How to Make a Boho Layered Necklace With Pendant

Updated on April 10, 2018
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A lover of handmade jewelry, Donna has been crafting (and wearing) unique pieces of statement jewelry since she can remember.

How To Make a Multi-Chain Layered Necklace with a Pendant
How To Make a Multi-Chain Layered Necklace with a Pendant | Source

Customize Your Own Boho Layered Necklace!

Layered necklaces with multiple chains and charms are a popular fashion trend. These necklaces are surprisingly easy to make, especially with the right tools and supplies. Everything you need is available at most craft stores, and making your own necklace allows you to customize the length, colors, and design to match your own personal style. Learn how to put one together below!

Boho-style layered necklace from Sundance catalog
Boho-style layered necklace from Sundance catalog | Source

What Was My Inspiration?

My necklace was inspired by a layered necklace from a catalog. I liked the design but wanted to create a simpler style for myself. Although I made changes to this necklace, I'll describe how you can add some of the original features to your design.

Materials for making a multi-chain layered necklace
Materials for making a multi-chain layered necklace | Source

What You'll Need

  • Pendant: This is optional, but you can use a pendant of your choice. There are a wide variety of pendants available online and in craft stores, but you can also make a layered necklace without a central pendant.
  • Beads: You can use beads and eye pins to create your own chains for your necklace. Making your own chains is a great way to add color and personality to your necklace. However, you can also buy chains already strung with beads in craft stores to avoid making your own.
  • Eye Pins: These are only needed if you want to make your own beaded chain. They are used for stringing beads and have a closed loop at one end as a connection point. These pins come in various lengths and metal finishes. I try to buy the longest pins that I can find and cut them down as needed.
  • Decorative Chains: These chains are an easy way to add strands to your necklace. Decorative chains are available at most craft stores, but you can also use old necklaces from your own jewelry box. Be sure to choose chains that have some larger links to use as connection points.
  • Linking Rings: You'll need two large rings to join the pieces of your necklace together. I used two rings from a package of toggle clasps. Be sure to choose rings with a metal finish that match your other metal elements.
  • Chain With a Clasp: This will be to close your necklace. Although my inspiration necklace featured a raw hide band, I prefer to use a chain with a simple clasp.
  • Jump Rings: You'll need about 10 jump rings to connect parts of your necklace together. Again, be sure to match your metal finish to the other pieces you've chosen.
  • Round-Nose Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Measuring Tape
  • Flat Needle-Nose Pliers

Starting To Make Your Layered Necklace
Starting To Make Your Layered Necklace | Source

How to Make a Layered Necklace

When making any necklace, you should decide roughly how long you want it to be. I wanted my necklace to be about 18" long, with a little extra length in the chain for adjustment.

Start to assemble your layered necklace by making your outer most chain first. I made my own chain with beads and eye pins.

1. When working with eye pins, check that the preexisting loop is completely closed. You can tighten it with your pliers if needed. Then, string the beads of your choice on to your eye pin. Be sure to leave at least one centimeter of wire bare and undecorated.

2. Using your pliers or your fingers, bend the top of the eye pin in a 90° angle to your beads and wire. Cut the end of your bent wire so it is only about a centimeter long.

3. With your round-nose pliers, curl your short wire tail into a loop. Do not close the loop completely. Leave a small gap to connect it to your other necklace elements.

How To Make A Finished Loop

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4. Connect your beaded element through the gap in the loop to your pendant. Then, use your round- or needle-nose pliers to completely close the gap in your loop.

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5. Repeat steps 1-4 to connect another beaded link to your pendant. Now, you can start building both sides of your necklace chain.

6. Continue to connect beaded links to make your necklace, working both sides at the same time. You can mix different beads together to create your own design.

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7. Once you've connected a number of links together, check the length against your neck in the mirror. Remember that your necklace will have a separate band to go around the neck. I made my outer beaded chain about 8" long on each side.

8. If you want to add more decorations to your necklace, you can attach hanging beads at each connection point on your beaded chain (see catalog sample). To do this, put smaller beads on a head pin (available at craft stores) and form a loop as in steps 1-3. Connect your hanging bead to your chain at a connection joint, then use your pliers to close and secure your loop.

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9. Once your outer chain is the length you want, connect each end of your necklace to one of your linking rings using a jump ring.

Connecting a second chain to your layered necklace
Connecting a second chain to your layered necklace | Source

Adding Chains to the Necklace

10. Place your beaded chain on to a flat surface in a "V" shape as illustrated above. Take one of your decorative chains and connect it to one of your linking rings using a jump ring. Be sure to attach your second chain to the linking ring on the inside of your outer chain (see photo).

  • Drape the decorative chain down into the "V" of your beaded chain as you would like it to hang on your finished necklace. Leave some hanging space between your two chains so they don't get twisted together when you wear your necklace.

11. Cut the remaining end of the decorative chain to the desired length, and attach it to your second linking ring using a jump ring. Be sure to attach this chain on the inside of your beaded chain.

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12. Repeat steps 9 and 10 to connect more chains and add more layers to your necklace. Be sure to connect each additional chain on the inside of the previous chain.

13. You can add pendants to each of these chains (as in the catalog sample) by connecting charms to the center of each chain with a jump ring.

Adding A Neck Band To Your Necklace
Adding A Neck Band To Your Necklace | Source

14. Once you have finished attaching the decorative elements to your layered necklace, it is time to add a neck band. I used a chain for my neck band because I think it is easier to use and more comfortable to wear. However, you can attach a raw hide band if you prefer.

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To add a chain neck band with clasp:

  • Decide how long you need your chain to be on each side of your necklace. I cut each piece of my chain to be about 4" long. This gave me some extra length to adjust my necklace as needed.
  • Attach each piece of your chain to one of the linking rings using a jump ring.
  • Attach your clasp with a jump ring to one side of your chain as a closure.

To make a raw hide band:

  • Buy a length of raw hide at a craft or bead store. There are many types of toggle clasps you can buy online to use with raw hide. Decide what type of closure you want to use before securing your ends to your necklace.
  • Draw one end of the raw hide through one of your linking rings.
  • Fold about 1/2 an inch to 3/4 of an inch of your end back onto your neck band (see catalog photo).
  • Carefully wrap the folded end multiple times with either thin wire or embroidery floss. If using wire, cut the ends and tuck them into your wraps. If using embroidery floss, use a couple of stitches to secure your ends. You may want to add a few drops of glue to make sure your ends hold together.
  • Repeat the step above with the other end of your raw hide by drawing through the other linking ring.

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15. I added another small heart pendant to one side of my necklace for more detail. I simply attached this pendant to my linking ring using a jump ring.

I hope you enjoy making your own fashionable layering necklace with chains, charms, and pendants!

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Donna Herron

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      • purl3agony profile image
        Author

        Donna Herron 25 hours ago from USA

        Hi Jill - Thank so much! Anything is fun to do with martinis, but I agree that this would be a fun project to do with a group of friends. Especially if people were sharing and swapping beads and materials. Sharing materials is a great way to try new things and create something fun. Thanks for the great suggestion. I appreciate it!

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 5 days ago from United States

        I adore your first picture with all the materials set out and numbered and love boho. This would be a fun project to do with friends and martinis!

      • purl3agony profile image
        Author

        Donna Herron 9 days ago from USA

        Hi Suzanne - So glad that this project has inspired you to get into jewelry making again. Now that I've invested in some good quality tools, I find it's much easier and I'm much more excited to make my own jewelry. Thanks so much for commenting!

      • purl3agony profile image
        Author

        Donna Herron 9 days ago from USA

        Thanks, Sally! I'm really happy with how this necklace turned out, especially since I was able to incorporate some beads that I bought years ago on a trip to New Mexico. So glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • purl3agony profile image
        Author

        Donna Herron 9 days ago from USA

        Thanks, Larry! I appreciate your kind words. It sounds like your father made some lovely things. I don't do silversmithing, I just put together materials I can get at craft or bead shops. I have other jewelry tutorials here on HubPages if you'd like to see them. Thanks so much for your comments!

      • Suzie HQ profile image

        Suzanne Ridgeway 9 days ago from Dublin, Ireland

        Hi Donna, great easy to follow tutorial on a lovely Boho piece! Used to make jewellery and while I have not done any in ages this got me thinking I want to get back to doing it again, thanks so much!!

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 9 days ago from Norfolk

        Love the finished project! It is such a great color and definitely fits the Boho look. Well done Donna.

      • Larry Fish profile image

        Larry W Fish 10 days ago from Raleigh

        You do good work, Donna. The necklace is stunning. My father made handcrafted sterling silver jewelry for years. I still have many pieces that he made in the mid 1960s. I would like to see more of your work.

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