How to Shorten a Necklace

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Chain necklaces vary in length, from short to long. With basic jewelry-making techniques, you can shorten a chain necklace.

Use basic jewelry-making techniques to shorten a long necklace.
Use basic jewelry-making techniques to shorten a long necklace. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • 3-in-1 jewelry pliers 
  • Jewelry clasp
  • 8-10mm jump rings
You can use the original jewelry clasp and jump rings from the necklace or replace them with new components.
You can use the original jewelry clasp and jump rings from the necklace or replace them with new components. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)
Jewelry clasps and jump rings can be purchased in the jewelry section of the craft store.
Jewelry clasps and jump rings can be purchased in the jewelry section of the craft store. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 1

Unclasp the necklace. At one end of the chain, open the jump ring by bending the ends away from each other.

Use the pliers to bend open the jump ring.
Use the pliers to bend open the jump ring. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 2

Remove the jump ring and the clasp from the chain.

Save both components to be used later or discard them before adding new ones.
Save both components to be used later or discard them before adding new ones. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 3

Repeat on the other end of the chain.

Remove all components and set them aside.
Remove all components and set them aside. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Tip

  • Some necklaces include an extender chain made of large chain links. A jewelry clasp can latch on to any part of this chain, which changes the length of the necklace when you wear it. To make your shortened necklace adjustable, set aside this piece and add it later.

Step 4

Determine the desired length of your necklace. Use the ruler to determine how much chain you should remove from the long necklace to achieve this length. For this project, 7 inches of chain were removed from each side.

Try on the necklace to determine the ideal length.
Try on the necklace to determine the ideal length. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 5

Place the chain between the cutting portion of the jewelry pliers.

The cutting feature of jewelry pliers is used to trim chain, wire or thread.
The cutting feature of jewelry pliers is used to trim chain, wire or thread. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 6

Cut the chain.

Squeeze the handles of the jewelry pliers to cut the chain.
Squeeze the handles of the jewelry pliers to cut the chain. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 7

Trim away the same amount of chain on the other side of the necklace.

Line up both chains to ensure that the length is equal.
Line up both chains to ensure that the length is equal. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 8

At one end of the chain, add an open jump ring. Add the jewelry clasp to the jump ring.

Prepare the components to be re-attached to the chain.
Prepare the components to be re-attached to the chain. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Step 9

Close the jump ring by bending the ends towards each other.

Squeeze the handles of the pliers to bend the jump ring close.
Squeeze the handles of the pliers to bend the jump ring close. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

Tip

  • Place the jump ring between the flattening portion of the jewelry pliers and squeeze the handles together. This action closes the jump ring by pushing the ends towards each other.

Step 10

At the other end of the chain, use the same technique to attach a jump ring. If you want to use the extender chain, add it to the jump ring before you close it.

Jewelry clasps are essential for shorter necklaces that cannot be slipped over the head.
Jewelry clasps are essential for shorter necklaces that cannot be slipped over the head. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)

For this tutorial, the length of the shortened necklace is 18 inches long.

The standard length of a short necklace is 16  to 18 inches long.
The standard length of a short necklace is 16 to 18 inches long. (Image: How to Shorten a Necklace)
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