Jewelry Extender, 
Jewelry Making Instructions

Need a necklace or bracelet extender? Make your own jewelry extender with step by step jewelry making instructions.

About Necklace and Bracelet Extenders

Extenders add function and versatility to your jewelry designs.

Necklace and bracelet extenders are used to adjust the length of necklaces or bracelets which are too short or too tight.

Necklace Extenders

You just may want to change how you wear a necklace.

With a necklace extender, a choker length necklace can be worn at a princess necklace length.

Bracelet Extenders

A bracelet extender allows you to wear a bracelet more loosely for a below the sleeve, sexier look for evening outings. Or, make a too small bracelet fit better.

Handcrafted jewelry extenderHandcrafted jewelry extender

Benefits of Adding an Extender to Jewelry

  • Gives jewelry a finished look
  • Designer beaded jewelry detail
  • Allows you to personalize jewelry
  • Add your signature tag if you sell handmade jewelry

Extender Length

Be careful not to make the extender too long. Two to three inches (5.1 - 7.6 cm) is a good length. Make it too long and you take the chance of skewing the design of the necklace or bracelet.

Make a couple of different extender lengths to test which you like best.

Size of Jewelry Making Chain Links

The size of the lengths in your extender chain is a matter of personal taste. In general, match the chain link size to the overall size of the beads in the necklace or bracelet.

If your jewelry is made of beads that are small, say 8mm or less, use chain with lengths about 8mm in size or less. Just be sure that the hook of the lobster claw clasp will fit into the links of the chain.

If your jewelry is made of beads that are large, say larger than 8mm , use chain with lengths about 8mm in size and greater. Again, be sure that the hook of the lobster claw clasp, or the toggle bar of a toggle clasp, will fit into the links of the chain.

If your jewelry design is made of chain and/or a combination of beads and chain, use the same chain, or chain that has links that are a little smaller, for the jewelry extender.

In the end, the size of the chain links is about personal taste, chain that you may have on hand and the size of the jewelry clasp that you use. Experience will will the best teacher!

So, let's learn how to make jewelry extenders with easy jewelry making instructions!

How to Make a Jewelry Extender

Tutorial Category: Wire Jewelry Tutorial

Skill Level: Beginning Beading

Prerequisite Beading Technique: If you've never made a wrapped wire loop, learn how with these instructions: How to Make a Wrapped Wire Loop Above a Bead

Approximate Length: 2" (5.1 cm)

Jewelry Making Supplies

  • 1 bead* to coordinate with bracelet (or necklace)
  • 1 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) head pin
  • 1 split ring
  • 1 lobster claw or spring ring clasp
  • 2 - 3" (5.1 - 7.6 cm) length of chain with small links (see Note in Step 2)

*Use a bead in a size that you'll be comfortable with. I like to use beads that are smaller or the same size as the smallest bead in the design.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

Bead Jewelry Making Tools and/or Pliers

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • split ring pliers
  • wire cutters

If you need it, here's a review of jewelry pliers.

Bead Jewelry Making Instructions

1. Gather supplies, tools and beads.

2. Decide how long you want your extender.

Cut a length of small link chain to that length.

Note: Chain is sold by the foot. So, you may have to purchase at least one foot (30.5 cm) of chain. Use the remainder in another project.

Adding a dangle on the end of the extender adds an extra special touch!

3.Using the wire cutters, cut one 2 - 3" (5.1 - 7.6 cm) length of chain.

Thread the bead onto the head pin.

Make one wrapped wire loop above a bead, up to making the wire loop. Leave the wire loop open.

Now, attach the wire wrapped bead unit to one end of the chain length.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

4. Complete the wrapped wire loop.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

5. Using the split ring pliers, open the split ring on your necklace or bracelet and slide the bare chain end onto the split ring.

Keep sliding the chain onto the split ring until the split ring closes and the chain end is secure.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

6. Keep sliding the chain onto the split ring until the split ring closes and the chain end is secure.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

You're done! Your completed jewelry extender should look similar to the ones pictured below.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

Make a More Versatile Jewelry Extender

What to do if you're working with a bracelet or necklace end that has a closed jump ring or other solid closure?

Attach the split ring directly to the chain end and attach a lobster claw or spring ring clasp to the split ring.

Now, you can attach the lobster claw or spring ring clasp directly to the necklace end.

How to Make a Bracelet Extender

How to Make a Toggle Clasp Extenders

To make an extender using a toggle clasp, attach a split to each half of the clasp and attach the last link of a length of chain to each split ring. That's it!

Picture of a toggle clasp extender.

Picture of a toggle clasp extender.

Jewelry Selling Insight

Bracelet Jewelry Extenders

Sometimes we need a bit more room in our bracelet. A bracelet extender not only does that, but it also adds a touch of class to our beaded jewelry by giving it a finished look.

If you make jewelry to sell, add a distinguishing jewelry tag to the end of the chain instead of the bead dangle. It will set your handmade jewelry apart from most other sellers.

But more than that, your clients will appreciate that you went the extra mile.

Not only for the convenience it provides them, but because most jewelry sellers do not add an extender to jewelry. Your clients will see that you care about their needs when making beaded jewelry.

Now go forth and create beautiful beaded jewelry. And, if you need necklace or bracelet extenders, you know how to make them. Yes!

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