Friday, 25 February 2011

Quick tricks with Chain

You can of course, just add a pendant.. but here's the low down on our chain and some things to do with it!

Chunky Chain - this is a great all rounder. If you're on a budget and can only buy one type of chain, buy this one. It's 99p a metre and really versatile. Here's some quick ideas:

  • Cut the chain to length and add 2 split rings and a toggle clasp - you'll get 6 charm bracelets or 3 necklaces for £2.97 - with toggles and split rings to spare! Use headpins to attach some beads. I used a mix of 'orphan beads' that were very lonely in my bead box to jazz up some jangly new jewellery

  • Use chunky chain to add structure to your piece. Our free St Patricks Day necklace project (pictured) used chunky chain as a base to hang wired beads and knot connectors - providing a reliable structure. It's also much less time consuming than wiring together your whole design - handy if you're making jewellery for resale. If you'd like a free copy of the necklace project, just email and we'll send you the sheet straight out.

  • Use elasticow to make a stretchy chain bracelet - thread the elasticow through the chunky chain as if you were sewing running stitch. When your bracelet is long enough, fasten the elasticow with a square knot and a drop of superglue. Using pliers if necessary, close the last two links of chain together. This also works well with hammer chain for a chunkier look.

Hammer Chain is extra chunky with 11mm links that have a textured finish. The size of the links means that it is ideal used in a threaded design. From 50p per metre.

  • Thread the hammered chain with firepolish beads, metal daisy beads and Czech pearls for a complex look that's really easy! To get started, thread a 10mm bead (I used a cocoa pearl) onto monofilament then thread on the first chain link, then add beads and loop through the chain links at regular intervals - every 2-3 beads works well. The secret of this stringing work is to pay great attention to the tension of your threaded beads - check regularly to make sure that the beads and chain hang well.

  • Hammer chain can also look surprisingly delicate and girly. Stephie used it laced with Sof-suede in icecream pastels for a fresh twist

  • Another idea is to use 2 or 3 links of chain between strung beads on a long necklace. The chain gives texture and originality to a plain design

Our finer chain comes on 5 metre spools for £3.96 per spool. This chain is strong for its weight, but will not hold heavy gemstones or loaded 'gypsy' style bracelets.

  • Fine chain is perfect for detail - Stephie used the gunmetal version to great effect in this Gothic style necklace which was featured in Creative Beads & Jewellery magazine. The 'swags' of chain hang down from the main body of this original necklace, giving a very intricate and detailed look.

Have a great weekend :-)

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