Step 3: Add Expansions and Finish the Base

Picture 1 - Row 2 - Expansion Rings
1. Panic at the sudden appearance of pink rings. Just kidding! ^_^ I'm using pink rings here so you can easily see where the expansions are. You keep using the green ones.
2. Take 8 rings and put one in between each of your previous Row 2 rings. Be sure to only go through one of the Row 1 rings. This is how expansion rings work, by adding extra rings to an established row. I'll talk a bit more about expansions at the end. You should now have 16 rings in Row 2.

Picture 2 - Row 3
1. Take 16 rings and thread each one through two Row 2 rings below it. As before, make sure all of your rings are overlapping correctly, and that each one is only going through two rings.
2. This is Row 3. It's not an expansion row, so once you get all 16 rings on there in the right orientation, you're done with this one.

Picture 3 - Row 4 - Expansion Row
1. Take 16 rings and add them on just like you did in Row 3.
2. You're going to expand by 8 more rings. Take the first expansion ring and put it between two of the rings you just added in. As before, make sure you only hook one of the Row 3 rings below it.
3. Skip two rings, and add in your next expansion ring.
4. Skip two more rings, and add in another expansion. Essentially, you are adding your 8 expansion rings evenly around the edge. Look at the picture. There are two rings in between each expansion.
5. Add in the rest of your expansion rings.  You should now have 24 rings and a completed Row 4.

Picture 4 - Finish the Base
And you're done! Well, not yet. This is a picture of the completed base.
You just have to carry on as you have been. The pattern is pretty simple. Even rows are expansion rows, and you will be expanding by 8 rings each time. Odd rows are plain rows, with no expansions. Make sure to add in your expansions evenly, and try to stagger their placement. If you add expansion rings right on top of each other, you'll end up with a visible seam and the base will be octagonal as opposed to circular.

Here's a row-by-row breakdown by ring count:
Base Ring
Row 1 - 8
Row 2 - 16 (Expansion rings have 1 ring between them)
Row 3 - 16
Row 4 - 24 (Expansion rings have 2 rings between them)
Row 5 - 24
Row 6 - 32 (Expansion rings have 3 rings between them)
Row 7 - 32
Row 8 - 40 (Expansion rings have 4 rings between them)
Row 9 - 40

We want to end up with 40 rings around the edge. "But Brandy," you say, "Why not make every row an expansion row? We'll get to 40 a lot faster that way!"
This is true, but if you do that you'll end up with a cone rather than a circle. This means your bag won't sit very well on flat surfaces and it'll look like some weird, squat green carrot hanging from your belt. You'll lose that pleasing round "pouch" shape, too, which is what we want. "No matter what you make, making it takes time, so you might as well take time to make it look good." Sage advice from my Grandpa Smith, a lifelong "Maker of Cool Stuff".

"But Brandy," you say, "I've finished my base and it looks kinda small. I don't think this is going to hold all of my dice."
That's okay! You can simply keep expanding it, using the pattern we've already established. Just use this handy-dandy Bag Sizing Mini How-To to figure out how big your bag needs to be.
1. Find a cylindrical container with relatively straight sides. Jars work great for this.
2. Put your dice in it, but pay attention to the proportions.  Do your dice pool along the bottom? Container's too big. Do they hardly fit? Container's too small. This is kind of hard to explain, but you want your dice to fill the container in a way that is pleasing to the eye, because the final outline of your bag will sort of conform to this shape, and you want it to look nice.
3. Put your dice-filled container on your base. You want two or three rows to be visible around the bottom edge of the container. This leaves space for the thickness of the maille, and to allow the "fabric" to move. If you see a few rows, your base is done! If your container covers your base, you need to add on a few more rows. Just make sure you finish with a plain row so our Triforce looks good later on. (Expansion rings can make the pattern uneven.)

If you're making your bag bigger, don't worry. The instructions to follow can be easily adapted to fit. I'll even include notes. ^_^
This is simultaneously 1) OUTSTANDING, and 2) possibly the geekiest instructable I've seen yet (and there are A LOT of geeky instructables, in case you hadn't noticed.) The triple-whammy of chain mail, dice bag, AND triforce is totally over the top. <br> <br>Keep up the terrific work, BTW. :) <br>
<p>I made this bag, though a little smaller and slightly differently (which proved to be easier, and quicker and yielded the same results) I would LOVE a tutorial on the Hryulian Crest inlay you did though. That would be AMAZING</p>
I made this using aluminum black rings and green solid rubber ones. The blue one is a work in progress. As you can see, it came out great. Thanks much for the tutorial!
Side note, because of the rubber ones, I was able to add the Triforce, but the bag pattern worked great.
<p>I would love to see the pattern design for the flames on that bra. I don't want to make a bra but the flames would go awesome on a shirt I'm making or even on my next bag/purse.</p>
<p>Great little project! I found using pliers to be a bit clunky and irritating, so I just used my fingers. Admittedly, my fingers did need a little bit of a break once I was through with my bag! As you can see I went a little off pattern, mostly because the bags of rings I bought at the craft store had a lot of colors, and not quite enough of any of them to follow the triforce pattern. Still suitably geeky though, as you can see that is a DnD book under the bag in the first picture :)</p><p>One final note, I already had a friend ask me to make a bag for them. Considering how much these rings cost at Joann's I went looking for a cheaper source. RingLord is not bad, but American Chain Mail is a few dollars cheaper, and not a bad color selection either. </p>
Can scale mail be added to this? And how doess the dice hold up to the metal
<p>How many dice does this bag hold without any extensions?</p>
<p>I currently have 6 sets in the one I made.. with room for probably 3-4 more sets. (A set being the standard 7 polyhedral dice)</p>
<p>I'm very interested in getting into this and attempting to make something similar.I was pricing out the cost to make this and I figured out it would be around $30 in material. Making a basic dice bag with just bright aluminum you could almost get 4-5 bags for the same price and turn around and sell the extra's for $20-$30 apiece. <br>Unless I am not reading their site correctly (TheRingLord). I may use these instructions to make some basic bags first and then make this one. I may order enough to make 4 or 5 bags and see how it goes and to make it worth while for the shipping costs.</p>
<p>It looks like you switch overlapping directions between rows if that makes sense. Is that just for looks, or is there more of a reason behind it?</p>
<p>Nevermind, mine looks like that too. I think it just naturally happens. I'm not doing the triforce, but I'm so excited to finish this in the next few days!</p>
<p>I hope it turned out well for you. ^_^</p>
<p>I made a slightly smaller variation, using some different colors. Hope you like it!!</p><p>Made the main section 24 rings around, each triangle of the Tri-Force only has 5 rings, only did one decrease row down to 20 rings, and only used 5 tabs. Decided to go smaller since I carry less dice to my games (and I knew I'd be short on black rings!)</p>
<p>That looks great! I hope it works well for you.</p>
I just finished the chain mail section of my project. All I have left is the drawstring. It was great. I loved making it and the instructions were great. It is just in time for my first ever trip next week to the TX Ren Fest.
<p>Awesome! I'm glad you like it! ^_^</p>
Also, thank you for doing this! You are just as rad and then some!!
Aww, thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Keep on makin'!
Anybody at all any help would be appreciated I just want to finish this thing yet I can't.
Which step are you on exactly? I might be able to offer some advice on how to proceed.
I'm thinking, haven't you overestimated the number of rings a bit? In total, there's 232 for the base, 640 for the middle (40*16), and an estimated 80 for the top, which adds to around 950 rings in total (which I'll round up to 1000). There'd be 168 rings in the two Triforces (which I'll round up to 200, for ease of numbers), leaving only 800 green rings necessary, rather than the listed 1100. <br> <br>Otherwise, though, this is an awesome instructable, with good instructions (I'm using them myself), and I've been using it as an example of maille, dice bags, and awesomeness for quite a while :P
I put in more rings than needed in case of plier slippage damaging the anodization, ring loss from spills, spotty anodization, etc. It's also a good bit of wiggle room if you need a taller bag, or if you want to expand your bag later.
this instructable is absolutely well done, amazing job
So I'm trying to fill in the sides but I'm not exactly sure how to start and what to. Can anybody please help???
This was so rad to make!
Whoa. My brother would go nuts over something like this!!
Just finished making this. Thank you for the colored ring spacers and the clear details. I especially liked that you explained why instead of just how. Now I need more dice.
Do you think that this will work with rings of AR 4?
I don't see why not. It's not far off from what I'm using, but the base might be a bit dense when you start. You might need to use a different ring size as your base ring like I did in the tutorial.
I'm making this for my husband and I've gotten to row 7 and it feels crowded where I finished the last row. Something I've been a little confused about is if I'm supposed to try and join the end of one row to its beginning or does it just kind of overlap. Will this make a seam? If I made a mistake earlier on... I just might throw it out the window. : )
They should overlap like flower petals. And luckily chainmaille is very forgiving when it comes to mistakes. Just take out the rings above the oops, fix it, then fill in above it. I know I could give better advice if I could see a picture.
could you make other patterns like a shield or a insignia
Of course. I've made bags with runes, flowers, spirals... Just make sure it'll read well in the finished product and you're good.
chainmaille bikinis?
Yep. Many, many bikinis. Including the bottoms!
This isn't the part I find tedious... OPENING JUMP RINGS I find tedious. Seriously - I'm having nightmares about it.
loving the bikini <br>
I just finished this for a graduation present for a friend. I'd never done chain mail before, but this instructible was perfect! The bag came out amazing, it looks just like the pictures. Thank you!
Very interesting Ible. Whenever i make bags i usually do 2 squares and then join them. I'll have to give this a try. Thanks for the great Ible.
&quot; Panic at the sudden appearance of pink rings.&quot; <br> <br>Laughed so much:P so going to do this right now!!!!
So if I were to buy from the ring lord, what would I need to order to make a shirt? I can't decide what metal, and I don't know what/how much I need.
Hi, was in the sculpting team for masks, costumes and gadgets for a larger role playing group + spent a couple of years in re-enactment (early middle ages)... you will need a lot of rings! some tips: if you don't need to be concerned with historical accuracy: go for light metals... the weight adds up!! We used to make our own rings (cheaper!!) by simply rolling it around a stick and cutting them, you might need to finish the endings, but if you have time, patience and a tight budget it's the way to go! <br>Aluminium is light + shiny, but go to the local hardware store and check all the metal wires you can find... they shouldn't be too flexible. <br>One more tip, ones you finished you're shirt, it'll get dirty. if you clean it with a brush, it'll get a nice shadow/ airbrush effect... if you want it shiny like new... put it in an old fashioned potato bag with clean dry sand. close the bag and move it around... or even better invite you're ring lord friends and play some games throwing the bag around... it'll be like new :-) <br>and lastly... if you are going to wear this shirt, make sure you have a padded shirt under it!!! it'll keep you safe from hundreds of little bruises. <br> <br>PS Rabbit dance: brilliant design, loving it!!! I admit being a bit jealous I never thought about making gadgets like that!!
If you've never made chainmaille before I wouldn't recommend that you make a shirt right off the bat. I would compare it to volunteering to make Thanksgiving Dinner when you can hardly be trusted with a microwave (like me!) That's just my little warning, as rings can be expensive and it is a huge time investment.<br><br>Anyway, that said, here's what I recommend:<br>If you're making your shirt for costume purposes, go with bright aluminum. My husband does stage combat with a local theatre troupe and the bright aluminum maille shirt he wears looks great on stage! It's also light enough that he can do all the cool stage moves in it with no problems. Aluminum is a lot easier on the hands and the whole shirt weighs about 10 pounds. The steel shirts that I've made average around 30 pounds.<br>As for how much you need, that depends on the final shirt size, the design (total length, sleeves/no sleeves, etc) and what size ring you want to use. The Ring Lord has kits available with instructions on making shirts. Look in their &quot;Projects and Kits&quot; section and have a look at their Chainmaille Armor kits. If you like the look of what they have up, I'd say just buy the kit and maille away! If you want something different (like longer sleeves, a pattern inlay, etc) you can use their ring sets as a guide and buy your rings accordingly. There are plenty of shirt patterns out there too, so look around. I recommend mailleartisans.org and deviantart.com for inspiration in that respect.
What metal is cheapest/is best though? I was also planning on something more like a t-shirt that could be worn over my regular shirt.
where did you buy the links?
I buy my rings from The Ring Lord in Canada. Their website is http://www.theringlord.com<br><br>The rings you see here are the machine-cut ones. I like the depth of color better as opposed to the saw-cut. If you want some heavier contrast between the Triforces and the background, you can get machine-cut green rings (which are slightly matte) and gold saw-cut rings (which are really shiny) for the Triforces. But be aware that saw-cut rings can be trickier to close because they have a wider kerf. It's not any more difficult, but it does take more time to do.

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