Picture of The Lazy-Man's Chainmail-Shirt
This is an Instructable on making Faux Chainmail like they do in movies!

This shirt really resembles chainmail and it's what some films like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the Lord of the Rings did when the costumers didn't feel like making actual chainmail.

So without further a-do, I bring you: Lazy-Man's Chainmail.

Step 1: Materials List

Picture of Materials List
For this Chainmail shirt, you're going to need the following:

A knitted sweater: I Got this at the thrift store for about 2 bucks. Not just any Wool Knit Sweater would work, though. Try to look for sweaters made with big yarn and knitted to look very "Chainmail-like"

Silver Metallic Spraypaint: By now I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

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HaleyL2 months ago
Thank you!! Helped me with my Link cosplay!
Shadoinslomo10 months ago

You're a goddamn genius.

dorotea2 years ago
Actually, in the Lord of the Rings movies, they spent two years making miles of real chain mail by hand. They also made all of the armour by hand, and each suit of orc armour was different. Just a little fun nerd fact!
orionx13. dorotea10 months ago

Partially true. It was not "real chain mail" but PVC rings chain mail. Only the "hero" costumes intended to be filmed on medium shots and close ups were the "real metal thing". And for the armor, yes it was "handmade" but with a little help of electric power tools LOL

dgperryman11 months ago

This is awesome! How well does it hold up to repeated wear?

msovijärvi4 years ago
Simple and brilliant, this just might be what I'll do. It could be pretty warm though, that's a bit of a shame. But the only parts showing would be the sleeves and the hem, so I don't really even need a full shirt... Yees, this could work.
i don't know how feasible this would be but if you knitted it your self or got a friend to knit it you could use a less insulative material
Juklop (author) 7 years ago
For an added effect, you can carry some change around in your pocket to make a realistic clang sound to go with your fake chainmail. Heh.
polerix Juklop3 years ago
sew some pierced coins inside.
Brazat3 years ago
Very great job!
I'm looking for somebody who could realize some knitting chainmail costume (pants + vest), like this one: http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/store/img-hydroponics/stargate-jaffa-armor-propworx_130550322995.jpg
Are you interested?
thepelton3 years ago
If you can knit, you could make the sweater from scratch using grey yarn.
rcampbell43 years ago
This is freaking brilliant! I'm doing it right now!
That is brilliant. Thanks very much.
lilnorm1234 years ago
cool great easy thumbs up
ok... this is the answer to my costuming problems !! XD

really helpful, easy and realistic ^^ thumps up !!!

(this going to work perfecto for my Susan Pevensie Battle Dress costume, thanks a lot)
raith20064 years ago
i guess this would be the just for looks version, hopefully you don't need it to stop an arrow. :P
jdezwaan4 years ago
BTW, Lord of the rings used chopped pieces of plastic piping for their chainmail. (except for the heros obviously, they got the real thing). I am currently making a shirt using this technique. 1/2" inside diameter pvc piping is what i'm using and it works like a charm.
If you have a little time (but obviously not enough to do chainmaille; or simply can't afford all the links), you can also loosely knit a fakemaille shirt with garter stitch. I got the idea when my friend said my neckwarmer looked like chainmaille. I later learned from someone in a small-time LARP on campus (that has no standards for armor) that they do it all the time.
Gryphon48485 years ago
Sweet! Any good Ideas on how to use that concept for a chainmail hood? (making an epic LARP outfit and it has to have all the bells and whistles...)
Juklop (author)  Gryphon48485 years ago
I've seen some women's sweaters like this that have hoods. You might even want to knit your own sweater.
If you're feeling a bit more creative but still don't want a heavy metal mail shirt, knit one using string and the biggest needles you can get your hands on, then spray paint as above. It give a large open weave that looks even more like chain mail. 

This is what they actually did on the MP and the Holy Grail movie.
animan16 years ago
when i saw the sweater i DID know were ur going
Brother_D6 years ago
Do they make men's sweaters with that texture?
Does it matter? In the end, it would look just the same?
Well I don't wanna buy a women's sweater.
I see...
Glad we're on the same page.
Riann136 years ago
duckman19706 years ago
i've seen this instructable like 10 times thinking like oh this would be a good istructable but then i look closly and im like dang but any way awesome i have a sweat shirt that already looks like this just not as big stictchs
I'm so going to use this in the future for extras costumes in film lol *nice thinking.
paperman56 years ago
holy crap, it does look like chainmail.
KentsOkay6 years ago
Hey not bad! I'd sooner larp in that than plastic...
me too, but in most of the LARPs I go to, you need the real thing for the 2 armor bonus......
yeah. The tell-tale clinking of moving chainmail is missing here, giving you away. Leather armor is a +1 bonus. and the bonus applies only to the parts that are actually covered by the armor itself. if you are just playing with ur friends and want to do a scenario where one of the skeletons (or anything else you have in mind ;) has a chainmail suit, this would do nicely b/c it looks like it, and it isnt as heavy/tiring as a regular suit of mail.
WurdBendur7 years ago
It almost looks like the real thing from a distance. By the way, the chain mail used in LotR was made of slices of ABS pipe, not painted wool.
I'm sorry to say but they actual made the chain mail in lotr so pleas try to get the facts strate
PLEASE STRAIGHT, please learn how to spell.
Yes, they used real mail for closeups because the plastic stuff LOOKS plastic up close. But most of the mail you see is plastic pipe. Watch the freaking special features. You can watch them make it and hear them explain the process so YOU can get YOUR facts straight.
Juklop (author)  WurdBendur7 years ago
Dang Wikipedia! Lied to me again!
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