Chain Reaction Necklace (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This necklace makes a statement with a collection of fluidly draped, mismatched chains.

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Chain Reaction Necklace – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The bib centerpiece is made from 11 strands of chain – all antiqued brass, in 5 different link designs.

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It looks simply smashing worn against a plain sweater or top.

Supplies:

All of my chains for this project came from my local craft store, when they had a 50% off sale. I picked up a variety of antiqued brass chains in different lengths, link designs, and widths – all for less than $14.

What You’ll Need for This Project:

  • 2 pieces of chain, each 8″ (20.3cm) long – for the sides of the necklace.
    Mine are antiqued brass:

    Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • 2 large soldered rings, washers, jump rings, or split rings – to be attached to the ends of your chain bib.
    Mine are copper (salvaged from an old pair of earrings), and measure 1″ (2.5cm) in diameter:

    Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Jump rings – 2 for each strand of chain in the bib part of your necklace, plus 2 for attaching the chains to the sides of your necklace.
    I used 24 jump rings, in antiqued brass:

    jump rings for Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • A variety of chains that are a suitable weight for the bib of your necklace.
    I used 11 strands of chain in these 5 link designs:

    chains for Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • A clasp, either handmade or purchased, to finish off your necklace.
    Several of my chains came with lobster clasps, so I used one of those plus a sturdy jump ring for the other side of the clasp:

    clasp for Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • 2 pair of pliers – either flat nose or chain nose, for opening and closing jump rings.
  • Wire cutter for cutting your chains, if the chains aren’t made from links that you can open with your pliers.

How to Make the
Chain Reaction Necklace:

First, if you’re new to working with jump rings, see my easy tip for opening and closing jump rings.

We’ll start by cutting your two 8″ (20.3cm) chain lengths for the sides of your necklace, and then set them aside for later:

chains for Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next, cut your 11 chain lengths for the bib centerpiece of your necklace.

Make each of these chains 1cm longer than the last one, to create a nicely graduated drape.

So from shortest to longest, my chain lengths for the bib measured:

13cm
14cm
15cm
16cm
17cm
18cm
19cm
20cm
21cm
22cm
23cm:

chains for bib of Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now open 11 of your jump rings, and thread a jump ring through one end of each of your bib chains (leave the jump rings open for now):

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Keeping your bib chains in order from shortest to longest, attach the 11 chain ends’ jump rings to one of your large soldered rings. Then close the jump rings:

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your project should look like this:

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now move over to the other end of your bib chains.

Again, open 11 of your jump rings and thread a jump ring through the remaining end of each of your bib chains.

Keeping your bib chains in order from shortest to longest, attach the remaining chain ends’ jump rings to your other large soldered ring.

Then close the jump rings.

Your finished necklace bib should look like this:

bib of Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to add the side chains of your necklace (which we cut earlier and set aside).

Open 2 jump rings and attach them to one end of your side chains:
side chains for Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Attach one of these jump rings to each of your large soldered rings, to form the sides of your necklace, and close the jump rings:

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now move up to the tops of your necklace’s side chains.

Add your clasp to the top of one of these side chains, and your jump ring (or other clasp end) to the other side chain:

clasp on Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished necklace should look something like this:

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Chain Reaction Necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. What a great look! This is perfect way to use up some of those odd length pieces of chain lying around too.

  2. Agree with Val! Great necklace to add to your jewelry wardrobe. And I can imagine the infinite varieties, with so many great chains to mix and match. Would love to make this with mixed metals, too.

  3. coraNation says:

    Love it! I did a similar look w/chain & leather.

  4. wonderful!! I knew I would learn good stuff from you, Rena. thanks so much, I really want to make this necklace NOW!!!! joyce

  5. Well, I love making jewelry but I have been wanting a little fancier and this necklace really and I have only been doing it for about 5 months,kind of like you think you know sooo much until you look at all the beautiful jewelry out there. I do have a lot to learn and I cannot wait to learn to make wire jewelry.

  6. Awesome! I love all of the possibilities with this!

  7. Such a cute necklace that would go with any outfit….love it!

  8. I really really like this! It’s simple but makes a nice statement! Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. I love this necklace and your tutorial is great! Can’t wait to try making one of my own.

  10. This looks really nice. No one would know you hadn’t bought it at a up scale women’s apparel shop! Thanks for sharing it. I’m pinning pinning pinning!

  11. Goodwill, here I come. What a great idea for a bunch of reject jewelry.

  12. This is a great necklace. Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us!

  13. Love this idea, nice and simple, is it heavy around the neck?

  14. I love the multi-chain necklaces. This one drapes beautifully!

  15. This is a nice piece. I can see how it can be customized. I like the simple elegance of it! Thank you for sharing!

  16. this is so cool~! I think even I could make one!
    Hugs
    Karin

  17. This is really beautiful. I think my step daughter would love this for Christmas. Thank you for sharing this :)

  18. This is so simple and chic and I love it. I would totally buy this in a store and I don’t know that it would have ever occurred to make this on my own. You are so talented!

  19. Such a gorgeous necklace, Thanks for sharing!

    Britni

  20. I SO love this necklace! I have made some jewelry…mostly beaded pieces. This idea with chains is really lovely! Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Fabulous project Rena! thanks for sharing!

  22. This may be my all time favorite project of yours ever! Featuring it when my party opens up tonight

  23. Wonderful as usual!! Linda

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