The barrel weave chainmail bracelet is an easy and elegant weave to master. Chainmail can be intimidating at first but with a little patience and instruction anyone can master the art.
Step 1: Equipment Needed
Lobster clasp - 1 (small bracelet clasp available at most craft stores)
Rings between 1/4 inch inside diameter and 3/8" outside diameter - 15 rings per inch (available online at several retailers. I purchase all my rings that I don't make at theringlord.com)
Needle nose pliers - 1 pair (not necessary but helpful for people with larger fingers.)
Step 2: Set Up Your Rings
Begin by separating out two piles of rings one set will be closed shut and one set will be left open for connecting. For every inch of length you want on the bracelet close 6 rings and open 9, keep these separate until you are ready to begin linking the rings.
- If you have chosen to use two different colors of rings be aware that your closed rings are going to be the focus of the bracelet so choose the color you want to pop more for your closed rings.
Step 3: Begin Linking Rings
Now that your rings are separated out you can begin linking your rings.
- Start by sliding two closed rings onto one open ring.
- Close that ring and then slide one more open ring through the two closed rings.
Step 4: Begin Coupling Your Rings
Once you have all the links put together you can start coupling them. This process looks complicated but is easily accomplished once you get the hang of it.
- Slide the previously closed rings so their outside edges are opposite (figure one)
- Now slide an open ring between that small gap where the two rings meet (figure two)
- Leave the ring open as you are going to connect another link with this open ring. Grab the next link and as before create the small gap by sliding the rings to lie opposite each other and feeding the open ring through the gap. (figure 3)
- Close the open ring, you have now started your bracelet. (figure 4)
Step 5: Repeat and Attach Lobster Clasp
Repeat step four until you reach your desired length.
- Once you have reached the appropriate length use an open ring linked through the final gap to attach a lobster clasp.
Step 6: Congratulations
You have now completed your first barrel weave chainmail bracelet. If you need to add more links or take some off to get the bracelet to the appropriate length simply take or add links according to the steps. You can also extend the bracelet out if you would like to use this weave as a necklace.