Making jewelry chains is a fun and enjoyable pastime that lets you create unique accessories to match almost any outfit in your wardrobe.
The Benefits of Making Your Own Chains
Although you can purchase a variety of pre-made chains, learning how to make your own jewelry chains is a valuable skill. For example:
- It's a great way to save money when you're on a tight budget.
- Making a chain by hand is more convenient than searching through your local craft store or bead shop to find a pre-made chain that works well with your project.
- You can customize the length and look of your chain to fit your unique preferences.
- It gives you a chance to practice new techniques that will be useful for more complex jewelry making projects.
To start making jewelry chains, you'll need to purchase an assortment of basic supplies for making wire jewelry. For example:
- Wire: Wire is sold in sizes that are called gauges. For most general purpose projects, 20 gauge wire is sufficient. If you require lighter and more flexible wire, however, look for a spool of 22 gauge wire.
- Pliers: Many different types of pliers are used in making jewelry. If you're just getting started, look for a kit that includes round nose, chain nose, and needle nose pliers.
- Wire cutters: The wire used to make jewelry can't be cut by an ordinary pair of scissors.
- Jump rings: Some chains can be constructed entirely from jump rings, but these findings are also useful for adding charms and pendants to the finished chain. If you can't find jump rings in the size you need, All Info About Jewelry Making has a simple tutorial to help you make your own.
- Clasps: Whether you prefer a toggle clasp or a lobster clasp, you need to have some way to open and close your finished chain.
- Beads: Beads are not strictly necessary for making jewelry chains, although many designs do incorporate beaded accents into the finished piece.
Tools and supplies for jewelry making can be purchased from your local craft store or through the following online retailers:
Instructions for Making Jewelry Chains
Although it's possible to design a chain by simply experimenting with coiling and twisting wire, beginners will find it more helpful to follow a series of step-by-step instructions. Once you've mastered the basics, however, you can modify projects to create your own one-of-a-kind chains.Instructions for making jewelry chains can be found by visiting the following links:
- Beaded Wire Necklace: Combine wire and pretty beads for a simple necklace.
- Wire Wrapped Chain Bracelet: This simple chain design can also be used to make necklaces and other unique accessories.
- Coiled Chain: Make a colorful chain from coiled wire.
- Spool Knitted Chain: Knit a fresh and funky chain for your jewelry making project.
- Three in Three Jump Ring Chain: This understated chain works well with a number of different designs.
- Flower Chain: Since it looks complicated, this chain is guaranteed to impress your friends.
- Queen's Chain: Make an elegant chain suitable for wearing to work.
For more jewelry making project ideas, pick up one of the following books:
- Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry: Techniques for Creating Dimensional Necklaces and Bracelets by Scott David Plumlee
- Creative Silver Chains: 20 Dazzling Designs by Chantal L. Saunders
- Making Silver Chains: Simple Techniques, Beautiful Designs by Glen Waszek
- Chain Mail Jewelry: Contemporary Designs from Classic Techniques by Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte
- Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains by Jean Reist Stark