Hey everyone! I've posted a number of tutorials about various chainmail jewelry projects, and I've got a lot of great feedback including a number of requests for a simple project to teach the basics for someone who has never made chainmail before. I created this video and instructable today to teach a beginner the European 4-1 pattern (the most common pattern used in chainmail) and in doing so I'll be making a fun, slip on, chainmail cuff bracelet. I strongly suggest you check out the video, it is on the long side, but it contains a bunch of great information if you're new to the fantastic art of making chainmail! Enjoy :)
Step 1: Jump Ring Basics
Chainmail is made from basic units of jump rings, which can be purchased online or made yourself from wire rolled in a coil and cut into rings. I usually buy specialty jump rings, such as the 1/4" 16 gauge anodized aluminum and 1/4" 16 gauge black neoprene rings that I'll be using for this project today from metaldesignz.com
When working with jump rings, they will need to be opened or closed as you weave them into a pattern. When closing rings, make sure you get the ends of the rings nice and flush!
Step 2: Making a 4-1 Chainmail Unit
Once you have your jump rings and understand how to open and close them, you'll need to create a unit of 4-1 chain. Simply close 4 rings, and put them on 1 open ring. Put this unit down on your work surface so the rings are laying nicely and flat as shown in the pictures. For more details about this step, please refer to my video!
Step 3: Add a Unit of Chain
Once you have your first unit of chainmail lying nicely, close two more rings, put them on an open ring, and add them to the chain in a way that continues the original pattern.
Step 4: Make a Chain, and a Second Chain
Continue adding to the chain until you build it up the the length of about 3/4 of your wrist, and then make a second chain the same length.
Step 5: Stitch the Chains Together
Again, this is an easier step to demo live, so check out the video in step one if you haven't already. Line up the two chains so the pattern is running in the same direction, then use jump rings to connect them together.
Step 6: Add a Segment of Neoprene Jump Rings
The stretchiness to make the bracelet slip on and off is going to come from the last quarter of the cuff, which will use neoprene rings in place of the black rings.
Step 7: Connect the Ends of the Bracelet
When you've reached the desired length, connect the ends of the bracelet and you're done!