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Tie Chain

Instructions for making a man's Tie Chain out of jewelry wire, beads and jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools

Tie Chain Made with Jewelry Wire using WigJig jewelry toolsWe frequently get asked for jewelry making projects for jewelry that would be suitable for men.  Here is a jewelry making project that is suitable for anyone who wears a long Button Piece for Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project made out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.tie.  A tie chain is an excellent clothing accessory for the person who has to store their ties in the refrigerator to keep the food stains from spoiling. This chain will help to keep your tie out of your soup.  (For those of you who weren't in the US Navy, this is a favorite Navy joke used to describe a sloppy eater.  Sorry, I could not resist.)

This tie chain is made of two jewelry wire components connected by segments of commercial chain.  The component that is not shown in the picture above-right is the button holder wire component that slips over a shirt button and holds the tie chain in place.  This component is shown above-left. 

When wearing this tie chain a shirt button is slid into the rounded opening in the button holder and once in place the top groove in the button holder is slid down so that the threads holding the button onto the shirt are at the top of the grove with the button extending over the top of the button holder wire component.  In this position, gravity Center Piece Wire Component for Tie Chain made out of common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry making tools.will hold the tie chain in place. 

The visible center-piece wire component is a piece that we call a Flemish Spiral and was made using our WigJig jewelry tools. 

This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project. 

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

  • 8 1/2 inches of 18 gauge 1/2 hard jewelry wire.
  • 9 inches of 22 gauge 1/2 hard jewelry wire. 
  • Two 3mm metal beads
  • Five inches of medium commercial chain
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers
  • WigJig Delphi or Centaur jewelry tool with five metal pegs
  • Two 1/4" Super Pegs for the WigJig Delphi jewelry tool
  • Nylon Jaw Pliers (recommended)
  • 30 minutes of free time

Jewelry Making Skills Required

Step-by-step instructions for making a man's Tie Chain using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry making tools:

Button Holder Wire Component for Tie Chain Jewelry Making ProjectWe have to make two wire components to make for this Tie Chain jewelry making project.  The most important component is the "button holder" shown at right.  This is the component that makes the tie chain work.  In fact, you could make a simplified tie chain, with just this button holder wire component and a piece of commercial chain about 6 inches long.  Obviously this simplified tie chain would not have the decorative center piece that is the second wire component that we will make.  It would merely be visible in front of the tie as plain commercial chain.  The steps involved in making the button holder wire component Peg Pattern on WigJig Centaur jewelry tool for making the Tie Chain Jewelry Making Projectbegin below.

Step 1:  Using your flush cutter, cut a piece of 18 gauge jewelry wire five inches long.

Step 2:  Using your round nose pliers or your fine step jaw pliers (if available) make a loop in one end of this piece of jewelry wire.

Step 3:  Using the fingers of your non-dominant hand, hold the jewelry wire by the loop and straighten the wire by pulling it through the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers as you gently squeeze the jaws closed.

Step 4:  See the peg patternon our WigJig Centaur jewelry tool above-left.  Position metal peg 1 and a 1/4" Super Peg, peg 2 in your jewelry making jig in the above pattern.  Place your initial loop in your jewelry wire on peg 1 and bend the wire around the right side of peg 2 so that it rests adjacent to the empty hole waiting for peg 3 with no pressure applied to the wire.

Step 5:  Add peg 3 ot the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and bend the jewelry wire against peg 3 so that it rests adjacent to the right side of the empty hole waiting for peg 4, with no pressure applied. 

Step 6:  Add peg 4 to the pattern on your jewelry making jig and bend the wire around the top of peg 4.  Remove peg 2 from your WigJig jewelry tool and continue bending the jewelry wire so that it rests adjacent to right side of the empty hole waiting for peg 5 with no pressure applied. 

Step 7:  Add peg 5 to the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and bend the jewelry wire against peg 5 so that you have room to replace peg 2 in its original position with no pressure applied.

Instructions for making Tie Chain jewelry making project showing Peg Pattern on WigJig Centaur jewelry tool

Step 8:  Replace peg 2 in its original position in your WigJig jewelry tool and bend the jewelry wire around the left side of peg 2 so that it rests adjacent, but below the empty hole waiting for peg 6. 

Step 9:  Add peg 6 to the pattern on your jewelry making jig and wrap the jewelry wire tightly around peg 6 as shown. 

Step 10:  Remove the jewelry wire from your WigJig jewelry tool and cut the excess wire at the end.  Close the final loop with your bent chain nose pliers.Button Holder Wire Component for Tie Chain made out of common jewelry supplies using jewelry making tools.

Step 11:  Now we need to wrap 22 gauge jewelry wire around the point where the 18 gauge wire crosses.  Begin by cutting a piece of 22 gauge 1/2 hard jewelry wire about 2 1/2 inches long. 

Step 12:  Using the tips of your round nose pliers make the smallest possible "U" shaped bend in the center of the 22 gauge jewelry wire.

Step 13:  Position the bottom of the "U" shaped bend in the center of the point where the two sides of the wire cross one another and while holding the bottom of the "U" tightly against the button holder wire component, bend both side of the 22 gauge jewelry wire so that they wrap around the button holder wire component as shown above-left. 

Step 14: Continue wrapping until you have used up almost all of the wire on both sides.  Try to end this wrap so that you cut the ends of the wire with the ends on top of the wrap so that the cut end on each side will be inside the loop in the wire made around peg 2.  This will position the cut ends so that they are least likely to catch or snag on anything.

Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project made out of common jewelry making supplies.Step 15:  Finish the button holder wire component by squeezing the cut ends of the 22 gauge jewelry wire down flat using the tips of your bent chain nose pliers. 

 

Center Piece Jewelry Wire Component for Tie Chain Jewelry Making ProjectStep 16:  Begin making the centerpiece jewelry wire component by cutting a segment of 18 gauge 1/2 hard jewelry wire three inches long.  (For those of you who are intermediate wire workers, you can use 16 gauge jewelry wire in this step to make a slightly bolder and more masculine centerpiece.)

Step 17:  Using your round nose or fine step jaw pliers make a loop in the end of this piece of jewelry wire.

Step 18:  Holding this loop in your non-dominant hand, straighten the jewelry wire by pulling it Instructions for making Tie Chain jewelry making project showing Peg Pattern for Centerpiece Wire Component on WigJig jewelry tool.through the jaws of your nylon jaw pliers until it is straight. 

Step 19:  Position peg 1 and a 1/4" Super Peg, peg 2, in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown at right.  Place your initial loop on peg 1 and wrap the wire around peg 2 so that with no pressure applied the wire will rest adjacent to where peg 3 will be. 

Step 20:  Add a 1/4" Super Peg, peg 3, to your jewelry making jig and wrap the jewelry wire around peg 3. 

Step 21:  Remove peg 2 from the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool and push the wire slightly further so that you have room to add peg 4.

Step 22:  Add peg 4 to the pattern on your jewelry making jig and bend the jewelry wire around peg 4.  When you have room add peg 2 back into your jig and finish bending the wire against peg 4.  We won't be able to easily complete a loop around peg 4, because peg 3 will be in the way.  Remove the jewelry wire component from the WigJig jewelry tool.

Step 23:  With the jewelry wire component completely removed from your jewelry making jig, and using your round nose pliers or fine step jaw pliers (if available), complete the loop where peg 4 was. 

Step 24:  Cut the excess jewelry wire with your flush cutter. 

Step 25:  Now we are ready to wrap fine gauge wire around the middle of the centerpiece wire component.  Open both the initial and final loop in the wire component using your bent chain nose pliers.

Centerpiece Jewelry Wire Component for Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project.Step 26:  Now using your flush cutter cut a segment of 22 gauge 1/2 hard jewelry wire about 2 1/2 inches long.  (If you have 21 gauge 1/2 round, 1/2 hard jewelry wire, this will actually work better than round jewelry wire.  Follow the same instructions with the 1/2 round wire, but ensure that the flat side of the 1/2 round wire rests against the centerpiece and the round side points out.)

Step 27:  Using the tips of your round nose pliers make a "U" shaped bend about 3/4" from one end of the jewelry wire segment.  (With 1/2 round wire make the "U" shaped bend so that the flat side of the wire is on the inside of the "U".)

Step 28:  Position this "U" shaped bend so that the "U" is in position to begin the wrap (with both initial and final loops of the centerpiece wire component opened).  Using your bent chain nose pliers squeeze the wire so that it is held tightly in position and begin wrapping both sides of the "U". 

Step 29:  The short side  of the "U" is intended to be wrapped around the centerpiece wire component one time and the long side of the "U" should be wrapped around about 2 times. After each bend, squeeze the jewelry wire with your bent chain nose pliers to set the wrap in place. 

Step 30:  When you have completed the wrapping, try to ensure that you will have enough wire so that the ends of the wire can be cut so that they can be squeezed into the openings made by the loops around Super Pegs 2 and 3.  Cut the wire and squeeze the cut end into this opening with your bent chain nose pliers.  If possible, try to tuck the cut end under the prior loop of wire.  This will prevent any loose ends.

Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project made out of common jewelry supplies.This completes the centerpiece wire component.  In the following section, we will provide directions on how to assemble this tie chain.

Button Holder Jewelry Wire Component for Tie Chain Jewelry Making ProjectCenterpiece Jewelry Wire Component for Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project Step 31:  At this point we have completed a centerpiece wire component and a button holder wire component.  To complete the tie chain, we need to connect these two components with segments of commercial chain.  First, cut two segments of medium commercial chain each 2 1/2 inches long.  Ensure that both segments are exactly the same length.

Step 32:  To connect the centerpiece wire component to one of these segments of commercial chain we use about 5 inches of 22 gauge 1/2 hard jewelry wire and the wrapped bead link using our 3mm metal beads.  Make a wrapped loop on one end of the center piece. 

Step 33:  When you have completed the wrapped loop, add your 3mm bead.  After adding your bead, make a second wrapped loop, but before wrapping this loop closed, connect the loop to one of the end loops in one of your segments of commercial chain, then wrap the loop closed. 

Completed Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project made out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.Ste[ 34:  Repeat steps 32 and 33 on the other end of the centerpiece wire component.  At this point the centerpiece wire component should appear as shown above-right. 

Step 35:  We complete this tie chain, by opening both end loops on the button holder wire component using your bent chain nose pliers.  Then, one at a time, adding one of the end loops of your commercial chain followed by closing the end loop in your button holder wire component.  The completed tie chain will appear as shown at right.

Beaded Tie Chain Jewelry Making Project made out of common jewelry supplies.Alternative design for making a Tie Chain with beads and WigJig jewelry tools:

We have already discussed the vanilla alternative for the tie chain.  This is simply a button holder wire component connected to about 6 inches of commercial chain.  A slightly fancier version of tie chain is shown at right.  In this version we replace the centerpiece wire component with a single wrapped bead link made on an 8mm bead.  Because we want the tie chain to be color-neutral so that it will go with any color of tie, we used a Swarovski 50 Facet Crystal AB bead in the tie chain shown above-right. 

This tie chain may be as dressy as the tie chain with the centerpiece described earlier.  Because it displays less intricate wire work, we prefer the tie chain with the centerpiece wire component.  (Please don't tell.  We will be making these tie chains for our male family members as Christmas gifts this year.  This will be our small gift to help them keep their ties out of their soup and no soup stains means that they can stop storing their ties in the refrigerator so that they won't spoil.) 

If you are selling jewelry, the beaded alternative shown here may be a better alternative because they take less time to make.  Now all you need to do is to find customers who wear ties and are sloppy eaters.  :-)

We have one more tie chain alternative for the man who has everything. 

Alternative design for making a Tie Chain with gemstones and WigJig jewelry tools:

Tie Chain with Bling Jewelry Making Project Shown with Emerald CZ, made using WigJig jewelry tools.Now, for the man who has everything, a Tie Chain with Bling!  What about a tie chain with his birthstone in the center?  What about a tie chain with a simulated diamond or CZ in the center?  This tie chain is very easy to make and uses the instructions for making the button holder component.  The only difference is that instead of making a beaded or wire component as the center piece of the tie chain, you use a round bezel setting for an 8mm CZ or man-made gemstone. 

Begin by making your button holder wire component as described above.  Once you have that complete cut a segment of commercial chain about 8.5" long.  Because the width of ties vary, start with 8.5", but you may need to cut some off both ends of the chain if this turns out to be too long.  Connect one end of this chain to the button holder component by opening the end loop on the button holder, making the Round Bezel Setting For Tie Chain Jewelry Making Projectconnection and then closing that loop.  Now set these parts aside as we set our gemstone.

Select a round bezel setting (without loop) that is the same size as your gemstone.  Place the setting face down on a cutting board or other hard, smooth surface.  Position your stone face down on top of the upside down round bezel setting and press gently Instructions for Bezel Setting of gemstone for Tie Chain with Bling Jewelry Making Designuntil the stone drops into position shown below-center.  With the stone in position, pick up the bezel setting and use your thumb and fore finger from your non-dominant hand to hold the gemstone in position.  Using bent chain nose pliers push down the tabs in the following order 1 - 3 then 2 - 4.  By pushing the opposite tabs down it makes it easier to keep the gemstone in its proper position.  Initially you won't need to push each tab down all the way, just get it started about 1/2 way down until all four tabs are partially down.  Then go back and fully and tightly seat each tab in the same order.  When the tabs are tightly set you are ready to assemble the Tie Chain with Bling.

Assembly of the Tie Chain with Bling:

TCompleted Tie Chain with Bling Jewelry Making Design made out of common jewelry making supplies.o assemble the tie chain, thread the end of the chain through the setting.  In the tie chain shown, the chain is threaded on both sides of the post between tabs 1 and 4.  Then connect the end of the chain to the open loop on the end of the button holder wire component.  If you have done this correctly, the tie chain will appear as shown at right.  The tie chain could be worn like this and because the setting is heavier than the chain, the setting will slide to the center of the chain naturally.  Unfortunately, it may also slide away from the center while being worn.  For those of you who are perfectionists, you can fix the bezel setting to the center of the chain by connecting a jump ring from the center link of the chain to the post between tabs 2 and 3 as shown below-right.  This will require two pairs of bent chain nose pliers to position and close the jump ring.  (It may also require good eyes, steady hands, and a dose of patience.  Well all right, a double dose of patience.) 

Think Christmas!  Think birthdays!  Now you have an easy project to make something you can give the man who has everything.  We think the man who has everything will like this Tie Chain with Bling.

Round Bezel Setting used for making Tie Chain with Bling jewelry making project. Setting a gemstone in the round bezel setting. Instructions for making Tie Chain with Bling using common jewelry supplies and WigJig jewelry tools.

 

 



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