Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beaded Eyeglass Chain Tutorial - Jewelry That Has Purpose

This weekend I made something for myself - a beaded eyeglass chain.  As I was making it, I decided to take some photos and post a tutorial on it.  Beaded eyeglass chains can be more than just something to hang your glasses from - they can be beautiful pieces of jewelry!

For my project I wanted a vintage style design, so I used black gunmetal chain, jet black Czech glass beads, and a Victorian style antiqued silver drop as my eyeglass loop.

Materials:

  • Chain - I used black gunmetal rollo style with 3mm links
  • Czech glass beads in jet black - two 10mm and four 6mm size for this design
  • Gunmetal wire for wire wrapping - I used 20 gauge
  • Antiqued silver Victorian style drop
  • Two antiqued silver jump rings
Tools:
  • Round nose and needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Emory board or fine sandpaper
Steps:

1.  I selected a Victorian style antiqued silver drop for my eyeglass loop, but it was longer than what I wanted for my design.  Remember it is always okay to customize a component to suit your tastes or the needs of a particular project.  To modify this piece, snip off the top using your wire cutters.  Use a nail file or sandpaper to smooth any rough edges after cutting.  This piece is sold by Vintage Jewelry Supplies - one of my favorite on-line jewelry supply sources.

Original and Modified Component

2.  Now decide how long you want your finished eyeglass chain - I decided on a 29 inch length which will slip easily over my head so no clasp is needed.  Then cut your sections of chain.  I used six 2-inch pieces of chain and one longer 12-inch piece for the middle part which will drape around the back of the neckline.

3.  Cut six pieces of wire into 2 1/2 inch lengths.  Now you are ready to wire-wrap your beaded links.  I like to wire-wrap my links directly to the chain for added security - but you can also use jump rings to attach them.  To bead the links directly into the chain, make a simple loop, then before wire-wrapping it, slide one end of a piece of chain onto the loop.  Then wire-wrap the loop, add your bead, then repeat for the other end, making sure you attach the next piece of chain to the loop before wire-wrapping.




4.  Continue making wire-wrapped links and connecting all pieces of chain.  For this pattern, you will end up with a long piece of beaded chain ready to connect to your eyeglass loop.

5.  Now connect the two loose ends to your eyeglass loop using jump rings.


Here is the finished design ready to wear:


This project can be modified and adapted into many different designs and patterns - just use your imagination!

Be sure to visit my Etsy shop to see more beaded eyeglass chains:

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Great tute! I will be linking at http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/ in future post.

    Thanks!
    Jane
    http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/

    ReplyDelete