Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ball Chain Ends Part II

After my last post, some of you expressed interest in a little tutorial on how to wrap commercial ball tip connectors for ball chain like this:

Below is a little quickie how-to.

I used 3.2mm ball chain from Chain Gallery, and the coordinating ball tips. I find it easiest to do this wrap with 22 gauge wire. Because the loop is doubled here, it's pretty sturdy.

To start, apply the ball tip connector to the chain. It's pretty easy--it's just a clamshell tip basically, and you close the clam part over the last ball in the chain and squeeze it tight closed.

Then, cut a piece of 22 gauge wire about 7 and 1/2" long. Thread it through the hole in the connector, and bend it up, leaving about a 1 and 1/2" tail on one side, and a 6" tail on the other.
Bend both ends over the top of the connector.
Twist them around once.
Grasp the short tail with your round nose pliers, about halfway up the plier jaw.
Bend the short tail up and over the plier jaw to make your first loop.
When you're done, it should look like this:
Then reinsert your pliers into that loop from the other side, grasping the other, longer tail at the same time.
Bend the longer tail up and over the plier jaw, like before, except you're bending it in the opposite direction.
Your loops will be mirror images of each other.
Now reinsert your pliers into the loop, and wrap the short tail around the twisted part:
Trim when you reach the top of the connector:
Now wrap the remaining tail down over the top of that wrap, continuing down around the connector itself, until you get close to the ball:

You can trim it there, or bring it back up. I like to bring it back up so I can tuck the end into my loop--that way I don't have any scratchy cut edges hanging out. Plus I like the way it looks.
Wrap it around the base of the loop once or twice, trim, and tuck the end inside the loop.
Et voila!

The Cerebral Dilettante


  1. Oooooooh! Thank you! I love this look!

  2. Thank you Keirsten - definitely need to try this. It opens up so many creative possibilities for using ball chain.

  3. Great tutorial! I have done something similar with ball-end chain without the little foldover thing. I have just wired it on without it! Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy the day. Erin

  4. I love the look of this, thanks for doing all the work for us! :)

  5. That looks great! And I love that the loop is doubled up since the holes on those connectors are so tiny and you have to use tiny wire. Thanks for sharing!


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