JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Basic Chain Pendant Necklace

When I walk into the jewelry section of a craft store, there are many collections full of pendants ready to be made into necklaces. You can use many kinds of necklaces...cord, ribbon, beaded, chain, crocheted hang these around your neck. The kind we are making today is a basic chain. I'll show you how to make one with and without an length adjustment extension, and how to make your pendant ready for a basic necklace. I used silver hardware (chain, jump rings, and lobster clasp) that matched my pendant. You could use different colored metal, but make sure it all matches and coordinates with your pendant. Ok, on to the tutorial!

  • 1 Pendant - This can be decorative, a charm, or a big focal bead. Mine is a decorative sword from the "Fairy Tale" collection at Hobby Lobby
  • Silver small link chain - You want chain study enough for regular use and with visible single links. I chose one that was able to easily slip through the bail (hanging loop) of my pendant
  • 2 Silver small jump rings - For making the closure
  • 1 Silver lobster claps - For the closure
  • 2 Jewelry pliers - For opening and closing jump rings. I use round nose and bent flat nose pliers
  • 1 Chain cutter - For cutting the chain
  • 1 Fabric measuring tape - For measuring your neck and the chain

  • Silver larger link chain - To make an extension for adjustment. The links need to be big enough for the lobster clasp to easily clasp onto
  • 1-3 Silver small jump ring - Depending on your pendant, you might need to add jump rings to the hanging loop, to make it suitable for a chain


1) If you aren't familiar with how to open and close a jump ring, let's cover that. You'll be using a few jump rings in this project and future ones, so knowing how to work with a jump ring is important. With one pair of pliers in each hand (I use the bent in my left and round nose in my right. My right is my dominant hand, so my left needs a little help with better gripping pliers.), pick up the jump ring near where the circle completes by the wire ends touching.
  • To open the jump ring, move the wire ends front to back in opposite directions. That separation just needs to be big enough to slip the jump ring onto what you want it on...chain, pendant, closure, another jump ring
  • After it is open, slip the jump ring onto what you are using it for. I normally do that with my fingers, but sometimes I need the pliers to hold the pieces steady. With the pliers, hold onto the jump ring on either side of the opened ends. Carefully close the jump ring by moving the ends towards each other, in the opposite direction of how you opened them. Make sure the ends meet tightly, so your added item stays attached securely
2) Look at the opening of your pendant. Does it open on the sides, or front to back?
  • If it opens on the sides, check to see if the chain will slip through it easily. If the chain doesn't slip through easily, you will need to attach two jump rings in a row...attach one to the pendant, and the 2nd to the 1st jump ring. The 2nd jump ring should be big enough to slip the chain through
  • If the opening is front to back facing, you will need to add 1 jump ring, to make the opening side facing. This jump ring should be big enough to slip the chain through easily

3) Now that you have the pendant sorted out, it's time to make that chain for your neck. Take the beginning of the measuring tape and place it where you want the necklace to lay. I like right at my collar bone indentation. Put the measuring tape around your neck to meet back with the starting place. You will use this measurement for your chain length, minus half an inch for the jump rings and lobster clasp.

4) Hold the end of the chain at the beginning of the measuring tape. Lay the chain against the measuring tape until you reach your needed length measurement. Use the wire cutters, to cut through the link after your length measurement.

5) Slip your length of chain through your pendant loop. This could be the side facing jump ring, if applicable.

6) Open up one jump ring. Add the loop of the lobster clasp and one end of the chain. Close the jump ring.

7) Open up the last jump ring. Add this jump ring to the other end of the chain length. Close the jump ring, if you don't want to add a length adjustment chain. To wear this type of chain necklace, you would close the lobster clap on the opposite end's jump ring.

8) OPTIONAL: To make a length adjustment chain, you'll use a chain slightly bigger than the small chain. You need one that you can easily clasp the lobster clap to. Cut a 3-4 inch piece of that bigger chain, with wire or chain cutters. With that last jump ring still open, add an end of the length adjustment chain. Close the jump ring.

That is all for this tutorial. This is a standard type of chain necklace. You can slip pendants on it, but it also is commonly used as a base for more complicated designs. We'll cover that in later tutorials! I have more complicated jewelry tutorials planned, but having a basic one to reference is always helpful! Happy Makery!


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