Chain Reaction Necklace (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
This necklace makes a statement with a collection of fluidly draped, mismatched chains.
The bib centerpiece is made from 11 strands of chain – all antiqued brass, in 5 different link designs.
It looks simply smashing worn against a plain sweater or top.
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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:
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:
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):
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:
Now your project should look like this:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Your finished necklace should look something like this: