How to Adjust Stainless Steel Bracelets

by Rose Brown

Stainless steel is an attractive and durable metal that frequently appears in jewelry. With its silvery hue and relative affordability, it makes an ideal component of earrings, necklaces and bracelets. In fact, many chain-link bracelets are comprised entirely of stainless steel. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust a stainless steel bracelet if it is ill-fitting. You can adjust such a bracelet by increasing or decreasing its length. With the right tools and supplies, this is fairly easy to accomplish.

Items you will need

  • Wire cutters
  • Jeweler’s saw
  • Stainless steel jump rings
  • Pliers

To Shorten a Stainless Steel Bracelet

Step 1

Try the bracelet on your wrist. Determine how many of the chain links you want to remove from the bracelet in order to make it fit better.

Step 2

Remove the bracelet from your wrist. Keep the bracelet unfastened. Lay it out in a straight line on a flat surface.

Step 3

Separate one portion of the clasp from one end of the bracelet. Bend open the small ring that connects the clasp to the end link of the bracelet. Pull the clasp off and set it aside.

Step 4

Recall how many links you decided to remove from the bracelet. Starting at the end link, count backward that number of links. For example, if you want to remove three links, count back “three, two, one” from the end link. Plan to cut off the link you reach when you say “one.”

Step 5

Cut off the link with wire cutters if it is fine enough. Use a jeweler’s saw to cut off the link if it is made of a heavier gauge of stainless steel. Snip or saw through one side of the link. Bend the link open with pliers. Pull it away from the rest of the bracelet.

Step 6

Reattach the clasp to the end link of your newly shortened bracelet. Slip the small ring that connects the clasp to the bracelet onto the end link. Close the ring over the link with pliers.

To Lengthen a Stainless Steel Bracelet

Step 1

Try the bracelet on your wrist. Determine how many chain links you want to add to the bracelet in order to make it fit better. Remove the bracelet from your wrist. Keep the bracelet unfastened. Lay it out in a straight line on a flat surface.

Step 2

Separate one portion of the clasp from one end of the bracelet. Bend open the small ring that connects the clasp to the end link of the bracelet. Pull off the clasp and set it aside.

Step 3

Recall how many links you decided to remove from the bracelet. Obtain the same number of stainless steel jump rings. Metal rings that open and close and are frequently used as jewelry components. Choose stainless steel jump rings in a size and gauge that matches the size and gauge of the existing links of your bracelet.

Step 4

Open a jump ring slightly with pliers. Hook the jump ring onto the end link of your bracelet. Close the jump ring with pliers. Continue this process until you have added as many jump rings as you require to make your bracelet long enough.

Step 5

Reattach the clasp to the end jump ring of your newly lengthened bracelet. Slip the small ring that connects the clasp to the bracelet onto the end jump ring. Close the ring over the jump ring with pliers.

Tips

  • Obtain stainless steel jump rings at a bead shop or jewelry supply store, or order them from online jewelry supply retailers, such as firemountaingems.com or riogrande.com.

References (1)

  • "Chain Mail Jewelry: Contemporary Designs from Classic Techniques"; Terry Taylor, 2006

Photo Credits

About the Author

Rose Brown began writing professionally in 2003. Her articles have appeared in such Montana-based publications as "The Tributary" and "Edible Bozeman." She earned a bachelor's degree in literature from the University of California at San Diego, and a master's degree in English from Montana State University. Brown has been a professional florist since 1997.