Leather Chain Necklace




A really simple, soft necklace made out of leather. It takes a little while to cut out all the pieces, but it's mindless so you can easily do it while watching a movie or something. The rest just takes a couple minutes.

What you need:
A piece of leather, approx. 12" x 12" (I bought a piece 24" x 24" at Dressew here in Vancouver for $7)
Utility knife (and something to cut on, like a self-healing mat)
Needle & thread
Template: You can draw a template freehand, or you can go here to print out the template I created.
*Print the template on heavy cardstock.

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Step 1: Cut Out Template

Print the template that I have provided (HERE) on heavy cardstock and cut out with a utility knife.

Step 2: Trace the Template

On the back side of the leather, trace out the template with a pen (pencil will be hard to see).

Step 3: Cut Out the Shape

Cut the shape out with scissors, being careful to cut on the inside of the pen line so there will be no visible lines. To cut out the centers, fold and snip with your scissors and then cut out.

Step 4: Trace & Cut More Shapes

Keep tracing and cutting out the shapes until you have your desired amount. I used 36 pieces for a long necklace, but this totally depends on how long you want the finished necklace to be.

Step 5: Link Two Together

Fold one of the pieces in half so the smooth side is facing out. Now slip a second piece through the hole, as shown.

Step 6: Continue Linking

Now fold the second piece over, and add a third one through the hole of the second. Continue linking them together.

Step 7: Find Desired Length

Hold the necklace up to your neck to check the length as you go. Keep linking until you get to your desired length. Again, I used 36 pieces for mine.

Step 8: Stitch Closed

If your necklace is long like mine, you will be able to pull it over your head so you don't need a closure. Just fold the last piece over the first one, and make a little stitch (see the middle two links in the picture).

Step 9: Done!

Here's a picture of me wearing the necklace so you can get an idea about the length of the finished necklace, as well as the size of the links.

Thanks for reading my instructable!

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    31 Discussions


    4 days ago

    The link to the template is no longer accessible.


    5 weeks ago

    Looks great.
    You might find that you get easier hole cutouts using a punch. You can get some inexpensive ones from eBay these days.
    And just a tip to any new start leather workers, use an old fork or pricking iron to make your sewing holes.

    Nice work!

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Thanks for posting this..I have been searching for this... My grandfather used to make these. He was Lenape Native American dating back as old as 1800's in case you wondered where this comes from. I also bought a purse and belt from a Native American at a festival 25 years ago who made these. They are hard to find today...My purse strap broke today so I went looking for the instructions to make and found your page after all day looking. So Happy! Doing a happy dance!!


    3 years ago



    9 years ago on Step 9

     Hey! That's cool! Last year I got a belt for X-mas which was made the same way. I've attached a pic from it, just in case you want new ideas to use this technique. I also have a question: some time ago, I saw an instructable about doing scarves from t-shirts. Was it yours? I can't find it any more, but your bracelet looks similar. And I have an old t-shirt which would be a fantastic scarf... Do you know something about it?

    Have a nice weekend!

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Step 9

    how would you go about making a clasp for it. i'm thinking of making a smaller one(about 15mm wide) and more choker length.


    10 years ago on Step 9

    Girl! I love it, i have many aunts and cousins that loved it! I checked your webpage and i charming, i put it in my marks ♥ Thank you for this~~


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea and very well presented! With a little patience one could take this 'ere 'ible and make the very same thing in more or less anything, card, thick paper, leather (as above), thin sheet metal. Another nice point is that this is entirely doable in one evening. I might just make one, if I have a free evening -- I should be so lucky! lol.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I'm going to have to make one for my girlfriend I think. And I agree! Cucumbersome is gorgeous!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This instructable has taught me two basic facts: 1. Old white leather jackets are good for more than just "come as Crocket / Tubbs night" at the local bar . 2. 'Cucumbersome' is hands down one of the prettiest girls around here (and by 'here' I mean the world-wide-web...) Hoping this comment is well within the "be nice" policy we have around here (I was nice, I complimented her, twice).


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Lovely!! ...Oh, and the necklace looks pretty nice, too. ;)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    ohh I have a leather belt that looks just like this~ but a necklace is just too cute~ XD

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    remember, the belt is not a necklace YOU CAN STRANGLE YOURSELF :P