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This is a simple chain that requires very few tools. Bonus points for recycling wire!
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

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At the very least, you will need a pair of pliers with a set of cutters. It this demonstration I am using a pair of snips, round nose- and flat nose pliers. I also use a jeweler's ring mandrel in the end, but anything round will work.

You will also need wire. I'm using 12 guage aluminum wire that I dug out of my scrap bin. You could use any type or size, however.

Step 2: Cut Wire To Size

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Before beginning production, read this entire demo and do some experimentation to find the style you'd like and the length of wire to use. My measurements might not work for the guage wire you are using.

I've cut wire to 6 inch sections. To speed the process, I marked a line on my bench and held wire against it to snip to length.

The version I'm making here is kind of speedy and gritty, so I'm not going to worry about the ends of the wire. You, of course, will file the ends flat or use a cutoff tool to get flat ends.

Step 3: Form Links

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Use round nose pliers to roll a small curl on each wire.
If you want you can file a taper at each end of the wire to get tighter/nicer looking coils.

Squish the curl closed using your flat nose pliers, then continue rolling the curl 'round. I've turned these approximately 2 1/2 times. Again, experimentation is key to finding the proper proportions.

After you have the wire ends curled up to your liking, pinch the link with your round nose pliers and bring the curled ends together. See the pics if this part is confusing.

Next, with your flat nose pliers, grip the coils and bend the loop over. See pics.

Step 4: Repeat and Assemble

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This process goes a lot faster if you do each step throughout each piece: rather than forming each link completely, do one step to all the links at once, then move to the next step.

After you have all your pieces formed, begin assembling the chain. Take one link and thread the loop through the loop of another link. Continue this until you have enough chain. See the pics if this is confusing. Once you have the links threaded through, bend the coils down to seal the next link in place, but not so tight as to restrict its movement. Do this to all the links EXCEPT the ones on each end, we will need those for the clasp assembly in the next step.

Step 5: The Clasp

Cut a piece of wire that is longer than your links. In this case I cut it at about 8 inches.

Form as any other link, but pinch the loop a little tighter that the links. Fold the very end of the loop over on itself, and attach this to the chain. Fold the loop over again at about halfway. Pinch down the coils on that end. See pics if this is confusing.

Take a bit of leftover wire and bend it around something of suitable diameter. Where the loop crosses itself, grip with your flat nose pliers. Fold the ends of each wire over the other side and wrap around, Snip off any excess and wrap tightly around the link.

Thread this ring onto the opposite end of the chain, and pinch down the loops over the section where the ring closes.

See pics for illustration.

Step 6: Ta Daa!

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Show off your new fanciness, or give it to your beloved.

This project took less than an hour to complete, including taking photos, so if you're running late for Valentine's Day, skip the flowers and grab some pliers!

Had lots of fun making this one. Couldn't get the spirals to close as tightly as they did in the pictures, but still look nice. Will definitely make this one again and again.

mcshawnboy2 years ago
I saw a similar item taught in classes outside of Baltimore at Coven Crafts with tighter coils that have a more exotic look. Here's a link too a YouTube video like what the teach for $65 bucks! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT_5v9Vk8yw&feature=colike
Neon Panda3 years ago
Nice : )
dollywild4 years ago
Made one! Used 18 ga craft wire. Changed the clasp, a little. I found it easier to bend the wire in half at th start, other wise I had trouble figuring out where the middle was. I also work hardened my wire by tapping it with a hammer on a hard surface- this made it stiffer and less likely to bend out of shape with wear. Thanks for the great Instructable!
grooooovy4 years ago
This looks amazing
Taoiseach4 years ago
Who knew you could make such beautiful jewlery out of parts from an oven? Fantastic Instructable.
Sagi5 years ago
♥BEAUTIFUL!♥
Charm2bsure5 years ago
As long as the links are consistently the same size, this bracelet will look okay. I'm not crazy about huge clasps for it, but with this size wire it's pretty difficult to form anything smaller. I make this same bracelet in 18 gauge wire and keep the tops of the links almost invisible so that each link appears to be invisibly linked to the next. I used a swan clasp on mine, but I need to figure out something else more masculine for the guys. Charm
cutekitten6 years ago
very cool
noesc6 years ago
This was really neat, I have to make this one! Looks like it was made from an old woman in a hut inside a native village or something. Kudos to you hay_jumper! /noesc
Excellent! Good Xmas gifts. I'm going to start now. Thanx... :}
mspark4006 years ago
sweet just made one and it looks great and is a hit with the ladies! I have been making chainmaille jewelry as well as wire weaving for several years and this is an example of great design! cheers, mspark400
Madrigorne7 years ago
You can spray the links with a polyurethane or acrylic coating to keep the wrist from greening up - or possible metal breakout. I think this is beautiful.
ERNesbitt7 years ago
Great! My wife made me swear that I wouldn't buy her anything for Valentine's day this year (She hates Valentaine's day, and it's one of my favorite holidays). I have some copper wire in the basement and an electroplating machine. I'll just plate before final assembly.
hay_jumper (author)  ERNesbitt7 years ago
Please please please post your electroplating instructable right now . I'm not even kidding. I could use it Right Now.
Sorry, I can't be of much help... I actually have a machine and the appropriate chemicals with the metals already dissolved. My mother is a jewler. If this link helps, it's one on basic electroplating, but unfortunately copper dissolves with a pretty weak acid and some current. You need some nasty chemicals to plate with gold.
hay_jumper (author)  ERNesbitt7 years ago
Thanks! I had missed that one! Actually I need to plate a copper piece in copper, so this will help. I had tried spent pickle to copper plate the silver solder seams on the piece, but apparently the acid was a little too weak. Your link gave me some good ideas though...
rupamagic7 years ago
Fabulous instructable, thanks! Really nice looking bracelet too! I used to play with jewelry a lot, but it's been a while. That's going on my list of "things to do once I unpack" since all my jewelry supplies (wire and pliers included) are who-knows-where at the moment. I got my kitchen and sewing stuff out so far... I hope this is the inspiration I need to get more.
This is a cool project and very well documented! My only worry is that it will turn her wrist green =(

Wait, is that why this is categorized under craft & *green*? =P
hay_jumper (author)  largejunglecat7 years ago
Thanks! I tried to make it easy to replicate.

Many people are allergic to ANY metal, so caveat emptor. Hopefully, you know your valentine well enough to determine if this is suitable!

This looks like copper, but it is aluminum. It came from the scrap bin, so I have no idea why it may have been plated.

You could use a more skin-friendly alloy like sterling or stainless, if you wanted to sell a kidney to pay for it. Your beloved may view that act in high regard.

I think this is loose enough that it wouldn't have time to sit on the skin and scale. My very first experiment into this was copper in a necklace that I wore all the time. Only on the most humid days would my neck discolor at all, and I got stopped on the street all the time by people saying "Where DID you get that necklace?!?"

"under craft & *green*? =P" -why I oughtta...!
TraumaComet7 years ago
This is really neat! Great idea!
Spint7 years ago
Great instructable! Im making diy valentine presents this year so this will help a ton.
jaysbob7 years ago
ooo neato! any problems with things getting bent out of shape or coming loose? I'll definitely have to try this though.
hay_jumper (author)  jaysbob7 years ago
Ooh. Good point. I forgot to mention: You can hammer the coils and loops before bending the link in half. That will work-harden the metal a bit and make it less likely to get bent out of shape, plus, it looks pretty cool with a hammer texture.