Though I had some hassle getting cord ends that would fit my reams of leather cord, I finally settled for some coil end springs (which are slightly too big, but close enough).
So, armed with my shiny new pack of cord ends, I began experimenting and now I have this cord & chain necklace tutorial to share with you!
This project will take 1-2 hours; it took me a while because I made a couple of mistakes during the process.
Twist rope cord
Selection of beads
Spring coil ends to fit your cord
Jump rings (big enough to link cord and chain; I used 6mm and 8mm rings)
Round nosed pliers
Flat nosed pliers
Long needle (darning needle or similar)
1. Cut 18 inches of leather cord (more/less if you want a longer/shorter necklace).
Here is the cheat's way of working out the amount of cord and chain needed: Lay the leather cord flat, in a circle. Trail the rope cord around the inside of that circle, and the chain around the outside, and trim/cut off where the ends are level with those of the leather cord. (For those interested, I used about 17.5 inches of rope cord and 18.75-19 inches of chain)
2. Cut off a thin piece of tape and wrap it tightly around the end of the rope cord. This will stop it from fraying and unwinding, and also make it a lot easier to get into the coil end!
3. Fix the spring coil ends to the ends of the two lengths of cord, using flat-nosed pliers to close the ends onto the cord.
4. Thread a needle with embroidery thread. Make a couple of stitches in one end of the rope cord, and wind the thread around it a few times, placing one last stitch to secure.
Note: I used about 88 inches altogether and had to be very careful not to knot it up! I did it in one length, but you may find it easier to use shorter lengths and do steps 4-5 in sections.
5. Push the needle through the rope cord at a diagonal, to draw the thread further along the length of cord. Wrap the thread around both lengths of cord three times, then push the needle through the rope cord again and on to the next section.
Note: I started out adding the chain first. Halfway through adding the rope cord I realised this was a very bad idea. So ignore the presence of the chain in the above picture ;)Note 2: To ensure the necklace gains the necessary curve at this point, it helps to lay it flat with every section you stitch/wrap to make any necessary adjustments before your nice cord and chain necklace becomes a cord and chain bookmark!
6. Once you've reached the other ends of the cord, finish with a couple of stitches and some wrapping on the rope cord end, as in step 4. Trim off the ends--this is what it should look like so far!
Open a bunch of large jump rings because you're about to use a whole heap of them...
7. Join together the cord ends with a jump ring. Use another jump ring to attach one end of the chain to the coil end of the leather cord (don't attach the other end yet).
8. Working in a circle (see Note 2, above) attach the chain to the leather cord using jump rings. Choose your spacing according to the size/type of chain--I went for every 4th link. Once you've worked your way around the necklace, join the loose end of the chain onto the coil end of the leather cord.
9. Use two more jump rings (are you sick of them yet?) to add a clasp to the necklace, fixing onto the jump rings joining the cord ends. (I really hope you're not sick of them...)
You could stop at this point.
Your necklace may look something like this:
Not bad, huh? Colourful but not over the top.
But hey, more is more! Why not add some beads...
10. Thread your beads onto head pins. Use flat nosed pliers to make a bend in the pin, above the beads. Then, use round nosed pliers to curl the pin in a small loop. Trim off excess with wire cutters and tidy up/close the loop with your pliers.
11. Use jump rings (this is the last time you'll use them in this tutorial, I swear) to attach the beads to the chain, spacing them out as you see fit.
You're finished! (See, I said no more of those infernal jump rings, didn't I!)