Fashion & Style

How to Shorten A Necklace: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Shorten A Necklace

If you have a necklace that is too long, there are a few easy ways to shorten it to the perfect length. In this blog post, we’ll go over the tools you need and walk through the steps on how to shorten a necklace in just a few minutes.

How to Shorten A Necklace

How to Shorten A Necklace

Key Points

  • Using pliers, clasp, and jump rings, you can easily remove or add links to a chain necklace to adjust the length
  • For pendant necklaces, you can reposition the pendant on the chain to make it shorter
  • Take your necklace to a jeweler if you want a professional shortening job
  • Measure twice to determine the ideal shortened length before cutting the chain

Tools You’ll Need

Shortening a necklace is a simple project that only requires a few basic tools:

  • Pliers – You’ll need two pairs of pliers – flat nose and round nose. The flat nose gives you a good grip on the jump rings and the round nose help open and close the rings.
  • Clasp – A lobster clasp or spring ring clasp to re-attach the ends of the chain.
  • Jump rings – Jump rings connect the clasps to the chain. You’ll need 2-3 in the same metal as the chain.
  • Jewelry cutters – Special jewelry cutters designed to cleanly cut through jewelry chains and wires.
  • Ruler – To accurately measure the chain before and after shortening it.

How to Shorten a Chain Necklace

How to Make a Necklace Shorter

For chain necklaces, the easiest way to shorten them is to simply remove links from the chain. Here are the steps:

  1. Measure the chain – Lay the necklace flat and use a ruler to determine how many inches long it currently is. Decide how many inches you want to remove to get your preferred shortened length.
  2. Open the clasp – Use the pliers to gently pry open the clasp and remove it from the end link of the chain.
  3. Remove links – Use the jewelry cutters to snip the chain on both sides of the link you want to remove. Remove however many links equals the length you want to shorten the necklace. Try to remove from both sides evenly.
  4. Close open links – After removing links, you’ll have two open ends of chain. Use the pliers to close the open link ends by squeezing together.
  5. Re-attach clasp – Use pliers to open the last link on each end and attach the open clasp with jump rings. Close the jump rings and clasp.
  6. Confirm length – Lay the necklace flat and double check that the shortened length is what you wanted.

Always remember to measure twice before cutting and removing links from a chain. It’s much easier to continue removing links to make the necklace shorter rather than trying to add them back

>> Read more: How to shorten a chain Necklace

Shortening a Pendant Necklace

How to Shorten A Necklace

For pendant necklaces, where the pendant hangs from the chain, you can simply rearrange where the pendant attaches to make the necklace shorter:

  1. Unclasp the necklace and lay it out flat.
  2. Locate the link on the chain where you want the pendant to be reattached. This should be towards the end of the chain to make it shorter. Use a ruler to find the perfect new spot.
  3. Use pliers to open the existing jump ring attaching the pendant. Remove the jump ring but keep it handy.
  4. Use the pliers to open the link on the chain where you want to reattach the pendant. Remove any existing jump ring from that link.
  5. Take the original jump ring and attach the pendant to the new spot on the chain. Make sure the jump ring goes through the last link in the pendant so it hangs properly. Close the jump ring.
  6. Confirm that the pendant hangs correctly at the new length when you hold it up.

Repositioning a pendant is an easy way to shorten a necklace by an inch or two without having to cut and remove links from the chain.

How to Shorten a Thin Necklace

To shorten a thin chain necklace:

– Use jewelry pliers to open the clasp and remove links. Close the clasp when desired length is reached.

– Tie a knot in the chain behind the clasp to take up excess length.

– Attach a lobster clasp or toggle clasp closer to the end of the chain.

– Use a pendant bail or jump ring to connect chain links together behind the clasp.

– Coil excess chain neatly and secure with a tightly wrapped piece of thin wire.

How to Shorten a Necklace Temporarily

Some temporary ways to shorten a necklace:

– Make a knot in the chain behind the clasp.

– Loop the chain behind itself and join links with a jump ring.

– Coil extra chain and pinch closed with a binder clip.

– Twist or tie extra chain, then secure with a small rubber band.

– Attach a pendant bail to join chain links together.

– Use jeweler’s pliers to open and remove links as needed.

How to Shorten a Necklace at Home

To shorten a necklace at home:

– Use pliers to open chain links and remove unneeded length.

– Connect open links with jump rings or pendant bails.

– Make a knot in the chain if links cannot be opened.

– Use lobster claw or toggle clasps to adjust where clasp sits.

– Coil excess chain and pinch together with binder clip.

– Twist or tie extra chain, securing with elastic hair tie.

Clasp to Make Necklace Shorter

Some clasp options to make a necklace shorter:

– Lobster claw clasp – Attach closer to end of chain for adjustable length.

– Toggle clasp – Allows adjusting where clasp connects on chain.

– Magnetic clasp – Can connect at any point on chain for custom length.

– Slide lock clasp – Slides along chain to desired length.

– Paperclip clasp – Use as makeshift clasp by opening and pinching onto chain.

How to Shorten a Rope Chain at Home

To shorten a rope chain necklace at home:

– Use pliers to gently pry open rope links and remove unneeded length. Close links back up.

– Tie an overhand knot in the chain to take up excess length.

– Coil extra chain and pinch together tightly with a binder clip.

– Attach a pendant bail or jump ring to join rope chain links together.

– Use a lobster claw or toggle clasp connected closer to the end of the chain.

– Carefully cut rope chain with wire cutters, then file ends smooth.

Shortening Necklaces Professionally

How to Shorten A Necklace

For more significant shortening jobs, or if you don’t feel comfortable DIYing it, take the necklace to a jeweler. A professional jeweler has the right tools and expertise to adjust the length of any necklace style.

Here’s what to expect if you have a jeweler shorten a necklace:

  • The jeweler will assess the necklace, confirm how much length you want removed, and determine the best way to shorten it whether removing links or repositioning a pendant.
  • You may have to leave the necklace overnight or a few days depending on their workload.
  • There is usually a small fee for resizing services, anywhere from $10-$30 on average.
  • The jeweler will shorten the chain and repair any clasp or pendant so it looks good as new.
  • Professionals often have enhanced tools that remove links without leaving rough edges.
  • For expensive or meaningful necklaces, the peace of mind of expert shortening may be worth the small fee.

Most jewelry stores offer resizing and repair services like shortening necklaces. Calling around to compare rates and service options can help you find the best professional for the job.

Tips for Measuring Necklace Length

Taking accurate measurements is crucial when shortening a necklace to ensure you get the length exactly right. Here are some tips:

  • Try it on – Put on the necklace and look in the mirror to determine how much shorter you prefer it. This gives you a ballpark idea of how many inches to remove.
  • Account for clasp – When laying a necklace flat to measure length, make sure to exclude the clasp section. Only measure the chain portion.
  • Allow room – Leave an extra 1/2 to 1 inch of length to account for the chain shortening a bit when worn around the neck.
  • Mark measurements – Use a piece of tape to mark on the chain the exact links you want to cut to remove for shortening.
  • Measure twice – Double check and confirm the measurement before cutting the chain – you can always remove more but can’t add links back


How Do You Shorten a Necklace Chain Without Cutting It?

You can shorten a necklace chain without cutting by using a chain shortener, lobster clasp, or jump rings to remove excess chain links. Using pliers, open a link in the middle of the chain and rejoin the ends.

How Can I Make My Necklace Shorter?

To shorten a necklace, you can use a chain shortener, remove links with pliers, add a lobster clasp, use a jump ring to form a loop, or take it to a jeweler for professional shortening.

What to Do if a Necklace is Too Big?

If a necklace is too big, you can shorten it by removing chain links, using a chain shortener, adding a lobster clasp or jump ring, or taking it to a jeweler to be professionally resized to fit you properly.

What is The Best Tool to Cut a Chain?

The best tools for cutting chains are jewelry pliers, wire cutters, or specialty chain cutter pliers, which cleanly cut through chains. Bolt cutters can also cut chains in a pinch.

What Tool Can Cut a Chain?

Jewelry pliers, wire cutters, chain cutter pliers, bolt cutters, or a jeweler’s saw can all effectively cut through necklace chains to remove excess length.

Can Bolt Cutters Cut Chain?

Yes, bolt cutters can cut through necklace chains and remove links to shorten the length, though chain cutter pliers designed for jewelry give a cleaner cut.

How Do You Use a Chain Cutter?

To use chain cutter pliers, open the handles and place the chain in the cutting slot. Squeeze the handles together firmly and evenly to cut through the chain. Remove any rough edges with a jewelry file.

Does Necklace Length Matter?

Yes, necklace length matters for both aesthetics and comfort. The right length flatters your neckline and decolletage. Chokers are 14-16 inches, princess length is 17-19 inches, and longer necklaces range from 20-36 inches.

What Are Longer Necklaces Called?

Longer necklaces over 20 inches include matinee length (20-24 inches), opera length (28-34 inches), and rope length (34-36 inches or longer). Extra long statement necklaces are called lariat or pendant necklaces.

How Much Does it Cost to Shorten a Necklace?

Most jewelry stores charge $10-$30 to shorten a necklace professionally. Simple DIY shortening with pliers or a chain cutter costs just the price of the tools, around $10-15.

How Should a Necklace Sit on Your Neck?

For proper fit, a necklace should sit high on the neck’s natural hollow without sagging or feeling too tight. Chokers should wrap snugly while longer necklaces drape gracefully below the collarbone.

How Do You Know if a Necklace Fits You?

A necklace fits properly if it sits comfortably on the neck without being too loose or tight. It should not pull on your hair or get tangled. You should be able to slip two fingers underneath the necklace.

How Many Necklaces Should a Woman Wear?

Most style experts recommend wearing 1-3 necklaces at a time. Layering necklaces of varying lengths and materials creates dimension. Avoid overloading with too many necklaces.

What is the Most Popular Length for a Necklace?

The most popular necklace lengths are 16-18 inches for a versatile chain that can be worn alone or layered. Princess length 17-19 inches flatters most necklines. Chokers and longer statement necklaces are also popular.

How Long Should a Woman’s Necklace Be?

An ideal necklace length for women is 16-20 inches, depending on neck length and personal style. Chokers 14-16 inches and matinee 20-24 inches are also popular. The length should complement your neckline and decolletage.


In conclusion on how to shorten a necklace. With the right tools and care, it’s easy to customize the length of a necklace to make it perfect for wearing. Just take your time, measure carefully, and shorten a chain or reposition a pendant using the techniques above.

And if you ever need a necklace lengthened instead, a jeweler can help add links and extensions to make a necklace longer too.

So whether you have a necklace that is awkwardly long or want to turn a choker into a collar-bone length piece, adjusting the length is a useful skill. Get your ruler and pliers out and play around with shortening your necklaces to make them fit you flawlessly.