Leather Choker for Pendants (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Leather Choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Leather Choker for Pendants – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Create this choker-length pendant cord and clasp from a strip of leather and a few inches of wire.

The streamlined clasp makes it easy to string medium- to large-size pendant bails onto this choker.

Leather Choker for Pendants - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I have one of these leather chokers that I made a decade ago (black leather with silver wire) – and since then I’ve worn it several times a week with a variety of pendants.

It’s still going strong! :)

Supplies:

  • Leather cord, 2mm width – To calculate the length you need, measure the length you’d like your finished choker to be, and add 1″ (2.5 cm).

    (I used a 16.5″ [42 cm] cord in “Natural” color, to create a finished 15.5″ [39.3 cm] choker.)

  • Wire for hook clasp – 16 or 18 gauge round wire, 1.75″ (4.5 cm) long.

    (I used 18 gauge round copper wire.)

  • Wire to bind leather cord ends – 2 pieces of 18 gauge round or half-round wire, each 3″ (7.6 cm) long.

    (I used 18 gauge half-round copper wire.)

  • Small sturdy jump ring, split ring, or soldered ring – large enough to accommodate your leather cord plus the wire hook clasp you’re going to make.
  • Ruler.
  • Scissors – for cutting leather cord.
  • Sharpie marker -for marking a spot on your wire.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Cup bur, jewelry file, or knife sharpening stone – for smoothing and rounding wire ends.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • Plastic, nylon, or rawhide jeweler’s hammer – for work hardening your wire.
  • Steel jeweler’s block – for using with your hammer.

Leather Choker Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Make a Leather Choker

Cut your leather cord to your desired length:

Leather cord for choker necklace - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Hot Tip: If your cord is stiff, kinked, or keeps curling up, you can make it behave in less than a minute with my quick tip, How to Straighten Leather Cord.

Now let’s make the hook clasp.

Cut your wire 1.75″ (4.5 cm) long, and make a mark with your Sharpie marker 0.6″ (1.5 cm) from one end of the wire:

Making hook clasp for leather choker - by Rena Klingenberg

Use your cup bur, jewelry file, or knife sharpening stone to smooth and round both ends of your wire:

Smoothing ends of copper wire

Starting at the end of your wire that’s farthest from the Sharpie mark you made, grasp the end of your wire near the tip of your round nose pliers, and roll the wire end into a loop.

This loop should be as small as possible, yet able to accommodate your leather cord plus a little room for the cord to move within the loop:

Making hook clasp for leather choker - by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your round nose pliers to grasp your wire, directly on the mark you made with your Sharpie:

Making wire hook clasp for leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Bend both ends of the wire downward evenly, creating the hook part of your clasp:

Making wire hook clasp for leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now let’s work-harden your hook clasp.

Place your hook clasp on your steel jeweler’s block, and pound it thoroughly on one side; then turn the hook over and pound the other side.

Making wire hook clasp for leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your hook clasp should look about like this (shown here with the jump ring that will go on the other end of my choker):

Making wire hook clasp for leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

On each end of your leather cord, fold down 0.75″ (2 cm) of the cord, and use your flat nose pliers to press the fold into place:

Leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now cut your two pieces of 3″ (7.6 cm) long round or half-round wire.

String your jump ring onto one of your folded cord ends, and pick up one of your 3″ (7.6 cm) wires.

Using your chain nose pliers as a clamp to hold one end of the wire on top of the folded cord, wrap the wire around the folded cord to bind it.

Make neat wraps, with each wrap lying nicely next to the previous wrap.

If you’re using half-round wire, the flat side of the wire should be against the leather as you wrap:

Adding clasp to end of cord in leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’ve wrapped as much of your wire as you can, snip off any extra from the ends of your wire.

Then use your chain nose pliers to gently squeeze your wire wraps against the leather cord.

Also be sure to press down both of the wire ends firmly against the leather:

Adding clasp to end of cord in leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Attach your hook clasp to the other end of your leather cord, the same way you attached your jump ring to the first end (shown snipping off excess binding wire):

Attaching clasp to leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your leather choker is finished, and your hook-and-eye clasp ends should look something like this:

Clasp on leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Clasp on leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can see how a medium- to large-size pendant bail can slide easily onto the cord over the streamlined clasp ends:

Sliding pendant bail over end of leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Hot Tip: When I make bails on my pendants, I try to always make them big enough to accommodate any size of cord, chain, or clasp my customer may want to wear with them.

Leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

These leather chokers are a great style for both guys and gals, and many of my pendant customers have purchased them over the years.

You can make them in any color of leather – and with silver, copper, brass, or other types of metal jewelry wire.

And if you’re selling pendants, these chokers are a fabulous add-on item to sell – especially if customers see you wearing one yourself.

Clasp on leather choker - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This leather choker style is also lovely worn without a pendant – as a simple, natural necklace.

Or doubled around your wrist as a bracelet:

Leather choker tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Mappy says:

    Rena, thanks a lot, you are a genius I love the leather choker they are classy and easy to do, you are the best, thanks you for share…..Mappy :)

  2. Dear Rena,

    thank you for your tutorials. They are wonderful!

    Best regards
    Marita

  3. Great idea. I just went to a bead show this past weekend and was very disappointed in the quality of the “ready made” leather and ribbon necklaces available. Both in the leather and endings. Make your own! Also, using the half round wire is a nice touch. Thanks!

  4. Rena,,love your easy to follow tutorials

  5. Ana Lopes says:

    Super cute! Thanks for sharing great tutorial!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  6. Thanks for this great tutorial with enough explanations that even I can understand it : )
    I’m going to give it a try.

  7. I love this ~ thanks so much for sharing ~ pinning!

  8. Rena, you are so generous about sharing so many ideas that are simple and functional, yet really helpful to us! I’ve been selling your bracelet buddies since you taught us to make them, and now I’m going to add these as well! I make wire wrapped cabs, but have been selling them on those ready-made round leatherette cords with the metal lobster clasps. They add uniformity to the table and no worries about tarnish, but I would love to hang my work from a handmade cord instead. I like this because it looks easy enough to do a “production run” of a bunch of them while watching TV with the family in the evening!

    I think I’ll make these in 18″ length, but then also add a few extra jump rings to make it adjustable to 20″, and also bend out the end of the hook just a bit. I also like your tip to work harden, particularly with copper. Looks like this process would also further tighten the wire to the leather so it won’t slip off. Also like the other poster’s idea of using half-round wire for the banding.

    I just love your newsletter – love your tutorials, and also the tips added by others!

  9. This a simple but beautiful creation! I am a new follower!

  10. Great idea with wonderful pictures! I make pendants and am sometimes at a loss for ideas for stringing them up.

  11. Geat tutorial. What a great idea. I can see making some in different colors/styles to match outfits, or purses. Thanks!

  12. Awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing this in my What Are You Doing? Wednesday Blog Hop!

  13. Hello! I’m stopping by from the What are you doing blog hop. I love the simplicity of this! Great work :)

  14. Another great tutorial!

  15. Another great craft idea! Thanks for sharing at TTF!

    Linda and Diann

  16. Great tutorial. Have a nice weekend. Regula

  17. Wonderful tutorial as always.

  18. Randye says:

    Thank you for all your tutorials!
    Would you please tell me where to buy SUEDE leather CORD. I would love to find 1.0mm so I can double it but 1.5 or 1.75 will work. I can find lace but I want round cord like you show in this tutorial.
    Thank you,
    Randye

  19. I know I’ve said this before but you give the best tutorials with pictures
    ~Lanaya

  20. Leslie says:

    Great, detailed tutorial.

    Leslie

  21. Awesome and seems o easy!!! Thanks so much for sharing this at Bewitch Me & Titi! Hope to have you back next Sunday with more awesome shares!

    Hope you are having a lovely week

    Hugs
    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila

  22. Very nice!

  23. You have the coolest posts… Thank you so much for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell! I’d love to have you come and share again. Have a great weekend! xoxo~ Ruthie

  24. Jean Foggo Simon says:

    Rena – Awesome, as usual! Thanks for teaching, sharing and giving of your talents so genuinely. Hugs,

  25. On this clasp for leather necklaces, won’t the hook get caught in the wearer’s hair?

  26. Hi Donald, thanks for asking! I’ve worn this hook clasp (and other hook clasp designs) on necklaces while having both long and short hair. I don’t think I’ve ever had the hook catch on my hair or get tangled in it.

  27. Great tutorial! Pinned you ;-)

  28. Wonderful tutorial as usual, Rena. Thanks so much.

  29. Thank you for sharing such a wonderfully detailed tutorial. Cathy

  30. You are amazing. I love this leather choker!

    Seriously. You make me want to make jewelry!

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