{Hardware Store} Chain Link Bracelets

By Kate Riley April 2, 2012

I was browsing a local hardware store for some hooks last week and happened to walk by the electrical wire and chain link department.  Ordinarily, I never give those aisles a second look, it’s typically your mundane chain link and boring wire, but at my local Orchard Supply & Hardware they had about a dozen reels of chain link labeled ‘decorative’ that actually looked attractive enough to create something with.  I spied some brass plated and smallish silver link chain and all I could think was, you know what, those would make some cool looking bracelets.

Jewelry or handbag quality chain link is available from a lot of places and at all price points, but at that moment I was completely absorbed with the idea of making something pretty out of that decorative chain link from a home improvement store.  Plus I’m all about statement jewelry these days, I’m rarely drawn to dainty pieces anymore.  So here’s my latest crafty somewhat quirky creation: link bracelets made with decorative chain found at a hardware store.

diy hardware store chain link bracelets cg


To make these, you actually need some decent looking chain link, I happened to spy several that were pretty cool at my local OSH.

decorative chain link

You’ll also need some pliers and some jewelry making supplies too, specifically lobster clasps and smaller jump rings to pull it all together.  Glass beads add a little class to the edginess of the oversized (and cheap!) chain link.

jewelry making supplies

Cost per bracelet: Lobster clasps $2.79; jump rings $2.79, glass beads $5.99, 1½ ft chain link $2.  

I used the pliers to pull apart the chain into three sections of six links each, then attached the lobster clasps, jump rings, and emerald beads to form the first bracelet.

pliers to separate links

gold bracelets front and back

attach beads

gold link bracelet cg


I have to tell you, it feels fabulous on, so heavy and chunky and I love the gold and emerald combo.  Bonus, my man was totally impressed too.  (I can always tell when he says “You made that?”  and I say “Yep” and he says “Nice.”)  So anytime anyone asks me about it I’ll be all “Yo, check out my bling from the hardware store.”

gold link bracelet on wrist


Who votes I make a necklace like this . . .

mr t style necklace

And I show up at the next blog conference like this.

mr t necklaces

What?  Too much?

Ok, maybe so.  The five chain silver version also turned out really cute and is slightly more subtle than Mr. T.

silver chain link bracelet cg

Note, these smaller silver links were soldered together, so you’ll need to use the bolt cutters at the store to cut the individual sets of links, unless you have heavy gauge bold cutters in your tool chest.

So that’s last week’s jewelry making project crafted from chain link from a hardware store.  Fun to make, inexpensive, and these pieces definitely make a statement.

silver and gold chain link bracelets cg


Crafted any funky jewelry of your own lately ?



  1. Too funny…I have list of needed supplies in my purse to make chain link jewelery! I’m hitting up my local hardware store at some point today. Fingers crossed I don’t end up looking like Mr. T or Vanilla Ice. Did you know he has a home show now on HGTV??

  2. I am officially obsessed. They look like pieces from Stella and Dot! Way to go! And kudos to Matt for being observant enough to notice your new jewelry. :)

    • Too funny Liisa, I’m sure many fine jewelers would have a similar reaction! These really are so fun though :)

  3. Thanks for helping us to think out of the box. The multi-strand element is what makes “the look.” (Well, on the bracelets, I mean. I’m not advising anyone go as far as Mr. T.)

  4. Wouldn’t it be fun to wear those awesome chunky things and have people be all… ooooh, I love your bracelet! Where’d you get that! And instead of saying “I made it” you can say “Home Depot!” The I made it will follow.
    Great conversation piece!

  5. Great idea. I used to make jewelry as my “craft” and maybe I’ll give it a try again. I love using unexpected items to create new things!

  6. Love it when inspiration for jewelry comes from the hard ware store, I’m sure it doesn’t happen often.
    Great job!

  7. OK, that’s it! There’s nothing you can’t do, girl! It amazes me all the things you come up with to make. Those are beautiful, who would think they originated at the hardware store. They look WOW! I love chunky jewelry too. xoxo

  8. I used to make necklaces when I lived in London and before my visa came through for working there came through. I sold them to friends and friends of friends and actually made over $10,000 USD selling them , can you believe it ( in about 3 months). was a greas source of extra income. All just bead necklaces on tiger tail wire.
    Your link ones are lovely. How fun!
    Cheers fiona

  9. hahhaah mr. t… hehehe that’s a little much, but I love the gold bracelet you made… very creative and so in trend!!

  10. WOW Kate, you never stop amazing me with your ideas and talents. I would have never thought to use chain links from a hardware store. LOVE the way they turned out. I might just have to do this. Great way to get what you are looking for….color, size, etc. Thanks for sharing!!! :)

  11. I love this project. I was actually admiring bracelets like that myself wondering how I could get one. But of course us DIYers can get our bling at the hardware store, we get everything else there!

    Very pretty :-)

    • That’s awesome grace, love your hinges bracelent, pinned it!

  12. Great job Kate, linked bracelets are all the rage and so are necklaces, love what you made, adding the beads adds a fun touch!

  13. I have no doubt our husbands would be friends. Every time you talk about him, you describe exactly what my husband would say, do, or think. It cracks me up. :)

  14. very cool kate! I’ve also checked out the chain at the hardware store, but usually I already have chain in stock so I’ve never actually bought some. I have many jewelry making how-to’s on my site, and more to come soon! And I agree with your statement, I’m all about statement pieces! I never thought it was an age thing, but could be! I recently made a statement necklace, http://www.brittanymakes.com/brittanymakes/2012/03/spring-statement-necklaces-.html, and the how-to is coming soon! Thanks for sharing your secrets! :)

    • Hey Brittany, I’ll check out your jewelry making tutorials, thanks for the link!

  15. Wow, so cute! Definitely going to try these, would make a nice Mother’s Day gift : ) something fun. I wish I thought of these things, you’re awesome!

  16. I’m so loving chain jewlery. It turned out great. I “made” a chain necklace from a chain I found at Joann’s Fabric. I posted all about this trend on my blog last week! Great job

  17. I love this idea! I am making jewelry for a non-profit (well two of them really) and this just might be what I make next! Thanks for the idea! You rock!

  18. Hi Kate…love your jewlery. Question….did you wrap the “thingy” that holds the beads around two links or just one..cant really tell in the picture.

  19. I recently made a bracelet out of hardware store chain and ribbon woven through. It turned out cute! But you should’ve seen the look on the guy’s face at Lowe’s when he asked what I was looking for and I said, “Pretty chain.” I then proceeded to explain what I was using it for, but he soon stopped me and said, “Whoa. You need to start over. You lost me at ‘pretty chain!'” I’m sure I gave him and his other store associates a good laugh when I left! I should go back and show them my stunning bracelet now!!!

  20. Love this! Makes me look at hardware in a whole new way! I’m envisioning the blog world going on fire (fy-ah) over this one.

  21. Ohh… These are fabulous! I love the other beaded bracelets pictured on the tray. Where are they from? and can you show us how to make them DIY!

  22. These are amazing! I am definitely going to give it a shot. I was thinking it could be fun to add locks or other hardware to one.

    Also -If you find a way to make a necklace like that picture let us know :)

  23. Wow what a fantastic idea – I make heaps of jewellery and I find the chainlink you get at the craft stores doesn’t last very long – now it makes total sense to use hardware chainlink! Thank you so much for sharing xx Natalie

  24. These are fantastic! I’ve never thought about making my own jewellery before, but I think I’ve just added something else to my list of things I want to try!

  25. Wow Kate! Just when I think you could not possibly impress me again with your DIY skills…you find another way! Jewelry making from hardware store chains?! So cute! What next…cant wait to see!

  26. Kate,
    I’m no DIY master, but this looks like fun and not too difficult. Your bracelets really look fabulous!

  27. Love it! Go genius, it is great to find a way to make jewelry at a lower cost as well! Will definitely be heading out to the hardware store to try these out!

  28. I LOVE this! And then yesterday I got the Anthropologie catalog in the mail – guess what’s on the cover? A big, chunky gold chain necklace. You’ve totally inspired me to make my own, and I’ll post all about it! (with reference to the inspiration you provided, if that’s ok!)
    Much Love!

  29. OK, I saw this post a couple of days ago, and I wasn’t sold on the idea. Using chain links from the hardware store for jewelry?!? Is she serious? Then I was driving to work this morning and it suddenly dawned on me…April fools!!!! So I came back and checked the date of the post. April 2nd. Hmmm…not too sure about this one, Kate, but I give you high marks for creativity!

  30. Good Idea, I work in a store and now that I have started with jewerly making , trust me , there are lots of bins of interesting things to make or put on anything you want to make. And if you feel like it , go to the fishing aisles. That is like a motherlode of goodies !!!

  31. I love this post! I’ll definitely try to make the bracelet, as well as the necklace. :)

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