How to Make Bright Bead and Chain Necklaces

Posted by Adrianne Surian

These DIY bright bead and chain necklaces are long so they can be doubled, layered or left long and simple to match your style and mood for the day!

Layered necklaces are hot this year, and I've found myself wanting more long necklaces than ever before. These bead and chain necklaces aren't difficult to make, and there are so many ways to personalize them to suit your own style. Choose your own length, what kinds of colors and textures to use - the sky is the limit! This project requires some beginner's wire work, but it's a great starter project and I'll walk you through each step. Ready to design your own necklace? Let's get started!

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Here's what you'll need:

  • 12-20 inches of 2mm silver cable chain (it varies based on your beads and your target length)
  • 20-gauge copper wire (silver colored)
  • 6mm silver jump rings
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Lobster clasp
  • Beads! I'm using Subculture acrylic & metal bead collections in both yellow and hot pink
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We will be making up several beaded connectors from beads and wire. The number of connectors you need to make is purely personal preference, but typically, I aim for 12 beaded connectors to make a 32-34 inch necklace.

To form a wire connector, cut a length of wire about 4" long. About 1" from one end, wrap the wire around your round nosed pliers, forming a loop. Then, take the 1" tail, and wrap it around the base of the wire directly under the loop, closing off the loop completely. Wrap it 2-3 times, and then cut the excess wire, leaving just the loop.

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Add a bead or a mix of beads onto the wire. Then, on the other end, repeat the process. Instead of forming the loop 1 inch from the end, loop the wire over your pliers just a few millimeters from the top of the bead. When you wrap the short end of the wire around the base of the wire, you will fill that gap by wrapping the wire 2-3 times (or as many as it takes to fill the gap). Cut off the excess. Repeat step 1 and 2 until you have a dozen or so beaded sections (these are called connectors, and it will make sense why in step 4).

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Count your connectors, and cut one MORE length of chain than you have connectors. (12 connectors, cut 13 lengths of chain.) The longer you cut these segments of chain, the longer your necklace will be, and you'll want to factor in how long each of your beaded connectors are, but a good starting point is to cut the lengths 2 inches long each.

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Now, you will connect all the pieces together. Twist open a jump ring, add the loop from a beaded connector and a length of chain to it, and twist it closed again. Keep alternating chain, bead, chain, bead, until you're left with just two lengths of chain at each end.

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This step is optional, because we're creating long necklaces that will slip easily over your head, but if you would like to double your necklace at any point to wear it, it's helpful to connect a clasp to the end of your two chains.

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You can wear them long (as I plan to), but they look great doubled up, too! You can even wear a couple at the same time, because as I mentioned - layers are hot. Feel free to get creative and try other kinds of beads, or go with big and bright like I did today!

Thanks for joining me for today's project - happy crafting!

~ Adrianne

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