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3 easy no-solder chains

Creating handmade chains is an easy way to add distinction to your jewelry designs

The beauty of making chain by hand is threefold: It elevates your work to a higher level of artistry; it allows you greater scope to customize your chain; and it’s surprisingly easy to do. The key to making a chain is to remember that either the connection point or the link itself must be perpendicular to the link that precedes it in the chain. It seems like an overly simple thing to state, but keeping that one detail in mind will help you design any number of your own chain styles.

All you need to make your own distinctive chains are a few hand tools and some free time. I used brass, sterling silver, and copper for mine, but you can use whatever metal you like. With the addition of a simple clasp, any of these chains could support a pendant, act as a base for dangling charms, or be worn on its own. 

See instructions for each chain in the galleries below, or click here for the free project PDF.


All measurements are for 18-in. (45.7) cm chains.

Flat teardrop chain

  • Brass wire: 22-gauge (0.6 mm), round, half-hard, 68 in. (1.73 m)

Simple square-wire chain

  • Sterling silver wire: 20-gauge (0.8 mm), square, half-hard, 27 in. (68.6 cm)

Teardrop chain

  • Copper wire: 20-gauge (0.8 mm), round, half-hard, 68 in. (1.73 m)


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