A recent post on craftster.org asked where to buy plastic chain for jewelry making. I was flattered to have my plastic chain necklaces mentioned at the first reply. I replied to the post with another suggestion, but I thought I’d expand on the topic, and make a guide for anyone looking to buy colorful chain for jewelry projects.
As mentioned in the craftster post, colorful plastic chain can be found through sites that offer plastic parts to be used in making bird toys. A lot of times it’s hard to find a size small enough to make jewelry with, but if you’re persistant there are places that offer chains with links that are only half an inch or a quarter inch long. ChopperToys.com offers both half-inch and quarter-inch sizes in a great rainbow of colors, either by the yard or by the foot. Another store that offers both of these sizes is Bird Supply NH, which even has two-tone plastic chain – half inch chain in red and white or black and yellow.
Another way to infuse your jewelry projects with more color is with brightly colored metal chain. I’ve had a hard time tracking down many sources, but it got easier when I learned the correct term was “anodized chain,” because the way the metal is made colorful is called anodizing. The eBay store chainsncords carries an ever-changing selection of chain in different styles and colors, usually sold by the yard. If you need a lot, try Inland Products for anodized chain by the spool – most are 100 feet, but a few styles are 150 feet to a spool.
A third option for colorful jewelry chain is enameled chain. In my opinion, this is harder to find than either plastic or anodized, but the best looking. I’ve yet to find enameled chain still in production – I usually find it from sellers who get it as vintage unsold stock. There are two eBay sellers I know of that typically carry it, Laramie Studios and Bonkers for Beads, both of whom typically sell it in sections of several feet. For smaller projects, check out Chelsea’s Beads for enameled chain by the foot.