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Large Links Necklace

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Instructions for making Large Links Necklace out of jewelry wire, beads and jewelry making supplies using WigJig jewelry tools:

Large Jewelry Wire Links Necklace made using WigJig jewelry tools and common jewelry supplies.

In modern American parlance, we have "super sized" the links in a chain to make a wire link necklace.  The inspiration for this necklace is that we have seen several similar necklaces in magazines and on television.  In the necklace shown at right, we used two colors of wire in the links for the simple reason that the similar necklaces we've seen in magazines had multi-color links.  We don't actually suggest the color combination that we chose here.  In the necklaces that provided the inspiration, brightly colored links were mingled with silver colored links. 

Beads on our Large Jewelry Wire Links Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectThe next question that one must ask about any supersized jewelry making project like this is "Do you want beads with that?"  Of course the answer to this questions is yes, so later in our instructions, we will show how to add beads to the links in this necklace as shown at left. 

Finally, we used the same large loop link, with two different sizes of smaller links to make the bracelet shown below.  We connected the links in this bracelet with multiple figure 8 connectors.  We think that you will like this bracelet.  The instructions for the bracelet are here.

Large Jewelry Wire Loops Bracelet with Beads Jewelry Making Project, made using WigJig jewelry making tools.

These jewelry making projects are suitable for beginners.

Instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools.

Step-by-step instructions for making Large Links Necklace using WigJig jewelry tools, jewelry wire, beads and common jewelry supplies:

Step 1:  Cut a piece of 18 gauge soft jewelry wire 5" long.  For intermediate wire workers, you might want to try this project with 16 gauge jewelry wire for the larger and bolder style that the larger wire would provide. 

Step 2:  Make a 1/2 loop in one end of the jewelry wire.  You don't need a full  loop, because this 1/2 loop will ultimately be cut off.  You need just enough of a loop so that the wire can hold on peg 1, a regular metal peg.

Step 3:  Grasp the 1/2 loop in the jewelry wire and using your nylon jaw pliers, pull the wire repeatedly through the jaws of your pliers to straighten the wire.

Step 4:  Position one regular metal peg and two 1/2" Super Pegs in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown above-right.  Place the initial loop on peg 1 and wrap the wire, first round peg 2, then around peg 3 asStep 5 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links Necklace showing jewelry wire after removal from WigJig jewelry tool.shown.  We  used our WigJig Centaur jewelry tool for this project, but this pattern could be adapted to any of our jewelry making jigs. 

Step 5:  Remove the wire from your WigJig jewelry tool.  Your jewelry wire component should appear as shown at right.

Step 6:  Grasp one of the two loops of jewelry wire made around one of the 1/2" Super Pegs in your nylon jaw pliers as shown below-left.  While firmly holding the loop to preserve the round shape, bend the wire tail up and over the wire segment connecting the two loops as shown below-right.  You won't be able to push this wire flat.  That can wait for a later step.  (There is an alternative technique you can use to start this wire wrap.  You can replace the wire component on your WigJig jewelry tool in the mirror image position, then with the jewelry wire held in shape by the pegs in your jewelry making jig, you can use your fingers to lift the beginnning wire segment.  To start the wrap for the opposite end of your wire, you would remove the jewelry wire component from your WigJig jewelry tool after you had completed  flattening the initial wire segment, then flip your jewelry wire component over and replace it on your jewelry making jig in the mirror image position.  Once the jewelry wire component was back on your WigJig jewelry tool, then you could lift the opposite end of your wire without disturbing the shape of the Large Loops link.  We suggest that you try this approach with practice wire to see which jewelry making technique works best for you.)

Step 6 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Loops Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire using common jewelry tools. After Step 6 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links Necklace Jewelry Making Project

Step 7:  Since this is the first link we are making, you will need to do the same thing on the opposite loop.  First grasp the loop in your nylon jaw pliers and then bend the wire up and over the wire segment that connects the two loops. 

Step 8 to instructions for making Large Loops Jewelry Wire Bracelet & Necklace using common jewelry making supplies.Step 8:  Now bend the two ends of the wire down into the position shown at right.  Do this using your fingers.  You don't want to push the jewelry wire completely flat at this point, because you need room to cut the excess wire.

Step 9 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire using jewelry making tools.Step 9:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire leaving about 1/8" of wire on either side. 

Step 10 to instructions for making Large Links Jewelry Wire Necklace and Bracelet using common jewelry supplies.Step 10:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, push the end of the wire on either side down, until it comes into contact with the loop in the wire.  This will complete one large link. 

Step 11:  There are two options in how to connect these links into a chain.  In the necklace above, we connected the additional links to the initial link before we wrapped the link closed.  In the picture below-left, you can see how a link was added, before one end of the loops was wrapped closed.  In the picture below-center, you can see that after that link was connected, you use your nylon jaw pliers to wrap that loop closed.  You finish attaching that link by following steps 7, 8 and 9 described previously.   To make a full necklace using these large loop links, you will need 17 of these large links.  On the 17th link, you will need to add your clasp before squeezing the link closed as shown below-right.

Step 11 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Loops Necklace and Bracelet showing jewelry wire links connected to form a chain. Step 11 to instructions for making Large Links Necklace showing shaping jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.
Connecting a clasp as part of the steps in making the Large Links Necklace using common jewelry making supplies.

Step 12 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Loops showing connecting links with Figure 8 ConnectorsAlternative configuration for making necklace chain using WigJig jewelry tools and jewelry wire:

The alternative method for connecting these large jewelry wire links into a chain is via figure 8 connectors.  In the picture at right you can see how we used three figure 8 connectors to connect each link together.  Using multiple figure 8 connectors like this makes the necklace or bracelet more stable than using just one.  Furthermore, the esthetic effect of the multiple connectors makes the chain seem more robust.  The figure 8 connectors shown here had the initial loop for each connector made on the first step of our fine step jaw pliers, then we used our round nose pliers to make the second loop the same size as the initial loop.  By using this approach all the figure 8 connectors we make are pretty close to being the same size and therefore they will look better.  Editor's note:  We actually liked the necklace better using the three figure 8 connectors rather than connecting link to link described in Step 11.

Beads Added to the Large Jewelry Wire Loops Necklace Jewelry Making ProjectOne other alternative configuration to discuss is to add beads to the necklace, as shown at right.  We recommend using 24 gauge round jewelry wire or 21 gauge 1/2 round jewelry wire to wrap a segment of wire to either side of the Large Loops link with the beads.  If you have 1/2 round wire that will work better.  If you don't 24 gauge round jewelry wire will work.    You can find instructions for adding the beads to a loop of wire here.

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

We showed a couple of approaches for making this Large Links necklace.  Of these alternative designs, we like the design where we connect the Large Links Jewelry Wire Component with three figure 8 connectors.  We like this design better because the large links stay in a flat position naturally.  Connecting the links one to another doesn't allow the large links to lay flat.  We also like the alternative where we added beads to the links. 

This is a relatively easy jewelry making project.  You can make these links in a variety of sizes; but, because the links of jewelry wire are large, it allows you to make fewer wire components in the necklace and this saves some time. 






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