Instructables
Picture of Recycle Soda Pop Tabs Into Chain Mail
My grandson Zachery is really into Dragons, Knights, Renaissance and the like and I really wanted to make him something special so I thought up this idea using soda can pull tabs. I made this nifty chain mail shirt for him that he loves. He has worn it several times and has it displayed on his bedroom wall. So I thought I would show you how to make one for your Renaissance guys.
 
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Step 1: Supplies Needed

Picture of Supplies Needed
Supplies you will need:
Lots and lots of pull tabs from soda, beer, or energy drink aluminum cans.
hammer
wood block
needle nose or jewelers pliers
beading or jewelry wire
Round key rings or D rings to connect at sides and at sleeves. I used 18 1" key rings.
Duct tape for lining.

Step 2: Getting Your Tabs Ready To Use

Picture of Getting Your Tabs Ready To Use
After washing and drying all your tabs to remove any soda residue, check to make sure there are no sharp edges. You can remove any sharp edges using a hammer and a wood block to flatten them down. Just a couple of soft taps with the hammer will take this out. You don't have to hit so hard that you totally flatten the tab, you just want to take the sharp edges down.

Step 3: Measure Your Subject

Picture of Measure Your Subject
Measure the person you will be making the chain mail shirt for from side to side. This will determine how many tabs you put in your first row and subsequent rows. After measuring add 2 inches to each side for any clothing they may wear under the chain mail. You want room for them to be able to move around and allowing for clothing will help this.

My first row used 35 tabs in the strip wired together
I made 22 rows of 35 tabs for the beginning of my chain mail shirt, but it will depend on who you are making your shirt for as to the number of tabs you will be using in your first row.
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I link them together, then tie with wire for strength.

This is pretty damn cool! I had come up with the idea of soda tab chain mail on my own about a month ago, and now I have a good guide to follow for making large simple sheets!

Can you tell me how you were able to amass such a large number of soda tabs? I've asked my friends and coworkers to save them for me, but I only have enough to make about half a shirt so far.
babasfarmlife (author)  gonzowizard1 year ago
Thanks gonzowizard! Collecting the tabs took no time at all it seems. Asking everyone I saw drinking sodas to save me their tabs. I also picked them up off the street or anyplace I saw one laying on the ground. Then washed them all before using them. Have fun making your own. I'm sure it will be great!
Hmm, perhaps I just need to ask more people to save their soda tabs, or start drinking more beer everyday... welcome to the wonderful world of cirrhosis! lol
I have done it too
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Nerd King2 years ago
This will work great for LARP. Can't wait to get started I drink enough soda to give an elephant diabetes.
babasfarmlife (author)  Nerd King2 years ago
You'll have loads of fun seeing it all come together. Good Luck on your project!
downbey3 years ago
how do u link the tabs?
babasfarmlife (author)  downbey3 years ago
Though I used wire to link them together, it's much easier and neater to use links. Next time I will do that.
lost_sanity4 years ago
why wire them when you can link them?
babasfarmlife (author)  lost_sanity4 years ago
You are absolutely right. I did this before I thought about even linking them. Thanks for the reminder.
i saw this instructable and instantly thought you linked them XD LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!!!!
babasfarmlife (author)  greenfreak3 years ago
Thanks. Wish I had linked them. I'm certainly going to do that next time.
NIJU!4 years ago
 here is a pic of mine i made in 28 mins until i ran out of tabs :( 5 mins ago
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NIJU! NIJU!4 years ago
www.instructables.com/id/Genuine-chainmaille-from-pop-tabs/ here is the link for how to make this with only the tabs no rings 
BadVanGoh NIJU!4 years ago
I've almost got a full shirt going with this style! I've even lined the edges with red closed tabs
babasfarmlife (author)  BadVanGoh4 years ago
Great job!. I like saving the red, green, or blue tabs for finishing touches like that. I made a rosette to go on mine with red tabs.
babasfarmlife (author)  NIJU!4 years ago
Very cool! Love the look!
you are awesome for making this!
babasfarmlife (author)  darknessfalls4 years ago
Thanks so much! My grandson thought so.
could i ask how long it took you to gather the tabs and make it?
babasfarmlife (author)  darknessfalls4 years ago
Really not that long at all. I just picked up tabs where ever I found them. People thought I was crazy, but I didn't care. I had a project to do. And I had the kids helping me find them.
good idea for the soda tabs every one I hope your all having fun with this. Chainmail is fun any ways and once you make real chainmail (even this soda tab stuff feels neat) it all feels so neat and looks neat to. I'm glad there are people online that do this stuff other than me.
babasfarmlife (author)  ChaseyWasey114 years ago
It is fun to make. I bought my grandson a chain mail making kit for Christmas and he is now enjoying it too. If I make another I will make my own rings.
babasfarmlife (author)  ChaseyWasey115 years ago
It is a fun project and I love the look!
DainiusGB5 years ago
maybe you could actually link the chains together somehow, i dunno but that would take alot of that extra wire.
babasfarmlife (author)  DainiusGB5 years ago
Yes I thought about using links to connect them and it probably would have looked a lot better too, but the cost of buying all the links was just too much for me at the time. Thanks for the idea though! That would be great!
just buy some spooled wire, then make the rings yourself.... takes a little more time, but is cheaper in the long run.
ineverfinishanyth thats a good idea. babasfarmlife how long did you work on this? Have you even tried making real chainmail? I figure if your going to do a project why not make it worth your time? ineverfinishanyth's idea is great. The pattern looks more like 4 in 1 pattern and even looks more durable than yours. If I was to do this I would use ineverfinishanyth's idea because its concept is way better and probably just as easy. Good job ineverfinishanyth.
babasfarmlife (author)  ChaseyWasey115 years ago
If I ever do another one I will use rings instead of wire. The wire is just a bit rough to work with. The rings may take a bit longer to make but it will be well worth the effort.
mattccc5 years ago
how long did this take to make
babasfarmlife (author)  mattccc5 years ago
Surprisingly it didn' t take that long once I had all the tabs. I would say a full week of wiring it all together.
animan15 years ago
there is one that uses only pop tabs no wire at all
babasfarmlife (author)  animan15 years ago
I saw that and it looks fabulous! I'll have to try that method next time I do one.
k_man935 years ago
no words can aptly describe how badass this looks! seriously, it is a cool way to re-purpose those tab things and make it look good
babasfarmlife (author)  k_man935 years ago
Thanks K_man93! It was fun to make.
lobo_pal5 years ago
If you have duct tape on the inside, is there really a need to remove sharp edges?
babasfarmlife (author)  lobo_pal5 years ago
Yes, sharp edges can poke through the duct tape, so removing them prior just improves the feel of smoothness.
This is the method I use to connect pop tabs. In my opinion it looks a lot better and is much stronger. The pop tabs look much more orgainzed when they are assembled in this manner. The rings that i used to connect them were handmade and if you search "Ye olde chain maille rings" on the instructables website there is an instructable on how to make them. Hope this helps!
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that is a good idea. i think ill do that instead
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