Leather Choker for Pendants (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved

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! 🙂


  • 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, half-hard wire – 1.75″ (4.5 cm) long.(I used 18 gauge round half-hard copper wire.)
  • Wire to bind leather cord ends – 2 pieces of 18 gauge round or half-round, half-hard wire – each 3″ (7.6 cm) long.(I used 18 gauge half-round, half-hard 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

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

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  • 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 🙂

  • Marita says:

    Dear Rena,

    thank you for your tutorials. They are wonderful!

    Best regards

  • Bev Carlson says:

    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!

  • carole says:

    Rena,,love your easy to follow tutorials

  • Ana Lopes says:

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

    Ana Love Craft

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

  • Mary Beth says:

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

  • Pam says:

    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!

  • This a simple but beautiful creation! I am a new follower!

  • natashalh says:

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

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

  • Sara says:

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

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

  • Robin says:

    Another great tutorial!

  • Another great craft idea! Thanks for sharing at TTF!

    Linda and Diann

  • Regula says:

    Great tutorial. Have a nice weekend. Regula

  • Shannah says:

    Wonderful tutorial as always.

  • 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,

  • Lanaya says:

    I know I’ve said this before but you give the best tutorials with pictures

  • Leslie says:

    Great, detailed tutorial.


  • Camila says:

    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

    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila

  • Very nice!

  • Ruthie says:

    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

  • Jean Foggo Simon says:

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

  • Donald says:

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

  • 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.

  • Ronja Lotte says:

    Great tutorial! Pinned you 😉

  • Linda B says:

    Wonderful tutorial as usual, Rena. Thanks so much.

  • Cathy says:

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderfully detailed tutorial. Cathy

  • Gwen says:

    You are amazing. I love this leather choker!

    Seriously. You make me want to make jewelry!

  • Stella Lee says:

    I love how you added all the photos for visual people like me – great tutorial -thank you!

    Stella Lee

  • Meg says:

    These look so “simple”, yet gorgeous. Nice to see they can be simply made, as well.

  • Em says:

    I’m a new follower and like everyone else love your easy to follow tutorials. I made two Angel pendants today and hung them on the Christmas tree. Now I am anxious to try the leather choker to use with wire wrapped sea glass. I’m not sure how I found you but I am so glad I did. Thank you!!!

  • Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on this project!

    Em, I’m so glad you found us here too, and that your angel pendants are gracing your Christmas tree! 🙂

  • I LOVE this choker cord. I was setting a large beautiful picture jasper stone in copper and I was wondering how to mount. What kind of chain? How long, etc. This will be absolutely PERFECT!!! Oh my goodness! It will really highlight my stone! I am SO excited! Thank you so VERY much Rena!
    As always, I leaned a great idea from you. I am forever in your debt.

  • Jacki says:

    Thank you so much for this generous information! Exactly what I need to get started making jewelry. Details are excellent! But I have just one question about the wires, the round and half round, are they soft, half soft or hard respectively.

    Thanks again,

  • You are so welcome, Vicki! I appreciate your kind message, and am glad this cord will work so well for your jasper pendant!

  • Hi Jacki, thanks for asking! I recommend half-hard wire for both the round wire for the hook AND the half-round wire for the wire-wraps.

  • Ann Wilbert says:

    I’m kind of surprised that other people find this easy. I love your pictures, but the part where you try to hold the wire and the leather and get started with the wrap is nearly impossible for me. The wire being hard and the leather being larger and soft make it so hard to hold both. Do you have any tips on how you achieve this?

  • Hi Ann! Thanks for letting me know where you’re getting stuck in this tutorial. You can find a different series of photos illustrating how to wire wrap a leather loop, in my Wrap Ankle Bracelet Tutorial – go down to the 10th photo from the top of that tutorial, right under where it says “Use your flat nose pliers to hold the wire firmly on top of the folded cord end”. Let me know if this is more helpful, or if you’re still stuck. 🙂

  • […] Leather Choker: From my Leather Choker for Pendants tutorial. […]

  • Such a great gift idea. For instance, give the leather choker along with a few different pendants so the gift receiver can choose from the pendants and/or charms.

  • Great idea, Denise – thank you! 🙂

  • A simple and very beautiful choker. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • My pleasure, Daphne! I wear these cords all the time with various different pendants on them. 🙂

  • Liz says:

    Thank you so much for your tutorial. Love the idea. New to your site and looking forward to more.

  • Liz, welcome! So glad to see you here. And thank you for your lovely comment on my Leather Choker tutorial! 🙂

  • amanda thompson says:

    Love your tutorials because your instructions are so clear and easy to understand. The photos help tons too. I also love the bail you showed with your pendant. I’m going to search your tutorials to see if you have one on that style bail. Thanks so much.

  • Kathy Jones says:

    Thank you very much.

  • My pleasure, Kathy! 🙂

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