Trouble Shooting Jump Rings

Trouble Shooting Jump Rings

I remember when I finally figured out jump rings.  It was like the heavens opened up and my whole world changed.

Well, maybe not quite all that, but it was pretty exciting.  Once you figure out this basic skill, you have a lot more options.  And it’s pretty simple, you just need to know how to do it.

Here’s a short video on how to open and close jump rings if you haven’t had this life-changing experience yet.  🙂

Even if you know how to properly open and close jump rings they can still cause you trouble.  They can open when they shouldn’t, don’t close properly, look wrong and just be all around frustrating.  I use jump rings in a lot (if not most) of my jewelry projects, so you might as well get used to them!

Here are a few common reasons you might be having problems with jump rings:

Jump ring is too thin

If your jump ring is too thin (the gauge is too thin), the jump ring will have trouble holding its shape as well as holding together whatever else it’s holding.  If your jump rings keep opening, this might be the issue.  In this case use a thicker jump ring.

Jump ring is too soft

If the hardness of your jump ring is too soft, again, it can’t hold it’s shape and your project together.  If this is the case you can harden the wire by opening and closing your jump ring several times.  (Like I do at the end of the video above when I’m closing the jump ring.)

Gap in your jump ring after you close it

First make sure you’ve closed it properly.

However, this can happen sometimes even if you do close it properly.  Wire tends to spring back wherever it wants and doesn’t always go where you want it to go.  To fix it, wiggle the wire back and forth, opening and closing the jump ring until it clicks into place.

Jump ring isn’t a perfect circle

This can happen, too, even if you closed the jump ring properly.  Sometimes you make a mistake that you didn’t realize or sometimes the jump ring wasn’t perfect when you got it.  I sometimes try to fix it, but usually it’s much less frustrating to just get a new jump ring and start again.  Usually it’s not worth your frustration.

I hope these help you with any issues you may have with jump rings.  If you have any other questions, leave a comment (reply) below and I’ll try to help you!

Have you gotten my Wire Wrapping for Beginners book?  There is an eBook version that you receive right away or the print version that you can hold in your own hands that’s mailed to you.

Click here to learn more about both.

ECT TV Episode 39: Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Jump Ring Earrings

In this episode we’ll make a pair of earrings to match the necklace we made in Episode 39.  Click here for the Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace tutorial.

Watch ECT TV Episode 39 here:

Remember to sign up for the ECT email newsletter to get future ECT TV Episodes in PDF form to easily download to your computer or print so that you can take it right to your workspace!  Click here to sign up.

Here’s the tutorial in photos:

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Tools and Materials:

  • Beads.  I used 5 beads for each earring for a total of 10 beads
  • Headpins for each bead
  • 7mm jump rings.  One for each bead dangle and 2 more in between each bead dangle plus one more for each earring.  I used a total of 28 jump rings.
  • Chain
  • Earring wires
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Bent nose pliers

Step #1

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Make all of the beads into bead dangles.  Click here for instructions (or of course watch this episode.)

Step #2

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Add a jump ring to each bead dangle.  If you need help opening jump rings, click here.

Step #3

Also make sure that all the jump rings you’ll be using are closed properly because they don’t always come that way.  I used 2 jump rings in between each bead dangle.

Step #4

Cut 2 pieces of chain.  It doesn’t matter so much how long the chain is as long as they’re the same, but about 3 inches works great.  You can experiment to get a length you like.

Step #5

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Add a jump ring to one end of the chain.  This will hold all of your bead dangles and jump rings on the chain.

Step #6

Arrange your bead dangles in the order you would like them on your earrings.

Step #7

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Thread the chain through the jump ring on a bead dangle.

Step #8

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Slide on 2 closed jump rings.

Step #9

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Continue adding a bead dangle and 2 jump rings.  I like to have bead dangles on each end.

Step #10

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Very carefully open the jump ring on the end of the chain.

Step #11

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Add the other end of the chain in the jump ring and a earring wire.

Step #12

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Close the jump ring and repeat to make the second earring.

ECT TV Episode 39:  Ombre Bead Dangle Earrings

Okay your turn to share!

#1  Are you making these earrings?  Comment below!  (If you don’t see “reply” below, scroll up by the title of this post and click on the conversation bubble and it will open.)

What colors will you use?

Are you going to make any changes?

Or do you have any questions?

#2  Share what you made!  Come back and upload a photo in the comments and share your creation!

ECT TV Episode 38: Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

In today’s episode learn how to make this fun Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace!

Video Episode:

In the episode you’ll learn how to make an ombre effect, open jump rings and make a bead dangle!

Tutorial:

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Tools and Materials:

  • Beads*
  • Headpins ** for each bead for the necklace.  I used 2 inch headpins that I purchased.
  • 7 mm jump rings *** 3 for each bead dangle (you’ll use 1 for the bead dangle and 2 in between each bead dangle.
  • Chain
  • Clasp (any clasp you like.  I used a lobster clasp with a few jump rings on the other side with an extra bead dangle)
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Bent nose pliers (or another pair of pliers that are flat)
  • Wire Cutters

* Beads

You can use any beads you like in any amount you like.  I used a variety of shapes and sizes and did an ombre technique.  You can use all the same color beads or anything you like.

I used 28 beads, you may want more or less.

**Headpins

I used pre-made headpins, but this would look great with headpins you make yourself, too.  Here are some tutorials if you want to make your own:

Spiral and Knotted Headpins

Infinity Headpin

*** Jump rings

Make sure that your jump rings will slide over your chain and have room to move around a little because that’s the fun part of this necklace.  We won’t be opening the jump rings to attach to the chain, but instead they’ll just slide over it.

Step #1

Arrange your beads on a beading tray if you like.  If you’re creating an ombre necklace, start in the middle with the darkest colors and work your way out each way keeping it symmetrical as far as color is concerned.  I didn’t use exactly the same shapes of beads on each side, but I did use the same colors.

Step #2

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Make each of the beads into bead dangles.

I made sure to keep everything in order on my beading tray as I did this.

For help on how to make a bead dangle, click here.  (Or watch the video above.)

Step #3

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Add a jump ring to each bead dangle.  If you need help opening jump rings, click here.

Step #4

Also make sure that the other jump rings you’ll be using in this project are closed properly.  When you purchase them they’re not always closed nicely.

Step #5

Cut your chain to the length you’d like.  I like to just measure around my neck and cut.

Step #6

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Add one end of a clasp to one end of the chain.  Do not add the other side yet.

Step #7

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Slide a bead dangle onto the necklace by threading the chain through the jump ring.  If you are creating a special design, make sure to start at one end.

Step #8

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Add two jump rings.

Step #9

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Continue adding a bead dangle then 2 jump rings until all the bead dangles are added.

I used 28 bead dangles.  You may want to use more or less for your necklace.

Step #10

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Add the other end of your clasp.  If you’re using a lobster clasp you may want to add a few jump rings and a bead dangle to the end.

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

How to Make an Ombre Bead Dangle Necklace

Ideas to Customize this Necklace:

  • Think of any bead pattern you would like.  Try all exactly the same bead, try mixing every other bead or do a rainbow.
  • Use different metals.
  • Mix and match metals.  Add in some copper or brass jump rings along with the silver.
  • Use just a few beads or use many more beads.
  • Add even more jump rings in between the bead dangles.

What else can you think of?

I love this necklace and I’ve already gotten compliments on it!

Join my newsletter and get these episodes in your inbox each time there’s a new one!  Plus you get a PDF of the project to download.  Just fill in the form below (you’ll also automatically get my FREE 14 day Intro to Jewelry Making eCourse!)

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How to Properly Open and Close Jump Rings

How to Properly Open and Close a Jump Ring

Opening and closing jump rings is a foundational skill you need in jewelry making.  Doing this correctly could be the difference between sturdy jewelry pieces that stand the test of time and pieces that fall apart.

The good news is that once you get this down you’ll never forget it!

how to properly open and close jump rings

This is a quick video to show you how to properly open and close jump rings:

Another quick jewelry making tip is to open all the jump rings you need for a project at one time.

Tassel Charm

Now that you have that mastered, you can try out some charm tutorials.  Here’s a list of a bunch you can try for free:  Variety of Charm tutorials.

ECT TV Episode 18: How to Make a Button Charm Bracelet

ECT TV Episode 18How to make a bracelet with buttons ECT TV Episode 18! 

ECT TV stands for Emerging Creatively Tutorials Television.  I share a new episode mostly weekly.  You can catch up on back episodes by clicking the ECT TV tab above or clicking here.

This week’s episode includes:

  • A creativity booster (something to help you find, rediscover or pump up your creativity);
  • How to open and close jump rings properly; and
  • A fun tutorial:  How to Make a Button Charm Bracelet.

The tutorial in this week’s episode looks so impressive, but it really only takes one technique that you likely already know how to do:  opening and closing jump rings.  And even if you don’t know how to do that, I’ll show you in the video!

Flea Market ShoppingCreativity Booster

A creativity booster is a term I came up with for my eCourse Rediscover Your Creativity Through Making Jewelry.  Basically, it’s something that gets your creativity flowing.  In the eCourse there is a creativity booster each week followed by jewelry lessons and jewelry project.

This time of year I like going to flea markets.  There are a bunch nearby where I live.  My favorite is Shupps Grove.  What I love most about Shupps is that it’s in the woods.  You are surrounding by trees while digging through vintage and antique stuff.  (Plus Shupps doesn’t all those cell phone accessory, fake Nike sneaker vendors that other flea markets tend to have.)

I found some great buttons while I’m there.  (I know, I’m trying to cut down my collection, but….)

Why a flea market can boost your creativity:

Going anywhere you don’t normally go can boost your creativity.  You see new things and talk to new people.

In the case of a flea market, you’re going in looking for supplies, which will boost your creativity just thinking about the possibilities.  And you don’t need to know why you are purchasing a particular thing when you buy it.  I often am asked why I’m buying something and I don’t know.  I’ll make jewelry with it, but I don’t have the design yet.

Things you can look for include:  buttons (of course!), old jewelry to take apart and make into something new, anything small that catches your eye that you could potentially make into jewelry:  keys, hardware, tiny bottles, etc.

You can also look at the vintage and antique jewelry there to get inspiration.  You may find some beautiful jewelry pieces to look at that you wouldn’t purchase to take apart, but you admire their beauty.

Don’t have a flea market nearby?

If you don’t have a flea market nearby, you can do the same thing at a thrift store.  Or I’m sure there are yard/garage/tag sales near you throughout the summer.  Check those out to see what you can find!

How to Make a Button Charm BraceletHopefully you found some buttons at the flea market or have some on hand.  (You can check out my buttons I’m destashing here)

Like I said, this is an easy bracelet to make.  You just need to know how to open and close jump rings.

Materials and Tools:

  • Buttons of your choice *
  • Jump rings that fit around your buttons
  • Chain
  • Clasp
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Another pair of pliers.  I prefer to use chain nose and bent nose to open jump rings, but you can really use any other pliers you have and feel comfortable with.  (Just not round nose pliers)

*The buttons you use you will probably want to be small or medium sized.  The large buttons are great, but probably not for this particular bracelet with the technique I’m showing you here.

The jump rings I used were 9mm and fit nicely around the sort of medium sized and small buttons I used.  You can use larger jump rings for larger buttons and smaller jump rings for smaller buttons.

How to Open and Close Jump Rings:

How to open a jump ringThe only technique you need to know to make this bracelet is opening and closing jump rings.  I show you in the video how to do this, too.

You’ll need 2 pairs of pliers.  I use chain nose and bent nose pliers.

How to open a jump ringThe jump ring has an opening.  Center that opening in between the 2 pairs of pliers.

You want to go forward with one wrist and back toward you with the other.  The circle will be maintained.  Do not pull the circle apart by pulling to the sides.  (The jump ring would look like a U and it’s difficult to get it back to the circle shape again.)

How to open a jump ringThe jump ring will be open, but still have it’s circular shape.

To close a jump ring:

To the exact same thing, but in reverse.  I like to go slightly past the point of closing a few times and then click the jump ring closed.  You may actually hear or feel the jump ring click closed.

Now on to the tutorial:

Step #1

How to Make a Button Charm BraceletCut your chain to the length you would like.

I like my bracelets slightly loose.  So typically I measure the chain tightly around my wrist and then when I add the clasp the length is just how I like it.

If you like your bracelets to fit a little more snug or you’d like more control over the exact size then measure around your wrist the exact size you would like.  (Use a tape measure or use a piece of string and then measure it with a ruler.  Or you could simply measure a bracelet that fits the way you like.)

Measure your clasp.  If you’re using a toggle clasp just measure the round part.  If you’re using a lobster clasp make sure to take into consideration the jump ring(s) you’ll use on the other end to close it.

Subtract the clasp length from the total length you’d like your bracelet to be and that’s how long your chain should be.

Note:  If you make a bracelet like mine with lots of buttons that are layered, that could affect the size a little and you may want to add just a little length.  You can always shorten it later.

Step #2

At this point you can layout your design.  Pick out your buttons and place them in the order that you want to place them on your bracelet.

Alternatively (and this is what I did) you can just design as you go.

You will want to think about if you would like a chunky bracelet like I made where the buttons are kind of layered or if you want a more elegant dainty bracelet.  For a full bracelet like mine, you’ll put a button on every single link of the chain.  For a less full bracelet put charms on every other link or even every third link.

Step #3

How to Make a Button Charm BraceletHow to Make a Button Charm BraceletHow to Make a Button Charm BraceletOpen a jump ring, place a button on the jump ring, place the chain in the jump ring and then close the jump ring.

Repeat until all the buttons are on the chain.

How to Make a Button Charm BraceletHow to Make a Button Charm BraceletHow to Make a Button Charm BraceletStep #4

How to Make a Button Charm BraceletOpen 2 more jump rings and add your clasp to the very end of the chain.  (If you’re using a lobster clasp, add it to one end and add a couple jump rings to the other end)

You can use 4mm jump rings to attach your clasp to the end of your bracelet.

How to make a bracelet with buttonsIt’s as simple as that!  Now you can make them in every color you want!

I really hope you enjoyed this episode of ECT TV.  I send PDF versions of each episode to my newsletter subscribers (so you can download and save or print them).  To get future episodes, sign up for my newsletter.

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Want to find, rediscover or boost your creativity?  Check out my eCourse Rediscover Your Creativity Through Making Jewelry.  Join in on a multidisciplinary creativity exploration where you will feel creative, express yourself, be inspired, make art and learn how to make jewelry.

Start anytime and dip in and out with lifetime access.

Learn more here:  Rediscover Your Creativity Through Making Jewelry

Rediscover Your Creativity Through Making Jewelry