Chainmail Coif




Duct-tape fan (as you see in the picture), quite some knowledge of armour and weaponry, Dutch, Bi...

So I was getting really into making chainmail stuff. Jewelry, keychainhangers, shirts, bracelets and necklaces could all be found on this site. The only thing I couldn't find was a chainmail coif. 

So I did some research, found multiple designs and I have combined them in one design, my version isn't fully finished but the plan is all done.

This build is not too difficult, but it requires some technique and experience in the making of chainmail. It will take a lot of time, so don't think of it as a project you could finish in two weeks. if you work on it very well, you might be able to finish it in a month. But it took me longer than that.

Try the coif from time to time, see if it fits. At certain points in this instructable you will need to put it on you head (I know it's very cold but if you put a balaclava underneath it, it's not that bad). If it doesn't fit you, please leave a comment because I hope to help you with it.

For this project, you can use the technique of my other instructable: `A faster way of making chainmail`

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Step 1: The Coif's Plan

In order to start with the coif, you will need to make a plan, lucky for you, I thought of a plan which I'm going to explain in this instructable.

The main idea behind this coif, is expansion. You start with a small hexagon and keep expanding it.

Step 2: Preparations

It's necessary to make preparations before you start each new row. First you need seven rings. One open and six closed. Put the closed rings on the open ring and close it. For more clarity, you could put it down like the picture suggests. For the second row, you'll need twelve rings, third row, eighteen rings. This way, you could say 6*x where x= the amount of rows, for as long as you're expanding.

Step 3: Going on (part One)

When you've put your hexagon down as done in the picture, you can start adding the second row. Attach one ring to two rings, like you would do with normal chainmail. Keep doing this untill you have six rings for the second row. 

Now move on to your next step where we're going to finish the second row.

Step 4:

In the previous step, we ended with a full first row and half of the second row. Now it's time to finish the second row, expanding the hexagon.

A hexagon has six angles (points). If you look at the first row, you see them clearly. Every corner, needs to be expanded. Do this by adding a ring on every corner of the first hexagon. The result should look somewhat like the second picture.

Step 5: Keep Expanding

Now that you know the technique, keep expanding the hexagon untill it fits around your head. It shouldn't go all the way down, just close to or a little bit over your ears. On my head, I exanded it 13 rows from the center ring.

Step 6: Going Down

So as you have your little cute hat thingy, you want the side of you head protected as well. Stop expanding in this stage, since you only want to go down, and not out. Just make a weave as you usually do, at the angles of the hexagon, you make a normal weave (don't add a ring). Add a couple of rows untill the maille reaches you eyebrows. You now want to have an opening a bit wider as the outer corner of your eyes. For me, leaving one side of the hexagon open did the job. Continue this untill you've reached the height of your chin.

Now close the chin part by making the hole for your face a rectangle. Add as many rings at the bottom as you did at the top. Then go three or four rows down from there. To add even more protection, go down diagonally from your cheeks as in the picture. You don't want to close it all the way down there. Leave the middle ring free there for added comfort and functionality.

the bottom should look something like this:

( ( ( (                            ( ( ( ( 
 ) ) ) ) )                      ) ) ) ) ) 
( ( ( ( ( (                   ( ( ( ( ( ( 
 ) ) ) ) ) ) )             ) ) ) ) ) ) )
( ( ( ( ( ( ( (         ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( 
 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Step 7: Shoulder Parts

Now that your head is well protected, your shoulders are left unprotected. If you're not there, keep going down untill you've reached your shoulders. From here on chose eight points to be expanding from. I recommend to put two points on the front and back and two points on your shoulders. Try to place the other point on equal distance from eachother. Keep expanding using the same technique you used with the hexagons untill you've reached the end of your shoulders.

If you look at the picture, you might be able to see some "orientation rings" (as i call them) these are the points where I'm expanding.

Step 8: Good Luck

I hope this instructable was very usefull and I hope it gets just as popular as my first one. If you have any tips, or you have a question, please put it in the comments and I will respond ASAP.

Good luck with you project and let me know/see when you've finished your build.

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30 Discussions


3 months ago

I am looking to create an rpg video game. I am independent and have never made a game before, so I do not know if this will even become anything. Should this ever become commercial, may I have permission to modify the image of the front view of the coif and use it as an item inventory icon?


Question 11 months ago on Step 5

How loose does this fit? One set of instructions I found shows to make a headband first and then make the skull cap to fit. I'd like to make this to fit somewhat snuggly.


2 years ago

I was going to use my fellas head to make it but the mop seems like a more genius and practical way of doing this. I didn't start at the top[ though I just tried doing 4 in 1 chain mail, hopefully I can connect the piece I have done so far to the hexagon piece. cheers for this :D


4 years ago on Introduction

My question is more along the lines of, am I suppose to be doing this like the zelda bag, where I do a row and then do and expansion row? cause so far I have 4 rows made and after row two I just kept adding the 1 ring between the 2-in-1 rings. (sorry if that doesn't make much sense.

in short is this the same general pattern as the zelda dice bag or are they two separate things?

thank you for your time.

1 reply

I actually just made it so that I expanded every row. so from 1 in 6, you go to 6 in 12, to 12 in 18 and so on.

Hope this helps! Good luck!


4 years ago

Hello! I was wondering, what gauge wire did you use? I am using 17G electric fence wire in 1/4" inside diameter rings! I am getting into chainmail and have done a few projects already, a bag, some jewlery, this coif. Anyways I was wondering what you thought of it so far. It is at 9 rows right now. I did this in about 2 hours!

15, 9:52 AM.jpg15, 9:52 AM.jpg
1 reply

Hey WolfCommander, I totally forgot to mention that. For the project, I picked up some coils of galvanized wire of about 1.8mm. Then i wound that around a 10mm thick iron rod to make the rings.

The part looks great! hope this information helps and good luck with your project!


5 years ago on Introduction

So I was trying to make it and I tried several different times, but ever time the rings got mixed up and tangled. Is there a certain way you can do it and not get them tangled?

3 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Also I am new to this whole chainmail thing so can you explain a little more about putting the rings together because I don't really understand how to keep the pattern going.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Whoops, sorry for they way too late response. I decided not to explain the chainmail technique because there are other instructables on it that do it way better than me. Just look up "european 4-in-1 chainmail" and you should be fine. As for the shifting around of the piece, I used an upside-down bowl, about the size of a head, that should keep things nice and neat. Again, my apologies for the late response.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for that. I ended up just trying about 20 different ways and then just came back to this one. Instead of expanding a row at a time I made it so that there were 6 triangles. I just started with the six in one and then hooked 1 on to 1 until it was long enough and then filled in the triangles. Again thanks for this instructable it's really cool.


5 years ago on Introduction

This is a very nice instructable. Just curious though, is there a way to keep the rings in place while adding more links? After a while all my attempts sort of turn into a confusing mass rather than a neat circle.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

Neat instructable, I'll use this method for making mine. I do have one question: What is the size of the rings you used for your coif?