Jewelry Blog

How to Add a Safety Chain to a Bracelet

Have you ever lost a bracelet because it came unfastened and you didn't know it? I have. You just about want to cry don't you? Do you have a favorite bracelet you don't wear because you're afraid to lose it? I've had one like that.

bracelet with safety chain added

Well, fear no more! This short tutorial is a very simple solution to those problems and is written for beginners, but is just as useful for experienced jewelry makers.

Learn how to make a bracelet safety chain!

material for this project - finished bracelet, 2 jump rings, 1 1/2" snippet of chain

Materials suggested:

  • One finished bracelet - For this tutorial, I’m using the crystal bracelet from one of my beginner tutorials — Back to the Beginning - Beginner Crystal —though this technique will work for any number of finished bracelet styles, including most commercial bracelets.
  • About 1 ½ inches (3.8cm) of chain
  • Two 4-6mm jump rings

Tools needed:

  • 2 pairs of pliers, either chain nose or flat nose.

correct way to grasp a jump ring to open it

Step 1:

Use two pairs of pliers, one in each hand. Grasp the jump ring with a pair of pliers on either side of the jump ring with the seam of the jump ring at the top.

correctly opening a jump ring

Step 2:

Open the jump ring by turning the right side of the ring away from you, and the left side of the ring towards you. Some refer to it as twisting one side away from you, and one side towards you.

jump ring when opened correctly

It doesn’t need to be completely opened, just enough for the chain link, and where you are attaching it to your bracelet.

chain added to the open jump ring

Step 3:

Put the left pliers down, but continue holding the jump ring with the right pliers. Slip the last link of one end of the chain onto the jump ring.

attaching the first jump ring to the bracelet

Step 4:

Slip the ring into one of the small openings on one end of the bracelet.

If the bracelet has a clasp, there is probably a loop or ring of some sort on either side of the clasp you can use.

closing the first jump ring

Step 5:

Let the bracelet hang on the jump ring while you pick up the second pair of pliers. Close the ring by reversing how you opened it.

In my case, I turned the left side of the ring away from me, and the right side towards me. Jump Lock makers tell you to wiggle the rings back and forth a bit while you slightly push the two sides together. They actually click when they are together correctly. Before I let go of the ring, I run my finger over the seam to make sure it's smooth.

attaching the second jump ring

Step 6:

Now, open the other jump ring and thread it through the last link on the other end of the chain.

attaching the second jump ring to the other side of the bracelet

Step 7:

Attach the second jump ring to the opening on the same side but opposite end of the bracelet. You want the chain to attach on the same sides of the bracelet on each end. Don’t fasten the chain on opposite sides of the bracelet (crossing diagonally over the clasp) because the chain would always be under the hook and keep getting caught.

closing the second jump ring

Step 8:

Close the second jump ring just as you did the first one.

second jump ring closed

Really good jump rings (such as the Jump Locks) have nearly invisible seams when closed properly.

finished safety chain

Doesn’t that look sharp? Now, if the bracelet comes undone by accident, you’re less likely to lose it. You can add a tiny lobster-style clasp to one end of the chain if you want to, but fastening the bracelet clasp and/or lobster clasp could be a bit of a pain.

putting the bracelet on

Step 9:

I personally don’t think the safety chain needs a separate clasp. Open the bracelet, and just slip it over your hand and fasten it. Voila!

saftey chain added to a beaded bracelet

This safety chain was added to a beaded bracelet with a magnetic clasp, exactly the same way as the wire wrapped one. With a magnetic clasp, a safety chain is essential, in my opinion.

2 Comments

Lynn C Behnke

My chain is sticking to my magnet. Would aluminum chain work? What size? The kind I used seems to be a good size and the spool says 5.5mm, but online they are described as 5mm x 9mm and other measurements are thrown in. I don’t know what that means. Please help!

Reply
Bobbi Maw

Hi Lynn,
You need either Sterling Silver, 14k gold, or 14k gold-filled chain to use with a magnet. Dainty chain is usually IMO somewhere around 2mm. I don’t know anything about aluminum chain since I don’t use it, but 5 by 9mm seems awfully big. I’d try RioGrande.com – they have an awesome selection of chain, and their descriptions are clear and easy to understand.
Kind regards,
Bobbi

Reply

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