Chain-Title2I’m not sure who came up with the saying “Less is more,” but they were wrong, very, very wrong! At least when it comes to a necklace like this.  While it may be simple to create, there is nothing simple about it.  Made with 10 different styles of chain, everything about this piece feels indulgent.  It makes a statement worthy of a Real Housewife.  Maybe drinking copious amounts of wine, big mansions, fancy cars, and scandalous love lives aren’t your thing (or maybe they are, who am I to judge?) but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock a big statement necklace of your own!

Large Chain – 2 feet of each color (Gunmetal, Silver, Antique Silver, Gold, Antique Copper, Antique Brass)
Small Chain – 2 feet of each color (Antique Silver, Antique Copper, Gold, Antique Brass)
Silver Jump Ring (TC0020-SP)
Antique Brass Jump Ring (TC0026-AB)
Toggle Clasp (TC6214)

1) Trim the chain into 2 foot sections. Because this chain is not soldered, the links can be opened with chain nose pliers as you would with a jump ring.  Use as many or as few pieces of chain as you wish.  I ended up with 14 two foot sections.  (Image 1)
2) Connect the chains together using the large brass jump rings to make four sections of chain.  Then connect the four sections together with an additional brass jump ring.  (Images 2-3)
3) Attach your chain bundle to something secure.  I used a piece of scrap cord and a macrame board.  You could tape the chain to your worktable or attach it to a clip board as well.  (Image 4) 
4) Separate the chain into the 4 sections and braid them together as shown. (Images 5-11) 
5) Trim excess chain if necessary and connect the ends together with jump rings as done in step 2, above.  (Images 12-13) 
6) Add additional lengths of chain as necessary to make the necklace your desired size and connect the toggle clasp with the silver jump rings.  (Images 14-15)
Note: The more strands of chain used, the bulkier the necklace will be and therefore the finished necklace will be shorter.  The finished necklace shown above measures 22 inches while the necklace shown below measures almost 25 inches.  So, while they both started with 2 foot strands, the extra bulk decreases the final length.  

This monstrosity of a necklace weighs a good 5 pounds and to be honest, I couldn’t wear it for more than a few minutes before getting a crick in my neck.  But don’t dispare! This technique can be used to make a smaller necklace of a similar style.  Just decrease the amount of chain used (and/or use chain with smaller links), add in some strands of ribbon or even a few strands of beads.  Braid them all together, and bam, a necklace that won’t break your neck!

For the necklace shown above, I used the large silver chain, three colors of the smaller chain (antique copper, antique brass and antique silver),  silver cup chain in turquoise and coral, and some navy and cream silk ribbons.  Simply use an end connector to attach the ribbon and a cup chain connector to attach the rhinestone cup chain.  Connect it all together with jump rings and braid together as shown in the tutorial.  The result is a nautical-inspired necklace that is much more wearable and light weight.  I love the different textures the crystal cup chain and ribbons add to the finished piece.

I also whipped up a bracelet using all of the extra chain that was leftover from making the necklaces.  I connected lengths of chain together with jump rings so that all of the pieces were seven inches in length.  Then, I connected all of the chain together with jump rings and attached the toggle clasp to finish it up.  A bracelet like this is a great way to use up leftover bits of chain.  You know, all those pieces that are too small to use but too large to throw away? If you’re like me, then you have an ever growing collection of them.

I’m a big fan of the mixed metals trend that has been so popular in jewelry recently.  I love mixing colors and sizes and textures for a completely unexpected and beautiful result!  What do you think about mixed metals and statement necklaces?  I would love to hear from you in the comments!


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2 thoughts on “Braided Chain Necklace

  • July 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I’ve just started dabbling in chain creations and was wondering what I could be doing with the leftovers – now I know. Thanks!
    – Krys

    • July 27, 2015 at 11:21 am

      I also like making earrings with little bits of leftover chain. You can also try using the links as jump rings! ~Kelsy

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