, a delicate charm will look better on a shorter necklace. If wanting to wear the chain by itself, then a 16" or 18" necklace might be best since it will rest nicely above the clothing line most of the time. Also, if wearing alone, a delicate chain will usually look better in a shorter length and a heavier chain has more "presence" so can be worn longer.
We have so many different styles to choose from; here's some recommendations from our designers!
Follow all the same steps to make a bracelet as you would to make a necklace. Common bracelet lengths are between 7" - 8".