Tuesday, 10 May 2011

DIY Tutorial: Swarovski Inspired Chain Bracelet

Hi all...here it is!! My (ahem) eagerly anticipated new tutorial...

I will give you a little history on this tutorial..
As I have mentioned before, I do a little bit of freelance writing in my spare time, including a weekly fashion article on Delusha.com. I was researching my article for last week (which I wrote on Jewellery for the Festival Fashionista) and came across some amazing jewellery by Swarovski Crystallized. I fell in love with a lot of it, in particular these babies:
Source: Swarovski Crystallized
I love the stacked look of the bracelets on the model's wrists. To get this look, you need to buy a fair few Swarovski bracelets. Not wallet friendly. Sad face.

Well, I thought to myself: 
"Sadie, YOU could probably make some similar bracelets, and then splash out on a couple of 'real' bracelets to mix in with them". *
And so the challenge was set.
I am going to show you how to make my version of this leather chain bracelet.
Source: Swarovski Crystallized.
Here's the finished piece:
Source: Swarovski Crystallized

And here's how to do it:

What you will need: 

3/4 metre of metal chain (I used a different type of chain in each of my bracelets. The pink one is made from a heavier gold curb chain I bought from a bead shop. The white one is made from a cheaper, brighter gold curb chain I bought from a craft shop.)
3/4 metre of flat leather cord in the colour of your choice. My options were limited so I chose a pastel pink and white. I also have some nude leather cord at home for next time! 
A clasp (toggle) (I used a heavy clasp for the pink bracelet and a more ornate clasp on the white version)
Charms (I used 4 for the bracelet and 1 for the end)

A large bead for your decorative charm near the clasp (optional)
Jump rings (A jump ring is the little loop that attaches charms etc to jewellery).

TIP: Be careful when buying your charms and chain. I was so excited to find leave charms that I didn't even consider that they DON'T MATCH my chain colour! :(

Step One
Measure the length of the chain you will need. The bracelet I made wraps around the wrist 3 times with a small extension at the end. It's always best to make it a little bit longer than it is for it to be too short - you can remove extra links at the end if necessary.

Step Two
Measure the length of the leather you will need. This will be LONGER than your chain as it is threaded through the chain. Again, it's good practice to make it a bit longer as you can cut any excess off at the end.

Step Three

Leaving approx. 5cm spare at the top, begin threading the leather cord through the chain. Leave two loops of the chain free at the end, this will be for tying the knot and adding your fastening.

Step Four

Continue threading the leather cord through the chain. Ensure it is pulled tightly through each loop and doesn't get twisted as you go. Leave two spare loops at the end.

Step Five 

When you have finished threading the leather through the chain carefully tie a knot around the last loop. (This bit can be a bit fiddly). Pull the thread tightly and re-thread the leather into the SAME loop on the chain, creating a double loop. Pull it all firmly so that the knot is tight. Repeat this at the other end of the chain so that they are both secured. Your chain is now finished.

Step Six

You now need to add your fastener (a toggle in this case). Using a pair of pliers, open a jump ring. Loop the chain through the jump ring, add one part of your toggle, and close the jump ring securely. Do the same with the other end of the chain and the second part of the toggle.
I added the 'loop' part of the toggle to the end of the chain, and the 'I' part of the toggle to the end of the chain before the extension began. (Sorry, I don't know the technical terms for the toggle parts.)

Step Seven
Choose which charms you would like to add to your bracelet and where you would like to position them. Bear in mind that the bracelet will be wrapped around your wrist 3 times so vary the spacing. (I have found that Wellington has limited supplies of charm varieties so I made do with the best options available to me. You might have far prettier / more interesting charms available!)
To add your charms, open a jump ring with your pliers, loop the charm into the jump ring, attach it to the chain and close it securely.
Continue with the rest of your charms and add the charm to the end of the extension chain.

Step Eight (optional)
The original bracelet has a large Swarovski crystal near the fastener.
Source: Swarovski Crystallized
I couldn't find a suitable stone that I was happy with for the pink bracelet but I did add a nice aqua stone to the white version. To do this, attach the stone to the end of the bracelet WITHOUT the extension, and attach the LOOP part of the toggle to the opposite end of the jewel using a jump ring.


Before I go - some tips! 
  • As I found difficulty finding interesting charms for the bracelet I used some brass washers which I bought from a DIY shop, attaching them with large jump rings. (I was on the hunt for alternative gold chains!)
Who'd think that this was a boring old washer?! 

  • Use beads, charms and bits of old broken jewellery to customise your bracelet. It doesn't have to look EXACTLY like the original version OR my versions :D
  • If you don't know how to make a bead into a charm, it's easy. Here's how: 
  1. Get your bead, a head pin, round nosed pliers and snippers or scissors.
  2. Thread the head pin through the bead.
  3. If your head pin is large (like mine) trim it to leave approx 1cm from the end of the bead. Use snippers, or sometimes scissors work depending on the strength of your wire!
  4. Using round nosed pliers grip the very end of the head pin with your wrist TWISTED BACKWARDS away from yourself. (It was difficult to take a photo of this whilst doing it!).
  5. Gripping onto the wire with the pliers, and holding the bead in your other hand, twist your wrist in an anti-clockwise movement, bending the wire around the nose of the pliers. It might take you a couple of goes to get this movement right, but once you practice it's easy,
  6. Close any gaps in your new loop - you now have a charm!
 I love these bracelets and am already busy making my third.
Please let me know if you try it yourself!!


*Does anybody else talk to themselves in this manner?!?! :)


  1. wow it came out amazing love the white one great job! i would not have the patience for this my sister is more into jewelry making!


  2. cuuuuuuuuuute

  3. I love love them! I don't think I am able to do that but I'll try because I like them tooooo much!

  4. Those are amazing. Great job Sadie. I especially like that you included a mini tutorial on how to turn a bead into a charm. I may have to make some of these for my niece W for Christmas using some horse charms. I mean leather and horses... It should be cute. :)

  5. Sadie this is so awesome, I can not wait to make some!! thanks so much for sharing!!

  6. OMG that is so cool! I will def try this!
    Great post!

  7. Excellent tips. The charm bracelets came out so gorgeous too!



  8. Ummmm I totally LOVE this! I might have to try this myself if I can find all the supplies!

  9. Wow! Those look awesome! You are a talented little lady! :)

    Along Abbey Road

  10. You have a really great blog!
    Follow me :)

  11. sadie this is amazing! i am going to try this as soon as exams are done (3 weeks to go till i'm all finished). seriously what a great post!!
    oh and i didn't know that you wrote for delusha - shall be checking you out :-)
    ps thanks so much for your comment yesterday. it meant a lot <3

  12. hi sadie! those are gorgeous! :) thanks for sharing. that kind of bracelet costs as much as $20 here in my country. so expensive right? anyway, i'll try to make some for myself too. i hope it's as pretty as yours.

    by the way, if it won't take so much of your time, i need your help. please visit my blog for more details. thank you!

    much love,

  13. gave you an award on my blog!


  14. You are such a crafty lady! I honestly can't tell the different between your bracelet and the original- I didn't figure it out until I read the labels on the bottom of your pictures :) I love the way the bracelets look all stacked together... Not exactly practical for typing at my desk all day long, but still so stylish.

  15. Turned out awesome!! Totally something I would wear! This kind of style is so in right now!

    Delighted Momma

  16. these are so cute! will definitely try to make these.thanks for sharing :)

  17. You did a fantastic job on those bracelets. I really want to make some!

  18. just popped over from little miss momma, and omg i looooove these bracelets!! Totally going to have to make me some. I love the stacked look too and I've been looking for a tutorial because I'm too lazy to do jewelry tutorials, or to make one myself without a tutorial and end up frustrated! :) love it.

    come and visit me at thestyleprojects.blogspot.com

    I do lots of diys and fashion/style &hair posts!

  19. stellar job! your versions look very much like the originals. I haven't made any jewelry in a while and this has inspired me to get back on that!

    love the bracelet in pink.

  20. WHAT!! These are amazing... We have a {tute-sweet tuesday} where we feature a great tutorial and this would be PERFECT! If you're interested at all let us know
    we're absolutely LOVING your blog!

  21. Great tutorial! I love the jewelry

  22. Great tutorial for some really pretty bracelets!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  23. Great tutorial, and love the finished result. Saw you on round tuit. Hugs lin

  24. Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  25. they are very nicely made and look great, love them ! i think i'll follow and try to learn some:)

  26. Really This bracelet is so chic and beautiful! Great idea! Thanks for always inspiring!!!

  27. Just a darling bracelet's nice stylish I love everything in their collection... so creative and unique! great inspiration on your blog!


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Sadie x