Tapered Chain Earrings




Introduction: Tapered Chain Earrings

Hello and thanks for checking out my instructable. I've had quite a bit of positive feedback on my other recent chainmail instructables, so I wanted to share another cool pattern and project idea with you.

In this tutorial, I'm going to teach you to make tapered chainmail earrings using the full Persian weave. This pattern is definitely a bit challenging to learn, so before you try to do the earrings you might find it valuable to first make a small length of chain just to get the hang of it.

Please also watch this quick video demonstration of starting a full Persian weave. It's very quick and to the point, and it'll definitely make this much easier for you:

These earrings make a great gift and are great for fancy occasions!

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

The tools and materials you'll need for this project are:

  • Wire - I'm using 16 gauge 'artist wire' from Michaels, but if you want to make a smaller pair of earrings try 18 gauge instead
  • Ear hooks
  • A stepped mandrel - mine ranges from approximately 7/16" to 3/16" with 6 steps. The earrings are definitely on the large side of things, using 18 gauge wire and slightly smaller mandrel would yield a pair of earrings that would be more casual.
  • Side cutters
  • 2 pairs of toothless pliers

Step 2: Making Rings

Making vs Buying Rings

For this project, it's definitely worthwhile to make your own rings. You can also purchase remade rings online, however they are typically sold by size with large minimum orders. Since you only need a few rings of each size, it is much more economical to make the rings yourself.

Start by holding an end of the wire tightly the mandrel with your thumb. (Photo 1)

Coil the wire tightly around each step of the mandrel. Try and get 5 or 6 coils around each step. You could also do each step separately if you are finding it difficult. (Photos 2-4)

Snip both the ends of the wire, and remove the coil from the mandrel. (Photo 5)

Trim the extra wire off the coil so the next cut will yield a clean ring. (Photos 6-7)

Now, continue cutting the coil. (Photo 8 and 9)

Some of the rings, usually the ones at the ends of the coil won't turn out that well. If any of the rings seem misshapen or uneven, don't use them.

Once all the rings are cut, you'll need 6 of the largest rings, 5 of the smallest rings, and 4 of all the intermediate sizes of rings. (Photo 10)

Step 3: Starting the Full Persian Weave

Please, please, please refer to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nnzkPXgv_8

It's very difficult to demonstrate how the rings need to move with still photos.

Start off by closing 4 of the 6 largest rings and opening the other two. If you've worked with store bought rings before, they are easier to open and close because they are saw cut. When you cut the rings with snips, they tend to get deformed slightly and you have to bend them back and fourth a bit to get them to flush up when you close them. (Photo 1)

Put the 4 closed rings on the 2 open rings and close them. This'll give you a 2-2-2 chain. (Photo 2)

Next, get the next size down of rings ready. Close 2 of them and open 2 of them. (Photo 3)

Hold the ends of the 2-2-2 chain... (Photo 4)

And open the rings on the right and push the rings in-between them. (Photo 5)

This is the tricky part: while maintaining the ring configuration you just created, take one of the open smaller rings with 2 closed smaller rings on it (Photo 6) and put it between the centre rings of the 2-2-2 chain and through all the end rings, holding them in place. (Photo 7)

Put the other open ring through all 6 rings the exact same way. (Photo 8)

Step 4: Continuing the Pattern

Follow the photos and captions to continue the pattern using progressively smaller rings for each step. At this point, you've got past the hard part .

Step 5: You're Done!

Once you've made a first earring, make a second one the same way. You can also use these as a pendant or decoration. Thanks for checking out my intractable and please let me know if you have any questions.


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    Rhonda Chase Design
    Rhonda Chase Design

    4 years ago

    Thanks for the tutorial! Do you know the size rings I'll need if purchased? I have A LOT of rings already, but want to make sure the gradation is nice and smooth like yours.