Knitted-Braided Chain Necklace

Instructions for making Knitted-Braided Chain Necklace out of jewelry wire, beads and jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools

Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making ProjectWhen you have a large focal bead or a gemstone pendant that you want to emphasize in a simple necklace you have a few choices in the chain you use to hang the bead or gemstone.  You can use commercial jewelry chain, or you can make your own chain out of a variety of materials.  Anyone can make a necklace using a machine made jewelry chain and in most cases it will look very nice, but that chain was made by a machine and looks like it was made by a machine.  Sometimes you will want to make a necklace and have it look both professional and hand made at the same time.  Our goal with these instructions is to describe how to use braided wire, knitted wire chain, or other thicker chain materials and attach a clasp in a professional but permanent manner. 

When making a necklace out of braided wire, knitted wire chain, leather, hemp, or satin cord, the one problem that must be solved is how do you attach a clasp to the material and still have a professional looking finished piece.  In these instruction we will discuss two ways of attaching a clasp to braided wire, knitted wire chain, or any other thicker material including leather, hemp or satin cord.  Please view the two pictures below to see two methods for attaching a clasp to a thicker chain.  The clasp on the left is attached to a knitted wire chain.  The clasp on the right uses an end cone finding and is attached to braided Soft Flex bead stringing wire. 

See below to view our step-by-step instructions for making our Knit Chain or Braided Chain necklace.
 

Jewelry Supplies Required: Jewelry Tools Required:

Braided Chain Necklace Open Clasp -- Jewelry Making Project

Step-by-Step instructions for making a Knitted-Braided chain using common jewelry tools, jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies:

There are two approaches to attaching a knit or braided chain to a clasp.  The one we will discuss first is the open connection shown at right.  This connection does not use an end cone finding and is easier to see the technique.  Later in these instructions we will discuss how to connect a clasp using an end cone finding to cover most of the wrapped wire. 

Step 1:  First, you need about 20 to 30 inches of knitted chain or about 72 inches of Soft Flex bead stringing wire for braiding.  These same instructions will work for 20 to 30 inches leather, satin or hemp.  With knitted wire chain, you will either need to purchase already knitted wire chain, or make the knitted wire chain in advance.  For braided Soft Flex bead stringing wire, you can connect three or more strands of the wire to the clasp on one end and then braid the wire, or you can tape the three or more strands of wire together and braid the wire and then connect the already braided wire to the clasp.  Please note that WigJig is selling knitted gold-plated and silver-plated chain as item 3458 in our Internet store. 

Step 2:  Now, we need to straighten and cut a 4" segment of 22 gauge jewelry wire.  Frequently, we find it easier to straighten the wire before we cut it.  we straighten it while it is still attached to the spool or in a 6" coil.  Regardless of the order, you need a 4" straight segment of 22 gauge wire. 

Step 3:  Grasp the wire about 2" from one end using your bent chain nose pliers and make a 90 degree bend in the wire as shown below-left.

Step 4 to Braided Chain Necklace  -- Jewelry Making ProjectStep 4:  Using your round nose pliers, make a loop in the Bend (steps 3 to 6) as shown below- center.  Like many jewelry making skills this is a skill where you will get better with practice.  When first practicing this skill, make a larger loop rather than a smaller loop, it will make it easier to complete the project.  After you have had success making the connection with a larger loop, then you can experiment with finding the right size for the loop. 

Step 5:  Thread your knitted wire chain or three or more segments of Soft Flex bead stringing wire through the loop you just completed with about 1" of excess chain or wire.  Grasp the main chain and the 1" of excess with your plastic hemostat and squeeze the hemostat to the closed and locked position.  See the picture below-left. 

Step 6:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the loop you made.  Try to grasp the loop diagonally across the loop as shown below-center. 

Step 7:  Wrap the horizontal wire tail 1/2 way back around the loop, at an angle toward the top of the loop as shown below-right. 

Step 5 to Braided Chain Necklace  -- Jewelry Making Project Step 6 to Knitted Chain Jewelry Making Project
Step 5 Step 6 Step 7

Step 8 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectStep 8:  Change your grip with your bent chain nose pliers.  You want to grip on the outside of the wire tail and the loop so your pliers are holding both the wire tail and the loop at the same time.  See the picture at right. 

Step 9:  Wrap the wire tail around the knitted chain or the bead stringing wire several times as shown below-left.  Wrap the wire tightly.  Keep the wire tail perpendicular to the knitted chain or bead stringing wire as you are wrapping.  Wrap for about 4 complete loops of wire. 

Step 10:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire.  Using a second pair of bent chain nose pliers, squeeze and twist the small cut end of wire until it is flat and tight against the knitted chain or bead stringing wire.  See the picture below-center. 

Step 11:  Remove the wire chain and 22 gauge wire from the plastic hemostat and from the bent chain nose pliers.  At this point the wire chain and 22 gauge wire should appear as shown below-right. 

Step 9 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Project Step 10 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje Step 11 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje
Step 9 Step 10 Step 11

Step 12 to Braided Chain Necklace  -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 12:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire chain or bead stringing wire.  At this point the end of the wire chain should appear as shown at right.  This is the point where you need to decide if you are going to have an open ending or use the end cone to cover the wrapped wire.  See the pictures below for what the open ending looks like on the left or the end cone ending on the right.  If you choose the end cone ending, you will add the end cone at this point and the instructions change slightly on how to complete the connection to the clasp.  Step 13 below presumes that you elected to use the open ending.  Please skip to step 13A if you choose to use the end cone. 

Open Clasp for Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje   End Cone Clasp for Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje

Step 13:  For the open ending, we need to make a wrapped loop at the end of the wire to connect to the clasp.  Begin by grasping the wire immediately above the loop you made in step 5 with the tips of your bent chain nose pliers as shown below-left. 

Step 14:  Bend the wire 90 degrees as shown below-center by pushing the wire with your thumb. 

Step 15:  Grasp the wire on the horizontal wire segment as near the 90 degree bend as possible with your round nose pliers, as shown below-right. 

Step 13 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje Step 14 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje Step 15 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje
Step 13 Step 14 Step 15

Step 16 to Braided Chain Necklace Open Clasp -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 16:  To continue making the wrapped loop you need to push the wire up and over the jaw of your round nose pliers as shown at right.  You are not able to complete the loop in this step because the jaws of the pliers prevent it.

Step 17:  In order to complete this loop, you first need to relax your grip on the wire and reposition the wire as shown below-left.  Once the wire is in this position, then grip the wire again with your round nose pliers. 

Step 18:  Push the wire around the jaw of your round nose pliers as shown below-center. 

Step 19:  Remove the wire from your pliers.  The end of the knitted chain should appear as shown below-right. 

Step 17 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje Step 18 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje Step 19 to Knitted Wire Chain Necklace Jewelry Making Proje
Step 17 Step 18 Step 19

Step 20 to Braided Chain Necklace  -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 20:  Connect this loop to your clasp as shown at right.  In this case we are using 6mm magnetic clasps. 

Step 21:  Grasp the loop that you completed in step 19 with your bent chain nose pliers and while holding the loop firmly with the pliers in your non-dominant hand, push the wire to wrap around the wire segment between the two loops.  Continue to push the wire, with the wire tail perpendicular to the wire segment between the loops until the space between the loops is filled with wrapped wire. 

Step 22:  Cut the excess wire with your flush cutter

Step 23:  Using two pair of bent chain nose pliers, hold the loop at the clasp with one pair of pliers and use the other pair of pliers to squeeze and twist the small cut end of the wire until it is flat. 

Step 24:  At this point you are ready to add you focal bead or gemstone to the chain. 

Step 25:  Finish the necklace by repeating steps 1 through 23 on the opposite end of the chain. 










Step 23 Step 24 Step 25

Step 13A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 13A: Insert your end cone on the wire as shown at right.  Remember to practice this technique with practice wire before using your good wire.  You will learn as you use your practice wire that you will need to make a smaller initial loop when you plan on using an end cone.  That way the loop and wrapped wire will all fit inside the end cone. 

Step 14A:  Now we need to make a loop here to connect to our clasp.  First, push the end cone all the way down.  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the wire immediately above the end cone as shown below-left. 

Step 15A:  Push the wire to bend it 90 degrees as shown below-center.

Step 16A:  Grasp the wire with your round nose pliers immediately adjacent to the 90 degree bend, but on the horizontal wire segment as shown below-right. 

Step 14A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project Step 15A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project Step 16A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project
Step 14A Step 15A Step 16A

Step 17A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 17A:  Push the wire up, over and around the top jaw of your round nose pliers as shown at right. 

Step 18A:  In order to complete this loop we need to reorient the wire in the jaws of our round nose pliers.  First relax your grip on the pliers and then twist the wire about 180 degrees until it is in the position shown below-left.  Then re-grip the wire with your round nose pliers.  

Step 19A:  Push the wire the rest of the way around the top jaw of your round nose pliers. 

Step 20A:   Remove the wire from your round nose pliers.  At this point the wire should appear as shown below-right. 

Step 18A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project Step 19A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project Step 20A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project
Step 18A Step 19A Step 20A

Step 21A Braided Chain Necklace  -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 21A:  After removing the wire from your pliers you need to add the clasp and slide the clasp into position in the loop you just completed.  In the picture at right, we are using a 6mm sterling silver magnetic clasp. 

Step 22A:  With the clasp in position, grasp the loop with your bent chain nose pliers as shown below-left.  Holding the loop in your pliers preserves the shape of the loop while you are wrapping the wire. 

Step 23A:  Wrap the wire around the wire coming from the end cone to fill the space between the loop and the end cone with wrapped wire.  See the picture below-center. 

Step 24A:   Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire.  To finish this piece you will need to continue holding the wire with your bent chain nose pliers while you use a second pair of chain nose pliers to squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire until it is flat. 

Step 22A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project Step 23A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project Step 25A Braided Chain Necklace -- Jewelry Making Project
Step 22A Step 23A Step 24A

Step 24A Braided Chain Necklace  -- Jewelry Making Project

Step 24A:  You can view a finished end cone connection between a braided necklace and a clasp at right.  Unless you are very good with your wire wraps, this technique is probably a better way to finish a necklace than the open connection we discussed above. 

The three necklaces below are examples of what you can make using this technique. 

Braided 925 Silver Soft Flex Braided Gold Soft Flex Knitted Chain

 Braided Chain   -- Jewelry Making Project

How to Start Making a Braided Chain:  In the picture at right you can see a close up of .024 Extreme 925 Silver Soft Flex bead stringing wire braided to make a chain.  The process for making this braided chain uses the techniques above for attaching a clasp to the end of the braided chain. 

Braided Chain Jewelry Making Technique Step 1 Braided Chain Jewelry Making Technique Step 2 Braided Chain Jewelry Making Technique Step 3

 

We hope you like this project as much as we do.  Here is our latest necklace project that we completed using braided silver Soft Flex wire.


 

 

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