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Guitar-pick pendant

Don't fret! It's easy to weave this chain mail bezel with a built-in bail for a rockin’ upcycled necklace or choker

Guitar picks are as variable and distinctive as a classic guitar riff. Both a tool and an accessory, guitar picks are made in innumerable colors, materials, and shapes. For example, faux versions of mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, and abalone are easy to find at local music shops and through online stores. You could easily swap the stainless steel pick and pair of plastic picks that are used in this project for something different — like picks that sport graphics, or collectible picks made of stone, wood, bone, or amber. 

To create the pendant, you’ll make a chain mail bezel to capture a stack of three guitar picks. The bezel also acts as a bail for the adjustable leather necklace cord. And because the pendant is reversible, it’s really two necklaces in one. Once you’ve learned to weave a bezel of jump rings, you can use the same technique to enclose any other flat objects you’d like to display.

SUPPLIES

  • Brass jump rings:
    • 20-gauge (0.8 mm),3 mm inside diameter (ID), 66 
    • 18-gauge (1.0 mm),4 mm ID, 11
  • Anodized-aluminum jump rings: 18-gauge (1.0 mm), black, 4 mm ID, 11
  • Guitar picks:
    • Fender 351 tortoiseshell, medium, standard, 1
    • Fender 351 white, medium, standard, 1
    • Dunlop stainless steel, thin, standard, 1
  • Leather cord: black, 1.8 mm thick, 32 in. (81.3 cm)
  • Crimp-closure clasp (optional)
  • Pliers: 2 pairs of chainnose or flatnose 
  • Scrap wire, toothpick, or paper clip

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the jump rings. Use two pairs of chainnose or flatnose pliers to open 66 brass 3 mm-inside-diameter (ID) jump rings.

Close 11 brass 4 mm ID jump rings. Close 11 black anodized-aluminum 4 mm ID jump rings.

Guitar pick pendant 1
PHOTO 1

 

Make the chain loops. Thread a 3 mm brass jump ring through two 4 mm brass jump rings, and close it. Repeat with a second 3 mm brass ring. Separate the two 4 mm rings so that they’re on either side of the two 3 mm rings, forming a 1+2+1 pattern. 

Continue making this pattern until you’ve used all the 4 mm brass rings and 22 of the 3 mm rings. Connect the ends of the chain to make a loop. 

Make another 1+2+1 chain, substituting the 4 mm black rings for the 4 mm brass rings. Connect the ends of the chain to make a loop [PHOTO 1].

Guitar pick pendant 2
PHOTO 2

Connect the two chain loops to make the bezel. Thread a 3 mm ring through a 4 mm brass ring in one chain loop and through a 4 mm black ring in the other chain loop. Close the 3 mm ring. Repeat with a second 3 mm ring. 

Continue to add seven more pairs of 3 mm rings. On each chain loop, leave three consecutive 4 mm rings unconnected [PHOTO 2] so you can insert guitar picks later.

Guitar pick pendant 3
Photo 3

Make a guitar-pick sandwich. Arrange your three guitar picks as shown [PHOTO 3]. Make sure that any logos face inward and that the white pick is sandwiched between the other two. 

NOTE: When you stack the picks on top of each other, placing the white pick in the middle brightens the translucent faux-tortoiseshell pick.

For this pendant, I used two Fender 351 (standard) medium picks in two different colors and one Dunlop thin, stainless steel, standard pick. 

TIP: In guitar-pick lingo, “medium” refers to the thickness (gauge) of the pick. The term “standard” refers to the pick’s shape. 

I chose the trio of picks for this project because they’re all the same shape and their combined thickness is just right for the size of the jump rings I wanted to use to make the bezel.

Guitar pick pendant 4
Photo 4

Insert the picks into the bezel. Align the picks and insert them pointed-end first into the opening of the bezel [PHOTO 4]. (I inserted mine so that the side of the bezel with all brass rings would lie against the tortoiseshell pick.) 

It’s okay if the rings are a little floppy; just make sure that the points of the picks are centered directly opposite the opening in the bezel.

Guitar pick pendant 5
Photo 5
Guitar pick pendant 6
Photo 6

Stabilize the bezel. The bezel’s opening is made up of three pairs of unconnected4 mm jump rings. Thread one 3 mm ring through the middle pair [PHOTO 5]. Close the 3 mm ring. 

Although the bezel may feel a bit loose at this point, manipulate the jump rings so that they are aligned evenly around the guitar-pick sandwich. 

Make sure that the pointed ends of the picks line up across from the 3 mm ring you just added. Add one 3 mm ring each to the remain-ing two pairs of unconnected 4 mm jump rings [PHOTO 6].

Guitar pick pendant 7
Photo 7
Guitar pick pendant 8
Photo 8

Adjust the bezel. I use a bent piece of scrap wire to manipulate the jump rings so that the bezel creates a snug capture for the guitar picks [PHOTO 7]. You could also use a paper clip, toothpick, or other pointed tool — just take care not to mar the surface of the guitar picks as you work. 

Finish closing the bezel. After you’ve aligned the bezel to your liking, add another 3 mm ring to each of the 4 mm jump ring pairs at the short side of the assembly [PHOTO 8].

Guitar pick pendant 9
Photo 9
guitar pick pendant side
A side view shows how the jump rings create a bail for the leather cord.
Add a leather cord. Starting at the pointed end of the picks, thread a 32-in. (81.3 cm) piece of 1.8 mm-thick leather cord through the pairs of 3 mm rings on the outside of the bezel. The pendant should look as shown [PHOTO 9].

You can add a crimp-closure clasp, or tie the ends of the cord to make an adjustable necklace
FIND MORE: chain mail , pendants , necklaces

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