Paperclip Jump Rings? No Way!





Introduction: Paperclip Jump Rings? No Way!

Using tools that you probably already have you too can make inexpensive jump rings!

First off though, I have to say thanks to Mat from BENTFORMS, for answering all my random questions.

Step 1: Supplies

You only need a few things,

1. A Phillips head screwdriver you wouldn't mind gouging up. The screwdrivers diameter will be the same as the rings you make.

2. Pliers. Any will do, just make sure they're not really tiny or really big.

3. Paperclips. I use the 'Jumbo' kind from a certain store that rhymes with 'Maples' you can get 700 for around $7, great deal if you ask me. Too thin of a clip won't make very good rings, however, so make sure yours are thick enough.

4. Rotary tool with cut-off wheel. This is what you'll use to cut your rings. While you CAN use a wirecutter, they will leave points on the ends of your rings, eventually 2 ring's openings will line up and they will come apart. The flat edge a cut-off wheel makes is perfect for this, although your rings will be a little misshapen due to the material the wheel takes away.

5. Vice-Grip. This is what you'll use to hold the straightened out clip on your screwdriver.

Step 2: Straighten Your Clip!

This step really needs no explanation, just use your pliers to straighten out the clip as best you can. Avoid bending the clip too much though, otherwise it will become brittle and break. It's okay if there's some curvature to your clip, it won't matter because you're wrapping it around the screwdriver anyway.

Step 3: Prepare Your Clip for Wrapping!

Position your paperclip into one of your screwdrivers wings, this will make it easy to hold the clip in place when you vice-grip it, and also keep it secure while you wrap it around the screwdriver.

Sorry for the blurry picture, but I think you get the point.

Step 4: Wrap!

Finally, the fun part!

Twist the clip around the screwdriver, but go slow and make sure you get a good coil. If there's any space between the rings, that will show up as a... very open ring once you cut it. Take the time to make sure you wind it as best you can, it will make using your rings a lot easier! Don't try to wrap the whole thing around the screw driver, you won't be able to use the last ring anyway.

Step 5: Cuttin' Time!

Wear safety glasses for this step!
I can't tell you how many times I've had a cut-off wheel break and go flying.

When you cut your rings, go slow and use a steady hand. You want your rings edges to more or less match up. If you rush your hand will wobble and you'll end up with slanted edges which won't be very useful.

In the second picture, you can see that I ended up with 6 rings, the 2 off to the side are the ones I couldn't use, the bottom one being where I clamped the clip to the screwdriver

Step 6: That's It!

There you go, now you can make jump rings out of paperclips all day long, which you'll probably end up doing seeing how you only get 6 rings per clip.

Have fun!

Note: In the last picture you can see what I made using these clips. I put the bracelet in some Tarn-ex, and it left it black, I think it looks neat so that's why I'm sharing it with you!

A perfect companion to this instructable would be my other one, on how to make a simple jewelry clasp.



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    Since paperclips are short, pre-bent and of unknown gauge, I'd suggest some bulk wire like others have above. You'll get better rings and waste less time and material. If you're a newbie, you can get 30 yards of 20 gauge wire for maybe $6. It's not the best value, but you also don't get stuck with 3 miles of wire you don't want. 20 or 22 gauge is a lot easier to cut and work with, but when you get more into it you'll need to get 18 and 16 gauge. The thickness matters - some kinds of weaves require rings of a specific thickness to size ratio (called aspect ratio or AR).

    Thank you for the nice, clear Instructable. Now I can't decide if I want to make a ton and create chainmaille jewelry or something larger for the fantasy enthusiast inside me.

    1 reply

    Start with making some chain. Start with some basics like mobius or byzantine, then try some sheets of European weaves or more complex chains. Big projects might just put you off ring mail forever. Learning the basics with some simple projects will prep you for that shirt-'o-mail.

    what's this ( noob) is this the keychain ring thing or what? please explain what's this for

    2 replies

    Jumprings are used when working with chain and charms. The keychain rings are called split rings.

    it's for making chainmail you'll also typically need two pairs of needlenose pliers

    thanks for the instructable its nice and clear!


    i think the byzantine weave looks good....

    ..When i say "started"i mean like gaining popularity, lil kids making stick and rubberband bows and arrows.
    That kind of thing. =S

    2 replies

    Yeh, kids have been making rubberband weapons since I can remember, and I predate the consoles and pc by a few years. As for the "medieval guys" They've been doing that for even longer than I've been alive. My mom was active in the SCA before I was born. So, I doubt videogames have as much of an influence as you think.

    Probably, but its an influence for kids (ie under 14-15 yrs old) ..Im 14, so yeah...

    Cool! Now I can make jewelry completely out of recycled office products. Most of the stuff I use comes from trashed motherboards, and now I can use leftover paperclips to make jumprings when I need them. Thank you for this.

    Thanks! I really enjoyed this one. An alternative to screwdrivers could be an old knitting needle (make sure it is no longer wanted/needed). Also Harbor Freight has entire sets of mandrells in a wide range of sizes for very little money. Very addicitive hobby...

    I have been making chainmail for some time now. I have been using a threaded rod to wrap 16G electrical fence wire around, then hook the loops together. I will look at the speed weaving tutorial, and get back to you if it has different information than I know.

    1 reply

    Dude I started the EXACT same way! Go to your local hardware store and buy a couple of pieces of steel rod about 3 feet long. Different diameters are available, usually in 1/8 inch increments. I have these bent with a handle and a 2x4 jig to hold it as I wind my wire. You'll get ALOT more consistent rings with this method. If you need more info email me at I'll share anything you need to know!

    If you're looking for a way cheaper / move efficient way of getting aluminum and straight aluminum for winding rings, look @ electric fence wire, or any kind of anodized aluminum or stainless steel wire that's at least 16 gauge. I bought 400 meters for $30 @ home hardware. It's available in 50 meter lengths for about $5-$10 also @ home hardware. Also, check out for a look at making a sweet winding machine that'll let you turn out a couple feet of rings in a few seconds, I built one and it works great.

    1 reply

    Try Harbor Freight for stainless steel wire. It comes in a 1 pound blue plastic can. They call it safety lock wire. It is 18 gage. I can wind about 3500 rings, 3/16" inner diameter, out of a 1 pound tub. Oh yeah the tub retails for $8.99 last time I bought some.

    thank you for taking the time to show us

    Such Enthusiasm. I love the title "NO way!!".. Its just so.. unexpected on instructables. Nice ible for all those wannabe-living-in-runescape-1300s-medieval-guys

    Awesome for small chain mail!