Jewelry might be one of the most ubiquitous and fun things to DIY. There are so many possibilities for the designs and the supplies are inexpensive. That, and there is something glorious about being able to say, “I made this” when someone asks where you got that awesome necklace. One of the most basic and important skills to know when making your own jewelry is how to make a chain. We’ve figured out the easiest and cheapest way to make a basic chain that can be used to necklaces, bracelets, and more.
You’ll need some annealed steal wire in 20 gauge or thicker (this can be found at any hardware store). You may also use brass, copper, or silver wire, but we like the steel because it’s inexpensive, stronger, and can look like silver. You will also need wire cutters, two needle nose or chain nose pliers, and something cylindrical (like a pen, marker, or dowel rod) in the thickness that you want the chain-link (aka jump ring) diameter to be.
Step 1: Cut about a foot of your wire.
Step 2: Hold the wire tightly to your cylinder (we used a pen) and wrap the wire around it. You can also tape the end of your wire to hold it in place. Make sure that you wrap the wire with each loop as close to the next as possible without overlapping them.
Step 3: Slide the looped wire off and cut with your wire cutters. Make sure to cut one jump ring at a time in a straight line.
Step 4: Using the needle nose pliers, open the jump rings in order to link them together. Be sure to twist them open instead of pulling them open.
Step 5: Begin linking the jump rings together to form your chain.
Keep making jump rings and adding them to your chain until it is the length you want.
Step 6: Make a hook closure and attach to the end of your chain the same way you would put on another jump ring. For this you’ll need about 6 inches of wire.
Step 7: You can polish you chain by rubbing it between your hands. The more you do it, the shinier the wire will become.
You can play with the ring diameters and wire gauge to create different chains. Attach charms to create a sweet bracelet or wrap wire around a found object to make a one-of-a-kind necklace.