Using bulk chain to make a necklace. A tutorial on how I made a cancer mom necklace

This weekend is Paula's Pillowcase Project weekend.
One Saturday a year for the past six years, I have joined Paula in sewing pillowcases for kids at Seattle Children's hospital that have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatment.

Last year I had a sew along so that you could join me in helping provide a soft homemade pillowcase for kids that are spending their days and nights away from home laying on oftentimes scratchy hospital pillows with their cute bald heads.
If you are interested in sewing along, it isn't too late!
Check this post for up to date information.

This year, Paula asked if I would be willing to craft something 
for the moms of kids with cancer that come during the event.

Something that they could wear {that wasn't overly obnoxious}
but that would distinguish them as a mom of a kid with cancer.

There are usually about a dozen moms that come to volunteer their time making pillowcases for other kids, usually because they were touched by the pillowcase their child received when they were first admitted.
Sewing along side kids with cancer or working with kids in remission and talking with moms whose kids are in the fight for their lives is one of my favorite parts of the event. 

 So of course, I didn't hesitate to jump on board and help.
I immediately thought necklace.
Like a pink ribbon is the color for breast cancer, gold is the color for childhood cancer.
I wanted something the moms could wear again and also something I could easily make multiples of.
This is what I came up with.

I am not a jewelry maker.
In fact, walking down the jewelry aisle at the craft store makes me a little nervous.
It seems foreign to me.
I didn't know what jump rings were or how you can cut chain to make a necklace,
but I took a little crash course and now I want to share with you what I learned.

While I made a childhood cancer necklace, the same rules apply to any necklace you would want to make with a charm pendant or two.

You will need:
charms {I used these gold ribbons}
jump rings and clasps {I got mine in a package together}
 bulk chain {I used 72"}
jewelry making tools {round nose, flat nose and cutting pliers are a must!}

 I honestly had no idea you could make your own necklace using chain.
I spent far longer than I would like to admit wandering up and down the jewelry aisle at not one but three different craft stores looking for pre-made necklace chains.

Come to find out, you can make it.
Who knew?
If you knew, please don't laugh at me or I will punch you in the face.

You can use this image as a guide for cutting the perfect length.

I cut my chain with my cutting pliers to 18".

Next, I used a jump ring to add a loop on to my bead charms.
My gold ribbon charms already had a jump ring.

You simply use your flat nose pliers to open up your jump ring, then hold it in place.
Slip your charm through the opening in your jump ring and
use your round nose pliers to help close your jump ring.

Before you put your clasps on, slip your charms on your chain.
It's easier and will save you time, trust me!

On one end of your chain put your jump ring using the same method that you did for your charm.

On the other end of your chain you will open up the small circle jump ring that is attached to your clasp and slide the end of your chain on.
Use your round pliers to close up your jump ring.

There you have it, a homemade necklace chain!
Notice how I didn't put my charms on it yet.
Yep, this is where I learned that it was easier to do that first before putting my clasp ends on.

Here is the finished necklace.
I really like how it turned out and think that the moms will like it too!

I'm thinking next time I walk down the jewelry making aisle I will be a little less nervous.
I hope you will be too!

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