love finding ways to reuse and re-imagine my old jewelry pieces into new items that I will enjoy wearing again. This creative design uses a link bracelet as the neck band for a beaded necklace. So for this necklace, I used an old bracelet that I no longer wore. But you could also make this beaded necklace using a shorter necklace (14 inches to 18 inches long) as your neckband for your new necklace.
How to Make a New Necklace Out of an Old Bracelet
To make a necklace like this, you'll want to choose a bracelet or necklace with movable links that bends around your wrist like a watch band (see photo above for example). Do not choose a cuff or solid one piece bracelet. Your moving bracelet or necklace will have to sit around the back of your neck and serve as a hanging band for your new necklace. I have other helpful suggestions for choosing your beginning bracelet on my blog.
The other materials for this necklace design includes beading wire, a lot of beads, a necklace clasp and a good pair of needle nose pliers and wire cutters. I have the specific details on my blog.
The first step in making your new necklace is to remove the old clasp from your bracelet or starter necklace. Be sure to keep the attached link or ring intact as you will be connecting your beads to these rings. I was able to remove my clasp by carefully cutting it off with some wire cutters.
Next, decide how many strands of beads you want your necklace to have and the length you want your new necklace to be, including the length of your starter bracelet or necklace.
Once you've decided the length of your finished necklace, subtract the length of your starter bracelet or necklace (my bracelet was 7 inches long, so I subtracted that from 23 inches leaving me with 16 inches). Then, using your wire cutters, cut a piece of beading wire for each strand of your necklace that is at least 6 inches longer than what you need. For my necklace, I cut four strands of wire that were each 22 inches long.
As you read through the rest of the steps, if you need more guidance on making beaded necklaces, please visit my tutorial on making multi-strand beaded necklaces.
Now take one strand of your cut beading wire and slip two crimp beads on the end Then beginning at the end of your bracelet or starter necklace that is opposite where your clasp will be, feed your beading wire through the ring or loop on your starter bracelet.
After feeding your beading wire through your bracelet ring, slide your wire back through your two crimp beads and pull them as close to your bracelet ring as possible.
Take your needle nose pliers and gently squeeze your crimp beads so that they tighten and hold in place. Squeeze each crimp bead separately, not all together at once.
Repeat this process until all your strands of beading wire are attached to the ring on your bracelet or starter necklace. Do not cut the shorter end of your beading wire yet.
Now you can start sliding your beads on to your wires. If possible, as you add your first couple of beads to each strand, slip both ends of your beading wire through these beads to hide the shorter end (see photo above).
Continue to add beads to your strands of wire until your necklace is the desired length (including the length of your starter bracelet or necklace). I chose to mix different colors and shapes of beads on each of my strands, but you can arrange your beads as you wish.
Once your necklace is the desired length, it is time to add your clasp. There are many different types of clasps and each is attached slightly differently. Please visit my blog for specific directions on adding your clasp.
I chose to connect my strands of beads to my clasp in a different order than they were laid out at the beginning end. This is a design choice I made, and creates a twist in the beads and allows the different colors to show.
However you decide to lay out your beads, I hope you make a new necklace that you love and enjoy wearing!
- Old Bracelet (Already owned)
- Beading Wire (craft store)
- Beads (craft store)
- Clasp (craft store)
- Needle Nose Pliers (craft store)
- Wire Cutters (Craft Store)