DIY Gemstone Chain

As many of you might already know, I used to design jewelry . . . it seems like a lifetime ago. Tiny rubies, sapphires, tourmalines and emeralds cut into tiny, faceted roundelles were some of my favorite gemstones to design with. When you buy these beautiful stones, they come strung in strands, oftentimes graduated by size, in an ombré of hues. Quite honestly, they're perfect just as they are. But because they can be quite expensive and never quite long enough for an ideal necklace length, you actually get more bang for your buck by turning them into chains. Plus, they're so pretty linked together with delicate gold wire. I hope you enjoy this tutorial on wire wrapping - it's a good foundation for beading and jewelry making!

Faceted gemstone roundelles usually come in 16" strands. Some are graduated in size and some aren't. Start by cutting the strand open at the place you would like to start. In this case, I'm starting with the end of the strand where the smallest beads are.

28 gauge wire is the thinnest wire I recommend using. Soft wire versus hard wire is preferable in this particular use case as it's easy to bend and wrap. Cut a decent length with your wire cutters, approx 8-10 inches. Take the wire and bend it back at a right angle, with your round nose pliers, 2 inches from the tip.

Then tightly wrap the wire around the nose of your pliers to form a centered loop.

Hold the loop securely with the chain nose pliers.

Wrap the tail of the wire around the longer wire two to three times. Keep each coil neat and tight.

Trim the end of the wire with the flat side of the wire cutters. Make sure it's flush against the coil. Add on 2-3 beads.

Place the tip of your round nose pliers just above the last bead and bend the tail back at a right angle. This creates space for your second wire wrap. Wrap the wire around the tip of your round nose pliers, creating a centered loop.

Hold the open loop securely with your chain nose pliers and complete the wire wrap, just as you did previously.

Trim with the wire cutters. And then start all over again.

This time, before you start wrapping again, add on the beaded link you just made. Hold the open loop and the closed loop securely with your chain nose pliers and once again, complete the wire wrap.

Trim, add more beads . . .

and repeat the loop and wire wrapping.

Repeat the steps until you reach the desired lenth.

Once you have the right length, open up a small jump ring and connect it to the last link of the necklace.

Add the clasp and then close the ring. Open another small jump ring and add on a closed ring and the other end of the necklace. Close the jump ring and your clasp is attached!

tutorial and images by HonestlyWTF

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4 Comments

  1. Erika wrote:

    I honestly love this necklace so much! And that one with the layered “Erica” necklace too. Do you sell them? I’ll seriously buy!!

    3.4.21
    Reply
  2. Emely wrote:

    This is beautiful! I love all of your tutorials! I bookmark all my favorite ones, hopefully, one day I get around to doing them.

    3.6.21
    Reply
  3. Kristine wrote:

    Aloha! I started making my necklace and couldn’t be more stoked! However I could not find any ombré gems! I ended up with equally beautiful red rubies. I’m dying for rainbow ombré though, any suggestions on where to buy? Thank you so much! I’m enjoying my new hobby

    4.4.21
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      I’ve linked to some ombré gems in the supply list. You can find them on Etsy!

      4.14.21