Introduction: Japanese Cross/ Stepping Stones Chainmaille Bracelet
Recently, I have postet a German tutorial for a japanese cross chainmaille bracelet on my blog. I decided to publish the tutorial here as well. It is a documentation of the single steps I take when I make this piece of jewelry. All photos are made by myself.
All the rings were ordered from the Blue Buddha Boutique (B3). The matching ring sizes are offered there as kit as you can see in the following sections. A high professional tutorial can be bought there as well.
Step 1: Material and Tools
Depending on the size of the bracelet you will need
- 150 Rings D20 (3.2 mm ID and 20 gauge / 0.8 mm wire thickness)
- 50 rings to P18 (7.9 mm ID and 18 gauge / 1.2 mm wire thickness)
- 50 F18 rings (4.0 mm ID and 18 gauge / 1.2 mm wire thickness)
- 11 rings D18 (3.2 mm ID and 18 gauge / 0.8 mm wire thickness)
- 1 lock
- 1 piece of wire
- flat nose pliers
Sizes are given in B3 terms and in metric system inside the brackets.
The japanese cross pattern connects alternately two pairs of large rings (P18) with a small cross element made from F18 rings using the small D20 rings as connectors. The cross element contains only eight rings (instead of the original 12) - hence the bracelet is not using the original 12-in-2 (6-in-1) chainmaille pattern. The pattern was originally developed by Rebeca Mojica (B3).
Step 2: Close the Small Rings
What you can see on all of the next photos not an old carpet in the background, but a piece of mini bear fabric or fabric for making teddy paws. Sure, you can buy specially offered beads mats, but I had some leftover fabric. The advantage of the fabric is the short pile. The rings are on the pile, they do not slip away as they would on a smooth surface. They are easier to grab with the pliers, when slightly pushing the pile to get under the rings.
The pliers’s tips were protected with some rubber to prevent scratches on the rings. I bought heat shrink tubing at the hardware store and shrank them with a lighter to appropriate size. The commercially available "tool dip" I've tried so far had the disadvantage that the layers in the jaws of the pliers are so thick that the jaws do not close properly and particularly small rings are no longer manageable – my experience, everybody is free to make own experiences ;o)
First step: Close the small connecting rings D20. The rings are closed by a rotational movement (see arrows in the photo). Do not just press them close by bushing the ends towards each other. Thus, the rings would lose their shape.
Step 3: Start of Each Section
At the beginning you will need two large P18 and four small D20 rings. Open the two large rings (P18). Thread the large rings one after the other through the four (not more) D20 rings.
This is the beginning of the entire bracelet as well as the beginning of each new section. Each segment is made as described in the following sections.
Step 4: Cross Element
You will need six closed D20 rings and four opened F18 rings to finish one cross element.
Thread the F18 rings one after the other through two unconnected D20 rings, through the D20 rings already connected to the large P18 rings, and finally through two additional, unconnected D20 rings (follow the arrows on the image).
Repeat the step with the second pair of F18 rings and the unconnected D20 rings. Thread the F18 rings one after the other through two unconnected D20 rings, through the D20 rings already connected to the large P18 rings, and finally through the D20 rings already connected to the F18 rings from the first step (follow the arrows on the image).
Step 5: Adding the Next Segment
Now, thenext pair of big P18 Rings is added. Therefore, you'll need two large P18 and four small D20 rings.
The large P18 rings are threaded through two of the unconnected D20 rings, then through the four rings connected to the cross element from the previous step, and then through the other two unconnected rings (okay, the result is the same when you go through all four unconnected D20 at one time and separate them afterwards).
Thread and close one large ring after the other as shown on the photos.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 till the bracelet got the desired lenght. The finish is described in the next step.
Step 6: Preparing the Ends for the Clasp
To connect the clasp repeat step 5 one last time but do not add the four D20 rings. Just connect the pair of P18 rings. The D20 are not needed because we will not add another cross element.
Same applies for the very first pair of P18 rings in step 3. We only added the four D20 rings to connect one cross element.
Step 7: Addind the Clasp
Finally,we will add the clasp and the toggle each on one side. Use the D18 rings to connect the parts to the ends of the bracelet.
Use several D18 rings for the toggle to make the opening and closing easier.
Step 8: Finished Bracelet
That's all :o)
Step 9: Changes to Get "stepping Stones"
By just adding some more F18 rings we are able to enhance the "japanese cross" pattern to get the "stepping stones" pattern.
Unfortunately, I ran out of F18 rings and could not finish a stepping stones bracelet. But on the photo you can see the general procedure: Connect two pairs of F18 rings alternating on the upper and lower side of the P18 pairs. Use D20 rings for the connection as done during the tutorial.