Wednesday, May 28, 2014

simple body chain tutorial (or "the coolest necklace ever")

simple body chain body jewelry tutorial

So little known fact about me; I (Jessica) used to belly dance. It's still one of my favorite ways to exercise, makes for some killer ab muscles, and I miss taking classes a lot. The one other thing that I really miss about belly dancing is the jewelry! You get to wear the absolute coolest jewelry! However, what I am not going to do is share any of those pictures with you, it's way too embarrassing (says the girl who puts pictures of herself on the internet regularly). Instead I'm going to show you my gorgeous friend Savannah, an actual professional belly dancer, in full costume:

I am trying not to drool over her jewelry as I write this. I want her head piece so bad...

Anyways, when I saw these simple body chains popping up everywhere this summer (usually, it seems, on women wearing tiny swimsuits for some reason) it made me laugh. I totally had these when I used to belly dance!  My belly dancing jewelry was much more ornate though, not something you'd wear know...around. It would be a tad weird. But since I loved these when I used to dance, I could not wait to make a more everyday-friendly version, and they're perfect for summer!

simple body chain body jewelry tutorial

However, I will only ever wear this over a tank top. You will never catch me wearing this with a swimsuit. Who wears jewelry like that to the beach!?! Ok, I'm getting off track. Anyways, it turned out great! Simple but still interesting. My daughter called it "the coolest necklace ever." And today I'm going to show you how to make your own.

1. You will need: some bar beads (however many you want, I used 5) and the same number of eye pins. Six jump rings, two large and four small. Two lobster clasps, and two33 inch lengths of chain. You'll also probably need regular needle nosed pliers and a set of round nose pliers. Also note; the chain may need to be longer or shorter depending on your own body, so I suggest measuring to be sure!

2. Using your small jump rings, attach your large jump rings to both ends of one of your pieces of chain.

3. You'll now have one length of chain with rings on either end.

4. Using your other two small jump rings, attach your lobster claws to each end of the other length of chain.

5. Clip both sets of clasps together to make one giant necklace. Try it on as shown, making sure that the clasps are centered in the small of your back and the back of your neck. Mark (I used my eye pins for this) where you want your bar beads to start and stop. Generally the most flattering place for this is to have them end at the narrowest part of your waist.

6. Carefully take your chain off, and check your eye pin positioning.

7. Now you'll prep your bar beads by slipping them over the eye pins.

8. Using needle nosed pliers, create another eye at the other end of the bar bead, but leave it open slightly!

9. Using pliers, gently open the eye loop on the other side so they're both open enough to slip onto the chain.

10. Now you'll take your marker pins out, and replace them with your bar beaded eye pin.

11. Loop your eye through the link of your chain you had marked, then close it.

12. Repeat this with all your bar beads, however many you want. I found it was easiest to do the top and bottom bars first, then evenly space the middle ones between those two.

13. Loop your chain back around so both lengths of chain are parallel to each other. Pull the chain flat.

14. Now you'll match up the other side of your bar beads as evenly as you can with the corresponding links of the other chain.

15. Slip the chain onto your other eye loop, and close it. Keep doing this until you've connected all your bar beads, but make sure to check each time that you're keeping them even!

16. Try it on, and you're done!

simple body chain body jewelry tutorial

So I have actually worn this out in public as of writing this. And even though we're in a slightly (*cough cough very*) conservative part of Idaho, surprisingly I got no weird looks. And a lot of compliments! Success.



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