Dirty Shiny Pretty

Musings on Dirty Shiny Pretty Life

Apr 5, 2010

Easy Chain Tutorial

So I'm finally able to post a jewelry tutorial since I actually managed to take a few pics while I was working on a project. They aren't very pretty but they get the job done.

Simple Beaded Gold Chain
1. Materials needed:
-needle nose pliers
-wire cutters
-square edged pliers(d0n't remember real name but they are very common)
-beads (these are small pink glass beads)
-chain (I bought 4' and ended up using about 3 1/2' which made a chain down to my waist)
-several head pins or connector pins (I like head pins so I can make the connector rings whatever size I wish)
-lobster clasp (I like to add clasps to my chains to make them more versatile)
-2 jump rings 1 small and 1 large
*I like to buy my supplies online for price and variety and at a local bead store that offers unique beads and chains. I also use old discarded jewelry to create new pieces.

2. Decide how far about you want to space your beads. I chose to add a bead in place of every 5th oval ring on my chain because I was keeping it so simple I wanted to make sure I had lots of color. Starting at one end of the chain count your spacer amount. Either simply cut the chain in two or use your pliers to undo the ring. Some chain is made of sealed rings so you will have to cut it.

3. Grab a bead and slide it on the head pin. Now take you needle nose pliers and grip the very tip of the unfinished end of the pin

4. Next twist your wrist counterclockwise to make a small hook at the end of the pin. Slide one piece of the chain onto the hook. Keeping the chain in the hook take your needle nose pliers and close the hook up to make a circle so the chain can't slide off.

5. Cut the head pin down to size. I just eye this. Then repeat step 4 with the other piece of chain. Make sure the loops on both sides are bent in the same direction, if not just take both pairs of pliers, one on each loop, and twist the ends until they are lined upWhen I'm working with small beads I try to make the connector rings as small as possible so the don't distract from the actual beads. Also, it can allow you to use one pin to wire several beads.

6. Continue working around the chain until you reach a length you like. Cut off or remove the extra links. Grab the large jump ring and open it slightly with your pliers. I find it easiest to use both set of pliers to do this. slide the end of the chain onto the ring. Close ring with pliers. I use my flat pliers to squeeze the ring shut while the need nose are angled through the ring to help keep it's round shape. Repeat this with the small jump ring and the start of the chain *Make sure you slide the lobster clasp onto the small jump ring as well.

7. Ta Da! I kept this chain simple and sweet as it was a special request I made for a customer whose tastes in jewelry are simple and girlie. With this techinque though there are countless variations on what you can make all it takes is a little imagination. At the bottom I've posted some pics of other pieces I've made using the same steps. You can vary chain length,#,material and/or bead size,color,spacing,# per spacer.

Sorry for bad photo quality, I was rushing and didn't edit these top ones.

made with vintage nail heads
made with beads from an old necklace and chain scraps from other projects
found these beads and copper chain at craft stores

All of these chains have sold but please visit my etsy shop for more pieces!

While it my take a while to do depending on length and # of beads it is easy and can be done in front of the TV if you want. Have fun creating your own piece!



  1. Oh fun to know the pro secrets! Thanks.


    Miss B

    P.S. The stud bracelet was rad!

  2. Thanks! That was one of my favorite pieces as well.

    P.S. I love The Brightside project! I answer almost every question and have even been luck enough to win a few times.