Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ball Chain Of A Different Color

Hi, all!   This week I made two jewels from hardware store ball chain.  I did it using a fun trick with a finding meant for a different purpose.

First the jewels, then the trick!






I started with this beautiful multicolored ball chain, isn't it the prettiest stuff?



I found it at a local Ace Hardware.  (If anybody knows an online source, leave it for us in the comments, eh?)

The finding in question is a type of bead tip (typically used for adding clasps to ball chain or strung beads).  This is the kind that closes sideways instead of folding in half.



Now for the big trick.  I clamped a bead tip onto the end of a short length of ball chain, like so:





And...welp, that's it!  Simple, yes?  And there are tons of ways to create jewelry from this interesting component.

To assemble an earring, I used these ingredients:




Using jump rings, I added the ball chain segments to a filigree.



Then I connected the fishhook ear wire to the top.



If you have two ears, make a second earring.   Done!



Note: if you have been coming here long enough, you know that I don't have pierced ears, so instead I wear ear cuffs.  Here's my ear cuff version:



Either way, these earrings are awesomely swingy and surprisingly light to wear!

The necklace went together pretty quickly, too.    They key difference: put bead tips on both ends of each ball chain segment.  This close-up shows the construction a bit better.



I made three double-ended chain segments in graduated sizes.  I threaded them onto craft wire, separated by silver beads.    I finished with a small loop on each end - and added more ball chain for the necklace.




If you can't find the colorful chain, use regular silver or gold tone.  Just think how many ways you can use these little ball chain segments!  How about fringe at the bottom of a large multi-loop pendant?  How about individual skinny ball chain earrings?  How about a great big tassel?

Let's hear your suggestions!

Alrighty, then, that's today's project - thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed!

p.s. Interested in making your own simple ear cuffs?  Check out this tutorial.







15 comments:

  1. ooooooh! I just moved and haven't been to the Ace down the block yet. Time to be the crazy craft lady!

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    1. Sounds like the best plan possible. I hope you can find it, Brady! Thanks for the sweet comment!

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  2. Such a cool idea to use the clam shells as connectors for the ball chain. This opens up a lot of interesting variations

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  3. Ah, so pretty! And what a simple yet brilliant way to hook them up - looks so elegant!

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    1. Aw, hey, thanks, Awesome Alex! I hope your summer is proceeding nicely...be good and stay cool, my dear.

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  4. Found this rainbow ball chain http://www.mosaictilemania.com/6-rainbow-ball-chain-you-pick-the-length-ft-order-10-ft-for-an-automatic-10-discount/

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    1. Awesome, Lesie, you are a better googler than I am, apparently! Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Oh gosh, thanks, Jessica! I'm glad you popped in to check out the rainbow chains!

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  6. First, I do love me a good Ace hardware buy! Though, I've not seen that chain before. Will definitely have to keep my eye out. Secondly, great tutorial and ideas. I'm totally saving and sharing it!

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  7. fab mich! love the tassel idea, or maybe fringe for a fabric wall hanging? thanks for sharing on craft schooling sunday, great to see you!

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  8. Awesome sauce dahling! Love. Featuring when my party opens tonight.

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  9. WOW Michelle, I've never seen a ball chain before. I have to start keeping my eyes open. It's ingenious and I love the way your earrings and necklace turned out. They're beautiful

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    1. Thanks a bunch for the sweet comment, Michelle! I love ball chain, it feels so snaky and cool and is such a casual look. Hope you give it a try one of these days!

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  10. These earrings are so stunning and at the same time so colorful. I can carry them with dress of any color. I hope they will give me an embracing look. I can using koa wood earrings which are one of my favorite jewelry collection and I am sure this suggested piece will also be the great one in my collection.

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Why not leave me a little comment? It is great Karma - and every single one is my favorite comment EVER.