Dangle Chain Necklace Tutorial

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialThis necklace is pretty simple and makes quite a statement.

Notice I said “simple” and not “easy.”

This necklace takes a little concentration and I kept losing track of where I was and having to measure all the chains again.  (This is make more sense as you go through the tutorial.)

A note about chain to use:  I used a small brass rolo chain, but you can use any chain you have around.  If you’re using curb chain (chain that’s twisted so that it lays flatly), you have to watch that you’re not twisting the chain as you go along.

You can use any metal you like as well!

I just used chain that I happened to have a lot of around.

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialTools and Materials:

  • Chain (see note above).  I used around 70 inches total.
  • Lobster clasp
  • 7mm jump ring
  • A bunch of 3mm or 4mm jump rings
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • A second pair of pliers such as bent nose pliers

Step #1

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialMeasure around your neck and cut the chain to the length you would like.  I cut mine so it was just slightly looser than a choker, so relatively close around my neck.  It would work a little longer, too.

Step #2

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialAdd the lobster clasp to one side and a 7mm jump ring on the other side to hook your lobster clasp on when you put on your necklace.

If you need some help opening and closing jump rings properly, you can watch this video I made:

Step #3

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceNow we’re to the part that is a little bit tricky just because you have to keep track of a bunch of little chains and what you’ve cut so far!

I started by cutting my middle chain and worked my way out.

My middle chain is 3″ long, and it’s the longest.

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceThen I used a piece of wire to hold my chains while I was cutting them.  The chains on either side of the middle chain are the same length as each other, but just a little bit shorter than the middle chain.

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceThen I just continued outward adding chains to each side slightly shorter each time until I liked the fullness.

I used a total of 19 chains dangling from the original chain.

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceThe wire trick I gave above is helpful when measuring the chains because you can hang them and more easily see how long the chains are and match them up.  However, I accidentally dropped most of the chains off it along the way and my chains weren’t significantly different in size and my eyes started going buggy.

So I remeasured them all and laid them out so I could see them better and not have the risk of messing them up again!

You may need to come up with your own organizational system for this.  🙂

Step #4

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceOpen up all the jump rings you’ll need to add the chain dangles to the main chain.  Since I had 19 dangles, I needed 19 chains.  I used 3mm jump rings.  (Or 4mm are fine, too and you’ll find them more readily.)

Step #5

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceFind the middle of your main chain, the one you already placed the lobster clasp on.

Step #6

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceHow to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

Add the longest chain dangle using a jump ring.

Then continue outward adding chain dangles.  I placed a chain dangle on each link right next to each other.  You may prefer to space them out with a blank link in between each.

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

Like I said, very simple.  And really stunning to wear!

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

This necklace goes with so much!  I just finished this necklace and wore it to the store with a simple tank top and skirt and it really added a lot of style to my simple outfit!

Customize it:

  • Add bead dangles to the ends or bead links in the middle of the chains to add some color.
  • Use even more chains….or less.
  • Mix up metals for a really great look.

This is a great project for even beginners once you have that opening jump rings skill down!  My Wire Wrapping for Beginners eBook is great for folks who are new to jewelry making or just new to working with wire.  I teach techniques in it while you are making jewelry projects.  It’s in the same easy to follow format.

Learn more here (I’ve recently updated it!) and purchase for instant download and get started right away making unique, sturdy, long lasting jewelry.

12 Ideas for Alternative Jewelry Supplies

Alternative Jewelry SuppliesAs you may know, I am a recycled jewelry artist.  (Though, I’ve been on a bit of a break to teach.)

You may wonder what exactly that means.  I make jewelry from materials that are upcycled and/or recycled.  I use materials that are either destined for the landfills or sitting around in sheds and cabinets and transform them into wearable art.  I use little to no new resources, and the new resources I do use I try my very best to use recycled or sustainable products or products from companies whose beliefs align with mine.

Once I started watching for alternative materials to make jewelry, I started to find them everywhere.  My dad’s garage, antique stores, thrift store, auctions, yard sales, the recycling bin, etc.  Friends started giving me things.  Their chandelier fell apart?  Okay, give it to Kim.  Old keys that no longer unlock anything.  Give it to Kim.  Scrabble tile games (and more and more and more Scrabble games lol) found at auctions.  Give them to Kim.

Alternative suppliesStrolling through the rows of a flea market you might find any number of interesting little pieces just calling out to be made into jewelry.

CompassThink of the adventure bracelet you could make with an old mini compass.

Fabric Buttons 4Or the awesome button rings you could make with these beautiful buttons!

Here’s a list of even more ideas of unconventional items to use in your jewelry making:

  1. Hardware:  washers, nuts and other hardware.
  2. Keys:  Skeleton keys are awesome, but other keys can be fun, too!
  3. Buttons (of course!)
  4. Game pieces:  Dominoes, Scrabble Tiles, Rumikub pieces, Monopoly and others.
  5. Coins
  6. Old bits of things:  pieces of rulers and other items.
  7. Old little numbers and letters.
  8. Clock hands
  9. Crystals from chandeliers
  10. Keyhole covers
  11. Old milk lids
  12. Plastic bottles:  cut them up into whatever shape you want!

Just keep an open mind and see what you find!  Just remember, be careful when thinking about making earrings to not make them with materials that are too heavy.  If you find things that are rusty, you can seal them so they’re safe against your skin.

Have fun!


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