Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tutorial: DIY Infinity Jewelry Links

In this tutorial, I'm going to show how to make infinity S-links to use in your jewelry designs.  First, let me give you the link to a tutorial that I used to first learn how to make these components:  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog.

Lisa's blog post is excellent and shows how to make a pretty Infinity Love Bracelet.  Her bracelet is made up entirely of infinity links and jump rings.  But these little guys also come in handy to link beads, chain and other components.  I use them in earrings, bracelets, necklaces, stickpins, etc.

Here are the tools and supplies you need:
  • 18 gauge wire of your choosing
  • Round nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Jewelry file and steel wool
  • Ruler

I also like to hammer the links - for this you need:
  • Chasing hammer
  • Jeweler's steel block and sandbag

Okay, so here's how you do it:

Cut your wire into one inch pieces. Make sure both ends are flush cut so there are no sharp edges. I like to make several at a time. Here I am using a combination of gold and silver colored artistic wire. You can use any type of craft wire.  You can also use sterling silver or gold filled wire - but it really needs to be 18 gauge no matter what type of wire. That just seems to be the right weight and thickness for these links.

Next use your jewelry file to smooth the ends. Make sure to slide the ends in the same direction instead of going back and forth. Going in the same direction keeps the edges smoother. After filing the ends, jab the ends back and forth through your steel wool - this further smooths them.

Now it is time to make your loops. Make a small loop at one end of your wire using your round nose pliers like so:

Then make another loop on the other end going in the opposite direction:

This is what your loop will look like - it might be a bit crooked but we will fix that in a moment.

Use some nylon jaw pliers to straighten and correct any defects. Sorry I did not show them pictured in the introductory pictures but here you can see how I used them below:

Now your link should look like this:

Next I like to hammer the links to flatten and more importantly harden them. Use the larger part of your chasing hammer to do this:

Here are a bunch of silver, gold and copper links after I hammered them:

Now you are ready to use your infinity links in whatever project your imagination comes up with. Here's a pair of earrings and a bracelet I made using them:

Pink Vintage Beaded Earrings

Two-Tone Gold & Silver Glass Beaded Bracelet

Copper & Aluminum Infinity Bracelet

What might you use these pretty infinity links for?  I would love to see whatever designs you come up with. Send them to me and I'll be sure to post them.

Till next time!

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook too!