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Constructing a genuine European 4 in 1 chainmaille weave using only pop tabs.

Turns out this is very easy and makes a really great looking piece of maille, and as an added bonus you don't have to worry about having a quarter mile of wire on hand to attach them together.

Step 1: Assemble your supplies

OK, you are going to need lots and lots of pop tabs. Don't give yourself renal failure trying to drink them all yourself. Spread it out or enlist the help of your family, friends, workmates, or maybe even the local recycling center. Here is what you will need:

Cutters
Staple remover
Old key
Non-mangled pop tabs (however many you need, 1000 is a good start)
I made a shirt freshman year of high school for a Halloween costume, and here's how. I measured how big around my chest was, then made a strip the length of my circumference and 4 tabs tall. I pinned it down and continued adding rows until it was the length of my torso, then added tabs in a way that would go around my neck and connect together over my shoulders. I did the same for my arms (measuring circumference, etc.), but removed a tab every once in a while going down so that it would be more form fitting (since my shoulders/biceps are larger than my wrists). I then connected* the shoulder part of the arm pieces to the holes left by the shoulder part of the shirt. Finally I wore a gray shirt underneath to compliment the metal and protect my skin. Eventually I hand-sewed the edges of the cotton shirt to the tabs to keep everything from moving around too much. Everyone loved my costume, and years later I still have it, although I eventually took the sleeves off because I had little flexibility with them attached. <br>*connected using more tabs, not wire or any other means
<p>Dude. Friggin' epic.</p>
<p>LOVE it! Good for you! I doubt I would have the patience for this project, but at least I can admire your work.</p>
Just a few questions: <br>Why do they need the metal ring on the pop tab still (don't you just bend it away anyhow?) <br>Also, why do you bend it with the staple remover, are there any other ways, or items to use?
These are good questions. When the metal ring is still on the tab it allows you to have a folded metal edge instead of the the sharp irregular edge of a broken ring.<br><br>I used the staple remover primarily because it was handy at my desk and gave the tabs a consistent amount of bend. It can easily be done with any other tool, though. It can easily be done with pliers, but the consistency will be a bit more difficult. I think one person in the comments (buried way down there somewhere) said he was going to make a wooden jig in a clamp to do several at once.<br><br>I hope that helps, thanks for taking the time to send me questions.
You got a feature on iFunny today
this is one of my favorite instructables, and am thinking about collecting to make a nice bag and decoration for a jacket. looking forward to the fun!
&nbsp;I really need to make this wider; it keeps folding in on itself as I work. Takes five minutes to straighten out like in the photo below.<br /> <br />
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<p>Working on a Destiny cosplay, and this came in so handy!! Thank your for this tutorial! Now the only hard part is to find the tabs...</p>
<p>I have been saving my tabs for this project, I haven't counted them but I will be making something before fall. I really like the instructable you created, thank you!</p>
<p>Awesome chainmail. Gonna be handy for the Geralt of Rivia costume i'm planning to do :)</p>
<p>i made if for a halloween costume and i bought the pop tabs on ebay it is awesome i recomend it for other people to try it it is really cool</p>
<p>This is either a great idea or you have way too much free time. I like to think, it's a cool idea. If you were to take it one step further and drop a touch of solder (even liquid solder) on to each split so they wouldn't come apart, these might even be sold to costume stores and others people for a little extra jingle in the pocket. Nice job!</p>
<p>It doesn't sit the greatest, but it's a fun thing to do on lunch :)</p>
<p>Thanks for the fab Instructable, I used your technique to make a lampshade ;O)</p>
<p>Awesome! :D</p>
<p>THANK YOU ;O)</p>
<p>Now, that a good idea!</p>
<p>Thanks, it makes really nice light around but still straight on the desk without the pattern not to be disturbing when working ;)</p>
<p>This looks so awesome. I am going to try it! Well, as soon as I get the pop tops for it. LOL</p>
<p>thanks for the Instructable :-) while reading the comments made I saw someone with a length of the tabs done and thought to my self ummm it would make for a great belt for a day outfit :-) or even on an evening dress :-) looks like I will have to go through my bag of cans and pull all the tabs befor taking them to the recycling port :-) thanks for the idea :-)</p>
<p>I don't have much need for medieval chain mail armour!</p><p>BUT, your instructable was very interesting and well thought out.</p><p>I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.</p>
<p>If your state has the &quot;Bottle Bill&quot; which would mean there are Can Redemption Centers in that state, you can go and ask the owners if they will allow you to collect tabs for free. (or you can help them sort can's and bottles for free for them.) In NY state we have redemption centers (I used to run one) and people would come in and want the tabs for the American Legion to collect so they could make a few bucks when they brought them to be recycled. It helped out when they could literally collect thousands of them.</p>
After three years (most of which was gathering supplies), I finally have a wearable hauberk. http://stitchesandstringtheory.tumblr.com/post/38606574227/chainmail-hauberk
<p>I bought most of my tabs on Ebay..</p>
<p>I've finished my tunic, though while making it, I found out that if you bend the tabs in the opposite direction, the smooth side looks a lot more like real chainmail.</p><p>Unfortunately, I found this out too late, and this is all I can show of it.</p>
<p>This is very cool. I may try it in the future. Right now I have too many projects going. This looks much lighter than some of the stuff I have seen.</p>
<p>Oh man, that's a lot of pop...</p>
<p>i don't have a staple remover, what do i do ?</p>
<p>I think a stapler would work too!</p>
A set of pliers can do a good job, you just have to be a little more careful so each piece has a similar amount of bend.
<p>This is smart and simple!</p><p>It's really cool!!!</p>
<p>I have many pieces of chainmail using this method and they all have turned out great! I used spray paint to colour them gold and it worked out perfectly. The only problem is that every now and then the can become unlinked but it is an easy fix.</p>
<p>These look so awesome. I wonder if it's possible to solder the cuts together in order to create a more permanent connection...</p>
<p>This is so cool. I feel a little silly for asking, but how do you change the circumference to allow for a sleeve to get tighter towards the wrist? I have made a tube now that fits around my upper arm, but it is too baggy around the wrist...</p>
<p>I over came the weakness and fragility of this design, by weaving with a fine wire. As you can see, it gives a beautiful fish scale texture, and many different designs are possible. I've been wearing at festivals all summer, and the response has been overwhelming!</p><p>Here's a couple of pictures to show you the fruits of my labour!</p>
<p>could you post some reference pictures for the upper chest area: around the neck, shoulders and arms. I have the lower chest done, just a little stuck on the neck area</p>
<p>the chain mail will work for paint balling because the paint ball will hit it and just splash your shirt. :D</p>
<p>I made a chainmail with different colors for my littlebrother in christmas present (-:</p><p>I also added a cape on the back.</p>
<p>Could I make it look like a tunic where the sides are sealed, or would I have to throw it on like a poncho?</p>
<p>one question: do you glue again the tabs when you using them to form anything?</p>
<p>the staple romover bender wasnt working for me the one i have the thumb rests bend down messing it all up so i use the edge of my desk just a tip for anyone with the same problum as me </p>
<p>Do you experience the tabs constantly coming undone while trying to put these together? So far I've put together about 50 tabs and it is a nightmare when it all crinkles together into a roll of tabs that start to come undone when I'm trying to flatten it back out. Are there any tips or tricks that might be able to make the cut tips not allow other parts to slip back out?</p>
Thanks for this amazing post! :)
I now have something to do in my spare time (thanks to Isa for posting a link to this on her Tumblr :D)
Wow, what a great way to make aluminum chainmail, thanks for sharing.

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