Hi there! In this instructable I'm going to show you a fun and easy project - how to make a Celtic Star pendant from jump rings. It's a great beginner project for anyone who wants to learn about making handmade jewelry.
You can use the final product as a pendant, in a bracelet, for a keychain or as Christmas tree decorations. It also makes a great gift. The process is very easy, so follow along and if you have any questions let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.
For more details, you can also check out the video embedded on this page or by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6YY-90KvNA
Step 1: Tools and Materials
For this project, you're going to need 2 pairs of pliers, 4 types of jump rings, and a flat surface to work on.
I recommend you use jewelry pliers, which don't have teeth, so you don't damage the finish of the jump rings. You can also use regular needle-nose pliers, but I suggest you cover the jaws in electrical tape so the teeth don't scuff the rings as much.
For the jump rings, I'm using:
- 16g 5/16" Bright Aluminum
- 16g 5/16" Anodized Aluminum (as accents - not entirely nescessary)
- 16g 1/4" Bright Aluminum (Optionally, a slightly smaller diameter would give you a tighter weave)
- 18g 1/8" Stainless Steel
You can buy jump rings online for cheap, or learn to make your own by wrapping wire around dowels or metal rod and cutting the coils into individual rings.
Step 2: Starting the Weave
Start off by closing one of the large diameter accent rings and two of the large diameter regular rings. Take one of the medium diameter rings, and put these rings on it. Then add a second medium diameter ring through the same way. If done correctly, this will leave you with a unit like the 4th image.
Now, take a medium diameter ring with 2 closed large diameter rings on it, and attach it to the large diameter accent ring. (6th image)
Add a second medium diameter ring through the exact same way, leaving you with a chain that looks like the final image.
Step 3: Finishing the Celtic Chain
In the last step, we created a base unit to start the chain that'll be used to make the Celtic Star. In this step, we're going to make a celtic chain from this base unit.
Start off by folding the large diameter regular rings on one end of the base unit over in opposite directions. Please refer to the photos and/or the video in the intro to see what I'm describing here. (Image 1)
Then, fold the medium diameter rings out to either side. (Image 2)
This will create a slot between the two large diameter rings to slip in a closed large diameter accent ring. (Image 3)
Add a medium diameter ring through the the first flipped over ring, then the sandwiched accent ring, then the other flipped over ring. This will hold the rings in place. (Images 4 & 5)
Add another medium diameter ring through the same 3 large diameter rings, but on the opposite side. (Image 6)
This is the basic principle of the Celtic Chain. Follow the same steps to the loose large diameter regular rings on other side of the chain to add a 3rd accent ring. (Images 7, 8 & 9)
Continue this process. Add 2 more large diameter regular rings to one of the accent rings at the end of the chain with 2 medium diameter rings. Fold the loose rings open to create a slot for an accent ring, and hold it in place with 2 medium diameter rings.
Make the chain 5 units long. As shown in the last picture, one end of the chain should be an accent ring, the other end should be regular rings.
Step 4: Adding a Centre Ring
Now, we're going to add a centre ring to our star.
Begin with the chain laying flat as shown in the picture. Make sure one end of the chain is an accent ring and the other end is regular rings. The regular rings should be flipped over, as if you are about the continue the chain. (Image 1)
Put a large diameter ring through all the medium diameter rings on one side of the chain... (Image 2)
...and close it. (Image 3)
Finally, close the loose end of the chain. Make sure the bottom medium diameter ring also passes through the centre ring. (image 4)
You can see the star taking shape now.
Step 5: Finishing the Star
The last step is to finish the star by adding the star tips. Attach 5 small diameter rings to the star, as shown in the photos.
These rings can join up with pairs of medium diameter rings over the accent rings or over the regular rings.
I find that if you join them up over an accent ring (as shown in the photos) the star will be a bit stiffer and hold it's shape better.
Step 6: Modifications and Uses
There are other variations of the Celtic Star pattern. You can experiment with different ring sizes to add more units to the chain or make different sizes of stars. You can also use different colours of rings and try different materials.
I really like giving these away as Christmas tree decorations in the holidays. I just attach a piece of ribbon to the star so it can easily be hung. They also make great keychains. There are many different chainmail patterns, and you can attach the stars to the end of a chain as shown in the keychain at the beginning of this intractable. Check out my other instructables and videos for more ideas and patterns.
Thanks for checking this project out!