DIY: How to Shorten a Necklace

People have been wearing necklaces for thousands and thousands of years. The first necklaces people uncovered were made 25,000 years ago and were made from fishbones. People DIYed their necklaces back then, so why shouldn’t you DIY your necklaces now? 

One common DIY project is shortening a necklace. This is an essential skill when you love a piece but find it is just a little too long. Read on to find out how to shorten a necklace and style it!

Related: Necklace Lengths: How To Choose The Right Length

Shortening a Necklace

If you need to shorten a necklace, you can use a few different tactics and techniques. Some are more intense and elaborate, while others provide a simple and quick solution. 

One of the easiest ways to shorten a necklace is by pinching off a portion and tying it. For this method, pinch some of the necklace until you have the main portion at the length you need. Then, secure this pinched portion with a small rubber band, a small safety pin, or something else that will hold it secure. You can even run a spare earring through the chain to hold it in place. The biggest downside with this method is that it really only works with outfits that will hide the back of the necklace. 

For a more permanent solution, you can attempt to cut the necklace to the length you desire. However, this will only work for certain necklaces. Specifically, it works best with a chain necklace. 

A chain necklace with a single clasp, like this beautiful charm necklace, can be trimmed relatively easily. Use a strong wire cutter to cut off the length of chain you need to get rid of. Then, you can attach the clasp to what is now the new end. 

A chain necklace with a clasp at both ends is more difficult to trim. Figure out how much of the necklace you need to remove. Then, remove that section using cutters. From there, you need to reattach the chain using pliers. Make sure to take great care during this process and use tools safely, as a mistake could ruin the necklace or even hurt you.

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Non-DIY Shortening a Necklace

Unfortunately, not every necklace can be shorted as part of a DIY project. Some necklaces have clasps at both ends and are made from materials that will not reattach easily. Others are made from a single strand of strong material that will be hard to cut using common tools. These will require a professional solution. 

Luckily, most jewelers will be able to shorten a necklace easily. A good jeweler will even be able to shorten the necklace in a way that makes it look like it was always that length. You will also be able to get the necklace to the exact length you desire. 

If you are worried about ruining your necklace in the DIY process or think it may be too difficult, it is best to take it to a professional. This will prevent it from being damaged in any way. It is also a good choice if you are worried about injuring yourself. Working with wire cutters and freshly cut metal means putting your hands near sharp objects. To do this type of project, you need to be certain that you are capable of working with these things without injuring yourself. Otherwise, you should look to professionals for help.

Related: Men's Necklace Lengths: Which One Is Right For Me?

Styling a Short Necklace

Short necklaces look amazing with a variety of different outfits, from casual jeans and t-shirts to your best little black dress. However, some outfits are more suitable for short necklaces than others. 

Dresses and blouses with strapless, boatneck and off-the-shoulder necklines pair perfectly with shorter necklaces. These outfits allow both the necklace and the dress to stand out. This is because the necklace has a little room to breathe, as it isn’t right up against the dress itself. Meanwhile, the dress can stand out because a necklace isn’t covering it. Basically, both the dress and the necklace can be appreciated on their own. 

Short necklaces are also the perfect base for a layered necklace look. For this look, you can throw on multiple different necklaces of multiple different lengths. These can either all be of a similar style or of styles that contrast in fun ways; the choice is up to you. This specific look works best with crew and turtleneck necklines. 

Repurposing a Short Necklace

Sometimes, when you shorten a necklace, it no longer works best as a necklace. It may be too short to wear or simply not work well as a necklace anymore. So, this piece of jewelry ends up turning into something else. 

By simply folding a necklace back over itself a few times, you turn a necklace into a bracelet. You can wear it loose like this or secure it in place with something. 

A short necklace can even be turned into a headband. With a little DIY work, you can even attach an elastic band to the ends of the necklace. This band will keep your new headband secure on your head and can be hidden underneath your hair. 

Your necklace can also serve as the chain on a clutch or bag. Many purses come with a chain that looks very similar to a necklace. However, these are typically a lower-quality material and definitely could look nicer. By swapping one out for a necklace, you are upgrading your purse while giving your necklace a new life.

Related: How To Fix A Broken Necklace: Save Your Favorite Pieces

The best part about doing any of these repurposing projects is that they are all a form of upcycling. They prevent the piece from simply being thrown out and prevent you from having to go out and buy something new. So, you aren’t just creating a new piece for yourself but are also being environmentally friendly.

DIYing Your Short Necklace

If you have a longer necklace lying around and want to make it shorter, the possibilities are endless. With a little work or a quick trip to the jeweler, you can follow these simple steps on how to shorten a necklace.

Then it can become a fashionable new piece ready to be worn with plenty of different outfits. Or, it can become part of an upcycle project. No matter what you choose, you are sure to have some fun working on this exciting project!

Looking for a versatile charm necklace? Check out all of our options here!