Since time immemorial, people have loved wearing rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. And they have been amazed at how both intricate and straightforward jewelry can be. These ornaments have been a part of many cultures, history, and beliefs.
When it comes to chain link jewelry, consumers are always enthralled by its endless, novel chain designs with eye-catching glitter or shimmer. Typically, chain link jewelry designed in fashion styles surges and rules the market each season in every year. With affordable prices, customers are glad to pay for it and fond of adding more to their jewelry boxes.
In addition to its popularity, artisans can make such attractive jewelry in ways that are not difficult. In this blog, we will show you some basics of chain link jewelry and how it can be crafted in simple ways. Explore now!
What Is Chain Link Jewelry?
Structurally, chain link jewelry is made of a string of metal wires linked together. In terms of the materials used to make standard chain-link necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings, metals like aluminum, silver, gold, and stainless steel can be commonly found on them. Besides, being partnered with natural stones and gemstones, these chain-link necklaces or bracelets are popular among customers.
There are various types of chain jewelry. Listed below are some of the most distinguished ones.
- Cable Link Chain
Source: TTT Jewelry
Cable link chains comprise identical round or oval wire loops linked to form a chain. With its reliability and sturdiness, cable chain link is a good choice for making necklaces with pendants.
- Figaro Link Chain
Source: TTT Jewelry
Figaro chain link consists of two or three small circular loops followed by a long oval link. It generally features a ‘stretched’ look with its links twisted so that Figaro chain necklaces or bracelets will lay flat.
- Paperclip Chain Link
Source: TTT Jewelry
Paperclip link chain necklaces or bracelets have chains shaped like paper clips stationery. Chain link jewelry has been popular in recent years.
- Rolo Chain
Source: TTT Jewelry
Rolo chains and Cable chains look alike. But Rolo chains are linked by circular or semi-round rings. Hence, it’s flat inside the Rolo link. And the Rolo chain is smaller and bulkier than a basic link chain.
- Anchor Chain
Alt-text: Anchor Chain Jewelry On A White Background
An anchor chain link resembles a ship’s anchor. The chain consists of oval links that interchange from vertical to horizontal.
Why Chain Links Are Popular?
As we mentioned, chain jewelry is so popular because of its chain-link shape design and sparkling appearance. More than that, chain link jewelry appeals to its fans for some other reasons as follows:
- Chain link jewelry is versatile to fit people’s outfits in modern or vintage styles. Jewelry ranging from contemporary paperclip chain link jewelry to classic curb chain jewelry is affordable and accessible.
- Chains symbolize sincere affection for someone. The infinity loops of the chain-linked jewelry signify unending love and passion.
- Chain link jewelry conveys a positive message that one always keeps up with the times. Emerging in the jewelry market with the most famous appearance every season, inspires people never to stop keeping up with the trends and accepting the newest beneficial things.
- Chain link jewelry is perfect for people who adore jewelry layering or simple jewelry styling. Exquisite chain link bracelets and necklaces are a terrific enhancement to layered looks. Chains are also fashionable when worn solo.
Making Your Chain Link Jewelry
There are factors to consider when making chain link jewelry.
- The Materials And Tools Used In Making Chain Link Jewelry
The Basic Materials:
Chain loops are made from wires and are measured by gauge. Thin cables are in high gauge while thick wires are in low gauge. For example, a 12 gauge wire is thick, and a 24 gauge wire is thin.
- Jump Rings
Jump rings are essential in jewelry making. These metal rings are used for linking your jewelry pieces together.
A clasp is a vital piece to enclose your chain link bracelets and necklaces. Grips come in various styles, and it’s essential to consider them for your entire design.
The Basic Tools:
- Snipe Nose Pliers
Snipe nose or chain nose pliers are essential all-around pliers to have. You can use these pliers to shape wires, hold small items, and open and close jump rings.
- Round Nose Pliers
Round nose pliers are perfect for forming wire loops. These pliers are effective for wire wrapping and making eye pins.
- Flat Nose Pliers
Flat nose pliers have a larger surface making them perfect for gripping larger flatter surfaces. They are also great for arching sharp angles in sheets and wires.
- Side Cutters Pliers
Side cutters are used for cutting flexible jewelry string wire or thin metal wire. The flat blades cut wires in hard-to-reach places, which minimizes filing and finishing.
- Bent Nose Pliers
Bent nose pliers are perfect for gripping and getting into hard-to-reach places. The curved angle of the tips lets you see your project without the handles getting in the way of your line of sight.
- Jobbing Hammer / Ball Pein Hammer
A jobbing hammer is vital in jewelry-making. This hammer is perfect for making curves and flattening the wire loops of your chain link jewelry.
Rules For Choosing Your Chain
After acquiring knowledge regarding the materials and the styles of chains, here are some rules that could help you pick a proper chain for your jewelry.
- Evaluate How Much Weight Needs To Be Carried.
A thin chain or a high gauge wire is needed if you’re putting in a tiny pendant. For numerous pieces of jewelry with an immense charm, thicker chain links or lower gauge wire is required.
- Think Of The Application.
Bracelets may contact numerous surfaces throughout the day, so you should use thicker links or heavier gauge wires.
- Think Of Your Everyday Routine.
A bulkier weight chain is unlikely to hook or break during daily use, such as resting your wrist on a countertop.
- Consider The Placement Of The Necklace.
An 18-inch fine and slimmer necklace laying stylishly on the collarbone is the most common choice for women. It’s fancier in its design and is less likely to catch or snag during the day.
- Study Jewelry Style For Individuals
Men’s jewelry will usually need more prominent links that look more manly. Styles that have beveled or hard edges are more brawny.
- Consider The Colors When Selecting Your Chains.
A primary color rule is wearing a light-colored chain against a dark-colored outfit. Another limitation is that silver jewelry works best in evenings or occasions with dark-colored backgrounds.
Antique Brass or Copper is perfect for rustic or classic jewelry designs. These rules are essential when planning which jewelry you’d like to create.
Steps In Making A Chain Link Jewelry
After preparing the materials and expected chains mentioned above, the following things are essential in making your chain link jewelry.
- Cut Your Chain To The Proper Length
The standard lengths for chain link necklaces are 16 inches to 22 inches. You can measure around your neck with a spare cord to discern the size you desire.
The average length for women’s bracelets is 6.5 to 7.5 inches and 7.5 to 9 inches for men. The universal rule for learning your bracelet length is to add 2 cm to your wrist size.
To trim the chain to the proper length, use a pair of Side Cutters to shorten a link in the long chain. Measure the size of your chain against a yardstick and cut the link closest to your preferred length.
- Select Clasps To Fasten Your Chain Link Jewelry
Selecting a clasp is more of a personal preference. However, some grips have benefits over others.
- Lobster Clasps
A lobster clasp has a trip on the side that opens the claw, and you can latch this claw at the end of your chain. These clasps are the easiest way to ensure a chain. Press the trigger to open the clasp.
- Toggle Clasps
Source: TTT Jewelry
Toggle clasps have one bar and one loop, using gravity to clasp. These clasps are two-part clasps that need a jump ring to connect each piece.
Put the bar in the loop and let it lie around your neck. The pressure of the hanging chain holds the clasp closed.
- Spring Ring Clasps
Spring Ring clasps are similar to jump rings with a lobster clasp function. A spring ring is a ring-shaped clasp with an impetus that you pull to open a portion of the ring, enabling you to slip the end of your chain inside the open loop.
Spring ring clasps tend to be tiny, and the trip can be tinier. But the diminutive form of this clasp has an advantage as it can be masked as part of the chain.
- Barrel Clasp
Barrel or Torpedo Clasps are small tube-shaped clasps that unclip into two pieces.
- Hook And Eye Clasps
These clasps work like Toggle Clasps. The difference is, instead of a bar and loop, this clasp has a hook and loop set.
- Tips For Chain End Finishing
After selecting your clasp to finish your chain jewelry, you’ll need to fasten it using a jump ring. Twist the ring open and slide it through the loop in your clasp. Twist the jump ring to connect to the last link of your chain.
Use a second jump ring if you’re using a two-part clasp like a toggle or hook and eye clasp. Fasten the second clasp piece and close it around the other end of the chain.
- Making Basic Wire Loops
If you want to create a piece of chain link jewelry from soup to nuts, we have prepared steps to tell you how to make wire loops.
- Choose your wire at a long length, and cut it ahead of creating loops. But if you’re just a beginner in making chain-link jewelry, you need to learn how much wire is required per loop.
- Use your round-nosed pliers to grip the end of the wire and twist until you form a loop.
- Upon finishing your first loop, take the length of the wire close to your first loop. Twist your wrist in the other direction of the first loop.
Keep rotating your round nose pliers until you’re satisfied with your second loop. Grab your flush cutters and cut the end of the wire close to the end of the second loop you’ve made. You now have your figure of eight shapes.
- Perfect each loop. You may have to alter the coils a little to minimize the space that you have made between each circle. This process will help you secure the gaps later as you complete your chain link jewelry.
- Keep on making wire loops until you’ve achieved your desired size. This step depends on how long you’d like your chain jewelry to be.
- Pound the loops you’ve made. Use a jobbing hammer to flatten the wire loops and symmetrically bring the joins together.
Put the figure of eight links on your bench block and give each link a solid set of taps. You can also use this method to eliminate any dents made by pliers clutching the wire tightly.
- After hammering each loop, link all figures of eight links together. After connecting, you can solidly interlock each circle to create a necklace.
- When you’re convinced with the length of your jewelry, you can now add a clasp. You can use a store-bought buckle or a DIY clasp made from the wire you’ve been using.
Start Creating Your Masterpiece
There are no strict and quick rules in choosing your chain. We urge you to test various chain link types and wear different styles.
Start creating your chain link jewelry masterpiece. Let your creativity flow through your veins and make one-of-a-kind jewelry.