Shorten that bracelet to make it fit exactly right.

How to Shorten Bracelet Chains

by David Lipscomb

If you come across a chain bracelet at a store or garage sale but it's just a shade too long, shorten it yourself to fit perfectly. Using simple tools and a willingness to snip your jewelry, you can make that otherwise useless piece into a valued member of your jewelry collection.

Put on the bracelet and count how many links you'll need to remove for it to fit how you want.

Carefully bend each jump ring holding the clasp and retaining ring, removing both from opposite ends of the piece. A jump ring is a circular piece of metal with a small cut on one side. This cut allows you to open the ring about a millimeter, letting you slide it over the clasp. The retaining ring is the piece of metal you hook the lobster clasp onto.

Count an even number of links from each side of the bracelet to ensure that any features stay centered between the ring and clasp once you put it back together. Cut these links off with the wire snips. Use the tip of the snips to ensure that you don't accidentally cut into another link.

Re-attach the jump rings to the new end links on the bracelet, using the needle nose pliers. Hold one side of the ring in one hand and the pliers in the other hand as you close the loops you created earlier.

Try on the piece to check for fit.

Items you will need

  • Wire snips
  • Two pair of needle nose pliers


  • If you goof and take off one or two links more than you should have, replace them with additional jump rings at either the clasp or retaining ring end. More rings are readily available for purchase at craft and bead stores locally and online.

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images