Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DIY Steampunk Gears Necklace

I have always been obsessed with watches, clocks, and gears, so when "steampunk" jewelry started to come into style, I was enthralled.

I had found a small package of these thin gear shaped metal pieces at Michael's and just had to have them. They sat in one of my craft supplies boxes for a few months while I thought long and hard about what to do with them. I bought some actual watch gears as well and added them to my box. A long time friend, Jolee, and I, had a craft night a couple months ago and came up with the idea to make necklace pendants using the gears. This necklace was the result:

This necklace is not difficult to make. Expensive? Well, kinda. I suppose that if you want to make a really cool one of a kind necklace, the price of materials might be worth it. If you want to make a bunch of these babies, it's also worth buying the materials.


- Thin metal gear pieces (the ones in the photo range from about 1/3 inch to 1 inch. Unfortunately, I could not find a photo of these on Michael's website but I got them in the jewelry making section of Michael's). Here's an auction on EBAY of something that would work but if you want to keep this project cheap, find them at Michael's.

- Chain (between 14 and 24 inches depending on how long you want the necklace to be. See steps below for general guide on necklace lengths).

- Toothpick or other pointed object to apply and remove excess glue


Step 1: Lay out your large gears in a formation that you like on a large piece of paper. Play around with the formation until you are happy with it. The gears need to be overlapping each other in a way that offers enough surface area to apply glue.

Step 2: Apply a small amount of E6000 to the end of a toothpick or other pointy object. Use toothpick to evenly spread glue on back of one gear and overlap on top of another gear. Press down and continue with all other gears until your formation has been completely glued together. Glue small gears on top of main formation. I tried to add these pieces to places that had too much glue bubbling out. Wait for about an hour to dry.

Step 3: While waiting, prepare chain by using side cutters to cut two equal length pieces that will be secured to either side of your pendant. A 14 inch chain (two 7 inch pieces) will yield an extremely short necklace but you have to add in the size of the pendant. If the pendant is 2 inches wide, you'll end up with a 16 inch necklace which is a pretty standard length. It should fall at the collar bone. If you want something longer, do a 16 inch chain (8 inches on each side). With the addition of a 2 inch pendant to the length, you'll end up with a standard 18 inch necklace. Please see the photo below for more lengths.

Step 4: Attach clasp to end of chain by opening jump ring with chain nose pliers, adding clasp and end of chain onto the jump ring. Close using pliers by squeezing it shut. Make sure the jump ring is fully closed. I swear half of the jewelry I fix is due to jump rings being slightly open. Repeat steps with other part of clasp and other half of chain.

If you have two sets of pliers,

Step 5: After gears are completely dry, remove from paper. Pull any excess paper off back carefully so that no paper can be seen from the front.

Step 6: Open 2 jump rings and find holes on either side of the pendant to put them through. Add one side of chain to each jump ring and close using pliers. Wait 24 hours before wearing to ensure glue is completely dry. Enjoy! Oh! And watch out for sharp parts that might protrude out of the small gears. You can clip off any sharp pointy parts with your side clippers. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Here's another one I made:

Check out my other DIY tutorials:



    This might help.

  2. Thanks for the link Anonymous. If you have two sets of pliers, the above link is the correct way to open a jump ring. If you already have more than one set, go for it.

    However, the above post is written for those who are having to buy all materials in scratch. It's not the technically correct way to do it, but it is the cheaper solution with only one pair of pliers and it works just fine.

  3. Hi, AlisaMichelle! Love the tutorial, such a gorgeous piece! Steampunk is huge right now. If you're interested, I'd love to link to this project on our site,, directing our readers back to your tutorial. Let me know what you think; I'd love to work with you!

    Kelly Spence

  4. That is awesome! Thank you for sharing. I'm going to make myself one. :)

  5. You should never open your rings like that. You can achieve a much more uniform circle if you use a different method. It is hard to explain but you can find many videos on opening and closing jump rings. The theory is that once you open a jump ring by splitting them apart you can never have a perfect circled ring again (as you can see in the picture.) I create chain maille pieces so I am well versed in jump rings. But I mean the necklace is awesome. Just wanted to pass on the info for any jewelry makers who are new to the craft.

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Please note the link that provides a tutorial on how to do it if you have 2 sets of pliers. It's listed right under the picture with the jump ring.

    Thanks for the comment!

  7. I just stumbled onto this and I love it. Thank you for sharing this tutorial and both methods for opening the jump rings.I appreciate that you understand that not everyone who wants to make this has a lot of tools.

  8. Great piece of information, Thank you for sharing the updated one...
    Steampunk Goggles
    Clear Frame Glasses

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