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Ringleader necklace

Connect chain mail, leather, and crystal for a knockout look

This necklace started with the leather — I loved the color! Half-Byzantine chain mail units connect the pieces, and the Swarovski navette pendant adds just the right amount of sparkle. If you want a longer necklace, add extra sets of jump rings and chain mail units before attaching the leather.

SUPPLIES

Necklace 16 1⁄2–18 1⁄2 in. (41.9–47 cm) 

  • 30 mm navette crystal pendant
  • 6 9.5 mm ID (inner diameter) 16-gauge jump rings
  • 4 6.3 mm (ID) 16-gauge jump rings
  • 6 mm (ID) 18-gauge jump ring
  • 8–12 4.4 mm (ID) 18-gauge jump rings
  • 66 4 mm (ID) 18-gauge jump rings
  • 6 3.6 mm (ID) 18-gauge jump rings
  • 20–26 in. (51–66 cm) leather cord, 2 mm diameter
  • 2 5 mm pinch ends
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 2 pairs of chainnose, bentnose, or flatnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters or scissors
  • glue or jeweler’s cement
  • beading awl or needle tool (optional)

Leather and crystal pendant from Artbeads.com, 866.715.2323. Jump rings from Blue Buddha Boutique, 866.602.7464, bluebuddhaboutique.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS

Ringleader necklace 1
Step 1
Open all the jump rings. Close four 4 mm jump rings. Slide a 4 mm jump ring through the four closed jump rings. Close the jump ring. Attach a second 4 mm jump ring through the first four jump rings.
Ringleader necklace 2
Step 2
Separate the jump rings into three pairs. This is the start of a half-Byzantine unit. Make 11 units.
Ringleader necklace 3
Step 3
Holding an end pair of jump rings on a half-Byzantine unit, fold the opposite end pair of jump rings back, positioning one on each side of the first pair of jump rings.
Ringleader necklace 4
Step 4
Separate the middle pair of jump rings, exposing the top of the jump rings pushed back in step 3 (see “Open the gap,” below).
Ringleader necklace 5
Step 5
Slide a 9.5 mm jump ring through the space between the third pair and the first pair of jump rings.
Ringleader necklace tip
Open the gap
To help open the space between the first and third jump ring pairs so you can slide another jump ring through in step 5, you can use a beading awl or needle tool. Slide the tip of the tool under the top of the third pair of jump rings, above the first pair of jump rings, and between the middle pair of jump rings. Hold the jump rings firmly, slide the tool out, and slide the 9.5 mm jump ring into the gap.
Ringleader necklace 6
Step 6
Make and attach two more half-Byzantine units to the 9.5 mm jump ring. Close the jump ring.
Ringleader necklace 7
Step 7

a. To make a side unit: Make and attach another half-Byzantine unit to a new 9.5 mm jump ring. Before closing the 9.5 mm jump ring, attach an end pair of jump rings from a previous half-Byzantine unit. b. Repeat step 7a so there is a total of three 9.5 mm jump rings.

Ringleader necklace 8
Step 8
On each end, attach three more half-Byzantine units using a 6.3 mm jump ring, a 9.5 mm jump ring, and a 6.3 mm jump ring.
Ringleader necklace 9
Step 9

Cut a 10–13-in. (25–33 cm) piece of leather cord. String an end pair of jump rings, centering the rings on the cord. String two 3.6 mm jump rings over both ends of the cord, gently pushing them toward the fold. Repeat on the other side.

Ringleader necklace 10
Step 10
Apply a dab of glue to a pinch end and insert the pair of cords. Using chainnose pliers, squeeze each side of the pinch end closed. Repeat on the other side.
Ringleader necklace 11
Step 11

To make a chain extender: Attach eight consecutive 4.4 mm jump rings. On the last jump ring, attach a love knot if desired (see “Love knot how-to,” below).

Ringleader necklace 12
Step 12
On one end of the necklace, use a 3.6 mm jump ring to attach a lobster claw clasp to the pinch end. Repeat on the other side, substituting the chain extender for the clasp.
Ringleader necklace 13
Step 13

In the center of the necklace, attach a 9.5 mm jump ring to the end pair of jump rings in the remaining half-Byzantine unit. Use a 6 mm jump ring to attach the 9.5 mm jump ring and a crystal pendant. Close the jump ring.

Tip!

LOVE KNOT HOW-TO

To add a love knot to the end of a chain extender: 

1. Open a 4.4 mm jump ring. Attach it to the last link of the extender. Close the jump ring.

2. Attach a second 4.4 mm jump ring to the end link of the extender, then go down and out through the back of the jump ring from step 1 before closing the ring.

3. Repeat step 2 with a third and fourth jump ring, going down and out through the back of all previous jump rings each time.

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