Necklaces: Custom-Fit to Flatter

One of my favorite gifts to receive is a piece of jewelry, and I suspect that any woman would second that sentiment. However, some necklaces tend to have a interesting fit to them (more like a choker than an actual necklace) or they just hang in the wrong place for the clothes you plan to pair them with.

Here is my solution: add chain links to your favorite necklace to lengthen it to flatter you and your outfit. Instead of waiting for my neck to magically change shape so that some of my necklaces would hang nicer on me or hit the right part of my chest, I took matters into my own hands (literally) with a few items from my home and some store-bought jewelry chain links.

Side-note: This method works best with a necklace that either already contains chains of some type (because the goal is to blend the store-bought chain links with the original chain) or a necklace that has good sturdy rings attached to the clasp and the receiving side. The back of your neck should cover most of the length you are adding, so it won’t be too noticeable. It is also important that the weight of the new chain be the same as the original necklace so that the necklace doesn’t break with the added weight, and you can use the existing hardware.

Jewelry chain links come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes: gold, silver, copper, oval, round, big, small, wide, thin…the craft stores carry all kinds of options in the jewelry aisle. For around $5, I was able to purchase a nice, long length of oval chain that matches most of the necklaces I own. You should know that I have used this lengthening method on at least four necklaces so far and I still have plenty of chain left, see below!

Back at home, I searched around for the following tools:

  • Tweezers (don’t use your best set, they may get a little scraped)
  • Narrow Needle-nose pliers

To begin, I figured out the number of rings I would need to add to achieve the length I wanted. I used 12 new links on each side of the necklace. I have added up to 15 links on other necklaces because I like to put a necklace on over my head and not have to fumble with the clasp when I’m in a hurry. The length is your personal choice, do what you like.

Then I counted out the rings, and with my tweezers and needle-nose pliers, I pried the chain link open on the 12th link, and removed the 12 links from the new chain.

I repeated this step again so I had two lengths of 12 links from the new chain.

Next, I removed the clasp from one end of the necklace, and the circular ring on that end. For this necklace, I removed the circular ring on the receiving end as well, and removed the small chain links. Some necklaces have two large rings at one end, (or both ends) and you can remove one and keep one on. Mine looked like this:

Following that, I attached one of the open links on one of the new chains to one end of the existing links on the original necklace, closing it snugly with my pliers. I repeated this process on the other side.

Then I fastened the clasp to the last of the new links via one of the small chain links I took from the part I removed.

Finally, connect the clasp to the last of the new chain links and you’re done!

Here is another necklace I lengthened, so that you can compare the look.

In some cases, you may need to buy a small bag of large rings for the ends of the new chain, but so far, I have been able to use all the existing hardware on my necklaces. Happy Crafting!