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Tutorial Tuesday: Body Chain

May 3, 2011

Body chains that go around body parts typically neglected by jewelry-makers have been trendy in the blogosphere for awhile now, though I’ve yet to see anyone wear any in real life. Despite the abundance of shoulder jewelry and body harnesses in various configurations on blogs and Etsy, I never really thought they were for me until I saw this one by Armor Jewelry. Normally I shy away from doing tutorials for anything from independent designers. I see nothing wrong with making your own version of these ideas for your own personal use, but I’d rather knock off things from big companies. But there are numerous similar body harnesses on Etsy (like this one, this one, or this one), and I don’t think that any of them invented the concept. So here’s how to make your own. Because of the nature of the project, this is more of a diagram than a tutorial.

Chain of two weights, at least 18 inches of the heavier weight and 68 inches of the lighter weight
Jumprings, 4 (optional, depending on your chain)
Needlenose pliers


1. First, a note on selecting your chain. You’ll want to use heavier weight chain than you would for a delicate necklace, just to make sure it can stand up to the wear-and-tear of taking it on and off your body. For the thicker segments of chain at the front and back I used chain that was constructed with a split in the links, so I just opened the links with my pliers and didn’t need to use jumprings. All of my chain is from Micheal’s (it was $8.50, total). I would link you to the exact chain but it’s not on their website.

2. Cut two 20″ and two 14″ pieces of the lighter chain.

3. Cut a 5″ and 12.5″ piece of the heavier chain.

4. If you’re use jumprings, attach a jumpring to each end of the heavier pieces of chain. If you’re not, bend open the links at each end of the heavier chain pieces.

These next two steps are much easier to understand in diagram form:

5. Attach the two 20″ pieces to one end of the 12.5″ piece, then attach the free ends of both 20″ pieces to one end of the 5″ piece.

6. Attach the two 14″ pieces to the other end of the 12.5″ piece, then attach both 14″ pieces to the free end of the 5″ piece. Make sure not to twist your chain up when you’re doing this.

7. Try it on by slipping it over your head. When you’re putting it on, make sure the longer chains are at the bottom and the longer heavy chain is in the back. Though of course you could wear it backwards, too. I’m medium-size, but taller than average, so you may want to adjust the lengths of your chains. It should be pretty forgiving, though.

It’s a little overt for me on its own, but I LOVE how it looks peeking out from under a deep V-neck shirt.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2011 6:31 pm

    YAY! I’ve been hoping to come across a body chain tutorial. Thanks so much for this one, I’ll be linking. And WOW is your cat gorgeous! =)

    • May 11, 2011 1:51 pm

      Rachel, thank you! Looking forward to the link.

      And thanks on behalf of my cat– I like to tell her she should be a cat supermodel, but she’s not interested.

  2. May 22, 2011 4:05 am

    fabulous. they are so easy …someone asked me to make one for them and sent me here ..though they could have just used your tutorial :)

    • May 22, 2011 7:01 pm

      Thanks, Maegan! Yep, they really are easy, but I guess some people just aren’t DIYers. Whereas those of us who are have trouble buying something we could make :-)

  3. November 5, 2017 9:36 am

    I have some antique chain that I bought in the flea market in parish many years ago and have no known what to do with it. This is a perfect project for it. I’m very excited! Thank you for the tutorial!

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