How to Shorten a Necklace: A Clear and Confident Guide

Is your necklace too long and not sitting at the desired position on your neck? Don’t worry Shortening a necklace is a simple process that you can do yourself with just a few tools and some basic instructions. In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to shorten a necklace like a pro.

How to Shorten a Necklace

Key Takeaways

Shortening a bike chain is a valuable skill for any cyclist to have.

You may need to shorten a chain to fit a new bike frame or replace a damaged link

With the right tools and a little bit of know-how, shortening a chain is a simple process.

How to Shorten a Necklace

How to Make a Necklace Shorter

  • How to measure the current length of a necklace?
  • What tools are needed to shorten a necklace?
  • What are the different methods for shortening a necklace?

Assessing the Length of the Necklace

Before you begin the process of shortening your necklace, it’s important to assess the current length. This will help you determine how much you need to shorten it by and ensure that you achieve the desired length. To measure the necklace, follow these simple steps:

  1. Lay the necklace flat on a table or any other surface.
  2. Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the length from end to end.
  3. Take note of the measurement and compare it to the desired length.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

To successfully shorten a necklace, you will need a few tools commonly used in jewelry making. These tools include:

  • Jewelry pliers: These pliers are specifically designed for working with small jewelry components and are essential for opening and closing jump rings.
  • Wire cutters: Wire cutters are used to cut any excess links or wire during the shortening process.
  • Jump rings: Jump rings are small metal rings that can be used to add or remove length from a necklace.
  • Clasp: Depending on the method you choose to shorten your necklace, you may need a new clasp to reattach the ends.

Each tool has its purpose and will be used at different stages of the shortening process. Make sure you have them all on hand before you begin.

How to Shorten a Necklace

Identifying the Method of Shortening

There are several methods you can use to shorten a necklace, and the choice of method depends on the necklace’s design and construction. The most common methods include:

  1. Removing links: This method of removing links is suitable for necklaces with removable links. By removing one or more links, you can shorten the necklace to the desired length.
  2. Using jump rings: Jump rings can be used to add or remove length from a necklace without removable links. They are particularly useful for necklaces made of beads or other non-link components.
  3. Restringing the necklace: If your necklace is made with string or beading wire, you can restring it to achieve the desired length.

When choosing the appropriate method, consider the necklace’s design, material, and the extent of shortening required. Some methods may be more suitable than others depending on these factors

How to Shorten a Chain

Removing Links

Method Suitable for Necklace Design Suitable for Necklace Material Suitable for Extent of Shortening Required
Removing Links Necklaces with removable links Any material with removable links Small to moderate extent
Using Jump Rings Necklaces without removable links, made of beads Any material without removable links Small to moderate extent
Restringing Necklaces made with string or beading wire Beads, components strung on string or beading wire Any extent

If your necklace has removable links, removing them is a straightforward method to shorten it. Follow these steps to remove links using jewelry pliers:

  1. Hold the link you want to remove with one hand and grip the adjacent link with the pliers.
  2. Use a twisting motion to open the link slightly.
  3. Gently pull the link apart to separate it from the adjacent link.
  4. Repeat the process for any additional links you want to remove.
  5. Once you have removed the desired number of links, securely close the remaining links by using the pliers to twist them back into place.

It’s important to ensure that the links are securely closed to avoid any accidental breakage or loss of beads.

How to Shorten a Necklace

Using Jump Rings

Jump rings are versatile components that can be used to add or remove length from a necklace. If your necklace doesn’t have removable links, you can use jump rings to shorten it. Here’s how:

  1. Open a jump ring by holding one side with pliers and using another pair of pliers to twist the other side away from you.
  2. Slide the open jump ring through one end of the necklace.
  3. Attach the other end of the necklace to the open jump ring.
  4. Close the jump ring by twisting the ends back together using the pliers.

Repeat this process for as many jump rings as needed to achieve the desired length. Make sure the jump rings are securely closed to prevent any accidental opening.

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Restringing the Necklace

If your necklace is made with string or beading wire, restringing is the best method to shorten it. Follow these steps to restring your necklace:

  1. Carefully remove the clasp from one end of the necklace.
  2. Slide off the beads or components from the string or wire.
  3. Measure and cut a new length of string or wire to the desired length.
  4. Thread the beads or components onto the new string or wire in the desired order.
  5. Attach the clasp to both ends of the new string or wire using jump rings or crimp beads.
  6. Ensure the clasp is securely attached and test the necklace for comfort and desired positioning.

Restringing allows you to customize the length of your necklace to your exact preference.

How to Shorten a Necklace

Testing the Length

After shortening your necklace, it’s essential to try it on to ensure it sits comfortably and at the desired position on your neck. Adjust the length if necessary by adding or removing jump rings or links. It’s important to feel confident and comfortable wearing your necklace.

Finishing Touches

Before you finish the shortening process, take a few moments to check that all components are securely attached. Trim any excess wire or string using wire cutters and tidy up loose ends. This will give your necklace a polished and professional look.

Maintenance Tips on How to Shorten A Necklace

To prolong the lifespan of your shortened necklace, it’s important to care for it properly. Avoid exposing it to water or chemicals, as they can damage the metal or delicate components. When not wearing the necklace, store it in a jewelry box or a soft pouch to prevent tangling or scratching.

How to Shorten a Necklace

Additional Considerations

While shortening a necklace can be done at home, it’s important to consider seeking professional help for valuable or intricate necklaces. Some necklaces may require a specialized technique or equipment that is best left to professionals. Consider the design of the necklace before shortening it. Some designs may not be suitable for shortening without compromising their aesthetic or functionality.

Troubleshooting Common Issues on How To Shorten a Necklace

During the shortening process, you may encounter some common issues. One common problem is difficulty opening jump rings. If you find it challenging to open a jump ring with pliers, try using a jump ring opener tool or a pair of tweezers. Alternatively, you can use a small piece of wire to temporarily hold the jump ring open while attaching it to the necklace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Different Clasp?

Yes, you can use a different clasp to replace the original one if desired. Just make sure the new clasp is compatible with the necklace’s design and size. You may need to adjust the jump rings or restring the necklace accordingly.

Can I Add Length Back if I Make a Mistake?

If you accidentally shorten your necklace too much, you may be able to add length back by using additional jump rings or finding similar components to match the original design. However, this may not always be possible, so it’s important to measure and plan carefully before shortening your necklace.

How Can I Shorten a Chain Without a Chain Tool?

Shortening a chain without a chain tool can be challenging, but it is possible. One way to do this is by using pliers. First, remove the chain from the item it is attached to. Then, use the pliers to remove the link you want to get rid of. However, this method requires a lot of strength and can damage the chain if not done correctly.

How Do I Shorten a Thin Necklace Without Damaging It?

To shorten a thin necklace without damaging it, you can use a pair of wire cutters. First, measure the length you want the necklace to be. Then, use the wire cutters to cut the necklace at the desired length. Be sure to use a file to smooth out any rough edges on the necklace.

What is The Best Way to Shorten a Bike Chain?

The best way to shorten a bike chain is to use a chain breaker tool. This tool allows you to remove links from the chain without damaging it. First, remove the chain from the bike. Then, use the chain breaker tool to push out the pin that holds the link you want to remove. Once the link is removed, reattach the chain to the bike and adjust the tension.

What Are Some Alternatives to Using a Chain Breaker to Shorten a Chain?

If you don’t have a chain breaker tool, you can use a hammer and a nail to remove links from a chain. First, remove the chain from the item it is attached to. Then, place the chain on a hard surface and use the nail and hammer to push out the pin holding the link you want to remove. This method can be challenging and requires a lot of force.

Can a Jeweler Shorten a Chain Without Damaging It?

Yes, a jeweler can shorten a chain without damaging it. They have the tools and expertise to remove links from a chain without causing any damage. 

Is it Possible to Shorten a Cuban Link Chain Without Affecting its Appearance?

Yes, it is possible to shorten a Cuban link chain without affecting its appearance. A professional jeweler can remove links from the chain without damaging the intricate design of the chain. 


How to shorten a necklace can be a simple and rewarding process when done correctly. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can confidently shorten your necklace like a pro. Remember to assess the length, gather the necessary tools, choose the appropriate method, and test the length for comfort and desired positioning. With a little practice, you’ll be able to customize your necklaces to your exact preference and enjoy wearing them at the perfect length.

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