How to make your own braided chain necklace-or why I’m glad I’m still a little bit of a hoarder.

  So since I’ve started this attempt to pare down the amount of unnecessary stuff in our life I’ve gotten to be a real killjoy when it comes to shopping.  The discussion in my head usually goes like this:

Shopaholic Erin: OOOOOH, SHINY!  I want 8!  In every color!  And maybe different sizes, in case one day I have a daughter and she wants one…and oh boy, I love STUFF!”
Trying for Minimalism Erin: (sounding suspiciously like a mom talking to a 2 year old) Now Erin, do you really need another necklace/pair of shoes/random knicknack for your shelf?  You know you already have 23 you don’t play with…
Shopaholic Erin: Aww maaannnn….
Trying for Minimalism Erin: Don’t you “aww man” me, you know it’s just going to clutter up your space and you’re going to regret getting it in a month.
Shopaholic Erin: *pouts and puts it back*
  It honestly is leading to a better place in our house.  I’m finally starting to feel like I have a solid foothold in the mess and that I’m starting to win, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally crave something new.
  One of those things was one of the braided chain necklaces that have been everywhere lately.  But ouch are those pricey…and lord is a new necklace one of the last things I “need”.  Luckily I had a bunch of chain from old broken necklaces laying around that I didn’t have any specific plans for.  Why?  Cuz I’m a hoarder.  But look how pretty!
  Want to make your own?  Of course you do.  Here’s what you need:
a clasp (I used a lobster clasp)
2 jump rings
At least 3 chains (I used 6 for braiding and a 7th so I could adjust the length)
  Start by opening one of your jump rings.  Slip the closure of your clasp and your chains onto it.  If you are using more than 3 chains, bundle your chains together into 3 groups.  Holding your groups together, braid all the way down the chain.  Don’t worry if you get little loose parts or bunches as you go.  A little slack in the chains in places gives the necklace a more interesting look than if it’s done perfectly.  When you finish braiding, slip all of the chains onto the second jump ring in the order they are when you stop with the braid.
  If you have long chains to work with you can probably just put the other end of the closure onto the jump ring and call it a day, but if you have shorter chains or want to be able to adjust the length of the necklace I suggest adding another chain that will trail out the back.  I had some big, ugly chain that I wouldn’t use for anything else that works perfectly for this (you can see it at the top of the picture).  I added about 3″ of it, so my necklace can adjust all the way from a choker to one that scoops down well below my collar bones.
  New necklace, less stuff in my craft box and nothing else brought into our house.  I think that counts as a success!
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