~How to shorten a necklace~

Yo humans. In this post I am going to walk you through how easy and simple it is to shorten a necklace whose chain is just a tad too long for your liking. It’s really easy. All you need is:

  • Measuring stick
  • Wire cutters
  • Two pairs of pliers (can be flat nose, wide nose, doesn’t matter.)

Seriously, that’s all you need.

(I apologize ahead of time for these photos. Nebula threw a royal fit and was casting shadows everywhere so some of the pictures I needed didn’t turn out. It’s hard to hold the camera and the pliers at the same time XD)

But, onward. First, figure out how long your necklace currently is, and then estimate how much you want to shorten it. It’s a good idea to hold the necklace at the length you think you want it, and hold it up to your chest to see where it will hang on you.


The necklace I will be shortening today is a necklace of my mom’s. It’s currently 24 inches and she asked me to shorten it to 21 inches.

(due note: the lobster clasp and jump ring at the ends will make your necklace slightly longer than what you measure, if you measure based on the chain, which is what I did here. I just find it easier to measure the chain and not try to factor in the clasp and jump ring. If you want your necklace to be the exact measurement, add about a half inch to the amount you cut off.)

So, I’m going to shorten this necklace from 24 inches, to 21. Cutting off approximately three inches.


Get out your wire cutters and find a link of the chain at the point you want to cut it. Don’t just cut through the entire chain like scissors through paper. Grip one side of the link with the tip of your cutters and gently cut through it.


Now you have a broken link at the end of one of your chains. If it’s on the chain that will remain part of the necklace(left side, in picture above and below), then work the broken link off the remaining chain.

who knew taking pictures of broken things could be so fun?

Now. DON’T discard the piece of extra chain yet. We still need the ring at the end of it. The technical term for that little ring is a ‘jump ring’.

Closed jump ring

Take your two pairs of pliers and the jump ring. Find the seam of the jump ring where the two ends meet. Grip the ring on opposite sides and carefully turn the ends away from each other–one end toward you, the other away from you. DO NOT simply pull the ends away from each other right to left. You’ll never get them back together correctly if you do that.

Open jump ring

Once your jump ring is open, take the extra piece of chain off and put the remaining necklace chain on(see picture above).

Close the jump ring, using both pairs of pliers, just the way you opened it. Make sure both wire ends are as flush and even as you can get them.

And there you go! That’s all there is to it. Your necklace is now shortened to your desired length. Some of the steps might sound a bit complicated, but I just wanted to make sure my instructions were clear. It took me about five minutes or less to shorten this necklace. You don’t need to be an expert jeweler to do this XD Just get you some simple tools, and don’t be afraid of ‘ruining’ your necklace. It’s pretty hard to mess up this process.


If you have any problems or need help along the way, let me know! This is the first time I’ve written a tutorial like this, and I hope to be writing a lot more for simple tips on how to care for and modify your jewelry.

Let me know how your necklace turns out!

~Your Pickle


3 thoughts on “~How to shorten a necklace~

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