Daily Wire Tip March 4: Alternative to Chain for Necklaces

By on March 4, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
March 04, 2010


I have purchased some cut glass pendants and would like to know how to make a chain of sorts to hang them from for necklaces.  I do not want to purchase chain and leather cord is too plain.  Do you have any ideas?


Ok, you say you do not want to purchase chain, and although one can make all types of chain, it can be time consuming and more expensive than buying it either ready made or by the length and just adding the clasp. The cut glass pieces you mention sound quite elegant, and like a painting, probably need to stand-alone. One of my favorite solutions for special pieces is a finished ribbon, like the one shown here: https://wire-sculpture.com/pages/jewelry_ideas_finished_ribbon.html If you do want to make chain, do an Internet search using the phrase ‘free chain making tutorials’. When I did this search I will tell you that my favorite result was ChainWeavers as they have a lot of free tutorials for most of the basic, ‘been around since the dawn of time’, chain weaves.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Michele Nicholson

    March 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Another idea is to make a simple collar with 20 or 21 gauge round wire. You can just make a simple eye hook at one end and wrap the end piece of wire around to secure; and make a simple hook at the other end by folding the wire back on itself and leaving enough to wrap the end of the wire around to secure.

    Once the hook end is secured take round nose pliers and shape your hook as you would for a simple bracelet etc.


  2. avatar

    Alex Netherton

    March 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I think that another good alternative is to use a satin silver or gold-colored beading wire, and decorate it with a few pieces of crystal, maybe Swarovski. Use crimp beads to hold the crystals in place. Use crimp beads with crimp covers on the ends, and make a small charm with a crystal like on the ribbon. Lobster claw clasps, and you have a very pretty piece.

    Chain has gotten totally off the chart, and is going to drive up the price, and leather cord is too plain.

  3. avatar

    Val Bogdan

    March 5, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I make dichroic fused glass jewelry and when I make necklaces I use softflex to put sterling or goldfilled beads or gem beads to enhance, but not outshine the pendant. I use small lengths of chain to attach lobster clasps and make them adjustable. I love crimpbead covers and the wire keepers that protect the looped part of the softflex. for a very finished and tidy look. Chain is very expensive, but using only inches at a time, it’s affordable. Val Bogdan

  4. avatar

    kay nason

    March 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I have wire wrapped crystals. Made the bail to hold the 5/8″ ribbon with the silk or satin edges, 2 or 3 strands attached with the contrast color silk cord. I also like small crystals at the front of the bail also in the colors of the ribbon and silk cord. The colors from the ribbon and silk cord help the crystals shine different colors. I also like the wire wrap very simple and not too many crystals. kay