Monday, 25 May 2009

Easy versatile chain links - tutorial

This is another variation of the famous U-shape. For this project I used 19g silver wire, quite tarnished. To start you need your wire, which can be 18 or 2og, they work equally well. You also need a 6.5mm mandrel to shape the U, wire cutters and stepnose or roundnose pliers. The rest is up to your fingers! To join the links I used 3.5mm ID jumprings. The size of the jumprings is a personal choice. To start straighten your wire and flush cut on each side a 4cm section. For a necklace one needs about 40 to 42 pieces. Shape all of them over the 6.5mm mandrel, making sure the ends of the wire are of equal length.
Now take the stepnose pliers and make a loop on each side facing inside the U using the smallest step . If using roundnose pliers, mark them first, so all the loops have the same size. When all the links have been completed that way
hammer them flat. Usually the loops will open abit at this stage, so make sure to close them up again.
Now you form the links with your fingers, pushing one side over the other so they overlap completely. Make sure the overlap is always in the same direction. Left over right or right over left does not matter as long as you do them all the same. Sometimes the overlap is not perfect, as shown on the left link above. When that happens insert the stepnose or roundnose pliers into both loops and tweak to adjust.
Here you see a complete bracelet with the links in the same direction.
This bracelet shows the links as opposite pairs. And both of them have been tumbled for 1 hour to remove the tarnish and wrkharden them. Now they sparkle!
These last two pictures show you the option of inserting beads between each pair of links.
The look will be quite different, but all the links are the same!

If you come up with more ideas, let me know.


  1. I love it when yo share your tutorials with us all. That is a very giving and inspiring thing to do!

  2. What a great tutorial, I hadn't seen links like this before. Yet another thing to try when I get to unpack my craft supplies when I move lol....

    Thanks for sharing this with us all.

  3. Nice chain and it´s very easy to do.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Fabulous chain and great tutorial!

  5. Thanks for sharing this tutorial! That's great! I've seen a variation where the end loops were turned 90 degrees and the links were directly connected to each other.

  6. This is nice of you to share your expertise. I think I'll give it a go!


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