I glance over at my workbench and let out an exasperated sigh. I dig around under pieces of paper, pushing aside tools and bits of silver and half-formed pieces of jewelry that litter the surface.
Hard as I try to keep my physical space organized, my workspace is almost always a hot mess.
Case in point: as I sat at my desk writing this easy DIY necklace tutorial and look over at my workbench, this is exactly what I see:
Sadly, this is a common occurrence.
While this constant state of chaos is often the source of frustration because inevitably I cannot find the tool or supply I need — and very often, it is something I literally just put down — it also leads to these fantastic inadvertent “Aha!” design moments.
Or happy accidents.
For example, the necklace I’m about to show you how to make.
Back in 2011 when I was preparing for my wedding, I decided to make my bridesmaids necklaces. My colors were purple and silver; naturally I went with a silver necklace with a purple Swarovski briolette pendant accent.
(In case you’re wondering, a briolette is just a fancy word for an elongated pear-shaped crystal)
There were five bridesmaids, and the briolettes came in packages of six, so I had an extra one.
One sad, lonely briolette that went unused for years, just sitting in my bead box, day after day, week after week.
Fast forward four years. One day I’m working on a pair of earrings for a show. The briolette happens to be just hanging out on the workbench, minding its own business when I place the half-made earring onto the bench right next to it as I went digging around for an earwire.
I look down. Aha!
Perhaps sometimes it pays to be messy.
And now, my friends, for the easy DIY necklace tutorial with its fancy shmancy crystal pendant:
(And just a little heads up, those are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. That commission helps me to run this blog — or, at the very least, it will cover about one cup of coffee a month.)
For this necklace, you will need the following supplies:
- 2 pairs of flat nose pliers
- 12 large open jump rings
- I use 18-gauge 7.0 mm inner diameter (ID) sterling silver rings
- 13 small open jump rings
- I use 18-gauge 3.5 mm ID sterling silver jump rings
- 2 tiny open jump rings
- I use 22-gauge 2.2 mm ID sterling silver jump rings
- length of chain
- for an 18-inch necklace, I use about 17 1/2 inches of flat cable chain
- 1 small lobster clasp
- 1 Swarovski briolette
- I used one that a 11x5mm briolette. You can use any bead or accent of your choosing
To get started with this easy DIY necklace tutorial, take three of the largest jump rings (7.0 mm) and close one of them (you know it’s closed well when it makes a nice click and the two ends are flush). Take a second one and loop it through the first jump ring and close it. Take the two looped jump rings and hold them so that there is a space between where they overlap. Think of it as you are making a very small Venn diagram with your jump rings. In that space, loop the third jump ring and close it up. You’ve got the first spiral
Go ahead and make three more of these little spirals.
Now loop one of the smaller jump rings (3.5mm) through one of the spirals like so:
(And pay no attention to the fact that workbench looks like it changed colors. I swear it’s the same table.)
Go ahead and add another spiral onto that little jump ring and close it up nice and snug like a bug in a rug….erm, I mean like a snugly closed jump ring.
(Can you tell that I spend too much time around small children?)
(By the way, how much fun are you having with my tangents? Don’t worry, it’s even worse in person!
Connect the two spirals with another small jump ring, and continue with the other two jump rings until you have a little caterpillar of jump rings.
See, caterpillar! Wait, yours doesn’t look like that?
Loop your (imaginary) caterpillar’s head around so it’s getting a nice look at its tail end like so:
Just like you did with all the other spirals, connect the head and the end with two more jump rings. It may not look quite right when you’re in the process, but when one end is pulling from the tension of the chain I promise it will!
Just be sure not to twist the line around or it will definitely look off. Or keep it as is. The only rule I have around here is to have FUN and enjoy your jewelry-making process.
(Though I promise you I have my moments of frustration with the process.)
Now use one last jump ring to add your bead to one of the spirals (doesn’t matter which one)…
Attach another jump ring or two to the spiral on the opposite end, string it on a chain, and ta-da, a super simple yet fancy-looking pendant.
Unsure about how to make a chain? Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how!
Now go tell me in the comments — who will your first necklace be for, and what color will it be?
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