Step 1: Supplies Needed
Lots and lots of pull tabs from soda, beer, or energy drink aluminum cans.
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
Step 3: Measure Your Subject
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.
Step 4: Wiring your tabs together
Step 5: The Pattern
Beginning at the fourth tab, I then wired 27 tabs together for the next row which meant I had 4 open tabs on each side. For the next row decrease one tab on each side so you should now have 25 tabs in this row.
The following row has a decrease of 2 tabs on each side so you should have 21 tabs in this row.
Now you will make the shoulder area by making one row of 5 tabs on each end and then 2 rows of 4 tabs each on each end. You now have the front of your chain mail shirt done.
Repeat the same for the back but add on three rows of 3 tabs each on each side at the shoulders to allow for the shoulder to come up over and connect to the front.
Step 6: The Sleeve Area
Step 7: Connecting The Pieces
Even though I did my best to tuck in any lose wire ends so they wouldn't scratch, there were still some buggers poking out so I used duct tape to line the entire chain mail shirt. It not only kept it from being scratchy but the silver color matched too.