I love working with wire and jump rings. This chainmaille purse necklace is a combination of my two loves. The rose added the perfect touch. The chain length is up to you. This could be worn with a variety of outfits including an outfit for the Renaissance Fair. Using the 4 in 1 weave as a background, you could design anything in wire to put on the front. I hope you have as much fun making this necklace as I did designing it. If you have any questions, please let me know. Keep an eye out for me as I hope to show other designs I’ve made for Instructables.
I should probably let you know that I’m left-handed. For all of you “south paws” out there you do not need to adjust. If you are right-handed, put a mirror in front of the printed directions and the follow the mirror. The mirror also work for left-handed people. Take the right-handed instructions (from a book, for example) and put a mirror in front of the instructions, then follow the mirror.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
750 to1000 silver 6mm, 18 gauge jump rings
500 gold 4mm, 22 gauge jump rings
2 gold 6mm, 22 gauge jump rings
2 yards of red 20 gauge aluminum wire
12 inches of matching red 26 gauge aluminum wire
1 yard green 20 gauge aluminum wire
6 inches of matching green 26 gauge aluminum wire
6 inches of gold 18 gauge wire
Handyman wire cutters (like you have in the garage). Do NOT use jewelry snips unless they are made for heavy gauge wire.
Metal file (to file your wire ends)
Jewelry wire cutters
Painter’s tape (usually blue)
2 chain nose jewelry pliers
Round jewelry pliers
Gloves for handling wire (especially 18 gauge wire)
Step 2: Opening Jump Rings
This is how to open jump rings correctly. Any other way could damage the metal and fatigue it. This means the metal of the jump ring will break easily.
Step 3: 4 in 1 Weave Foundation Row
Pick up one ring, open it, put two other rings on it then a
paperclip. Close the ring. Put the rings so that the paperclip is on the bottom then the mouse forehead with the two ears on top. Put an awl through the ears and this is where your next ring should go. Scoop up the mouse ears, add two more rings, then repeat until the foundation row is the correct length.
Step 4: 4 in 1 Weave Adding Rows
This is how you add rows. Go to the left side of the foundation row. Put an awl through the two rings on the left side, then put your ring through these rings. Now look at your foundation row. See how the mouse’s forehead is seen. When you see this on the right side of the row you are adding, start at the top and go down. If the mouse is frowning, start at the bottom and go up.
It will take some practice for making the foundation row and adding a row for the 4 in 1 weave. You can use large jump rings (I use 14mm) for practice. This weave uses one ring size which makes it easier to learn on larger jump rings.
I used ten rings across and twenty rings down the side for my “purse”.
Step 5: Adding Gold Top Wire With Loops
Take the heavy 18 gauge gold wire and make one loop on the left side. Weave the gold wire through the top of the 4 in 1 weave. Estimate how much wire you will need on the right end (after weaving through the top) to make another loop. Make sure when you close the loop you have the first jump ring captured in one loop and the last jump ring in the right side of the loop. This will hold the “purse” so it doesn’t gather on either side.
Step 6: Creating Rose/Stem and Attaching
Take your red 20 gauge wire and bend it in half. Put your heavy gloves and safety glasses on. Anytime you are using wire, wear your safety glasses. Wire can slip or break and can cause eye injury. Using your hands twist the wire until you like the twist. Take the wire and put your rounded pliers in the middle then start to curl the wire around the little loop in the middle. You can use heavy duty gloves to hold the wire. I made mine close together but this is free form wire play. Get extra wire and have fun with it. When you’ve made your flower, make sure to file then tuck the ends of the wire in the flower.
Take your green 20 gauge wire and make a small loop at one end. Bend the green wire putting it across your 4 in 1 weave until you like it with the rose. Make a small loop at the other end and tuck this end under the rose.
Taking your 26 gauge red wire carefully attach the rose to the 4 in 1 weave background. Be especially careful and wear your safety glasses. This wire is very thin and can easily break causing eye injury. I put the thin wire around through the 4 in 1 weave catching one of the rose’s wires. You will need to do this three or four times to secure the rose. Carefully tuck the ends of the wire into the rose once attached and cut any extra wire. Be very conscience of making the back smooth so the wire won’t catch on clothing. Attach the stem in the same way you did the rose but through the little loops you made on each end of the heavy wire.
Step 7: Creating and Attaching the Chain
Now you can move to your gold jump rings. Open one gold jump ring and put four closed rings through it. Move two rings to the bottom of the closed jump. Add a paperclip to these two jump rings making this one end of the chain. Take another open gold jump ring and capture the other two closed jump rings (opposite the paperclip) then add 2 more rings. Repeat until the chain is the length you want and make sure the chain goes over your head. Make sure you have two closed jump rings on each end. Remove any paperclips you added.Open one of the 6mm gold rings capturing the two gold jump rings on the chain and the loop on your gold wire holding your purse. Do the same for the other side.
Step 8: You Did It!
Put on your necklace and show everyone your great work!