The Lazy-Man's Chainmail-Shirt

Introduction: The Lazy-Man's Chainmail-Shirt

This is an Instructable on making Faux Chainmail like they do in movies!

This shirt really resembles chainmail and it's what some films like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the Lord of the Rings did when the costumers didn't feel like making actual chainmail.

So without further a-do, I bring you: Lazy-Man's Chainmail.

Step 1: Materials List

For this Chainmail shirt, you're going to need the following:

A knitted sweater: I Got this at the thrift store for about 2 bucks. Not just any Wool Knit Sweater would work, though. Try to look for sweaters made with big yarn and knitted to look very "Chainmail-like"

Silver Metallic Spraypaint: By now I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

Step 2: Set Up and Spray

This part is extremely self explanatory.

Spray-paint the hell out of the sweater using the Spray-paint. Leave no thread non-silver!

An easy way to do this is to hang it up in a tree or something and just spray-paint it.

If you have no way to do that just lay it on the floor or whatever and spray paint it like that. Spray-paint one side of the sweater, wait for it to dry, then flip it over and do the same. Again, leave no thread non-silver!

Easy enough.

Step 3: Wait a Bit and Wear!

This is pretty much the last step. Just hang it outside or wherever and wait a bit for the thing to dry. Then wait even longer because if you don't you will just have a chainmail shirt that gives off heavy fumes and we don't want that. When it's done just put it on and head off into battle! You now have a chainmail shirt, made with minimal time, effort and money!

In total this cost about, 5 dollars and took about 12 minutes of actual "work" to make (It took about 3 hours before I could actually wear it, though)

It looks better if you were to wear it underneath some cardboard armour or maybe a surcoat/tabard or something.

That's it for this Instructable! Bye!



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    53 Discussions

    It actually IS chainmail. Back then, they just called it mail because that meant "armor" and chainmail was the only type of armor anyone really wore, so it didn't make sense to differentiate. Now, there's several types of armor, so specifying that this is chain armor makes more sense. :) :) :)
    Just saying Mail doesn't make any sense when plate mail also exists.

    But for all purposes of the original comment, both chainmail and mail are both valid things to call it.

    Thank you soooooo much for this!!! If you only knew how many years we've been searching for string mail, or someone to make us some, for our joust shows!! We have accosted many a little old lady in the hopes that she might harbor hidden desires to knit in silver, but to no avail!! And here you now are with the perfect (and really really obvious, duh!!) solution! Thank you xxx

    I tried to do this and the paint soaked in, then stunk really badly.

    Thanks so much! It helped me with a Pippin costume...You're a genius!

    Thank you!! Helped me with my Link cosplay!

    Actually, in the Lord of the Rings movies, they spent two years making miles of real chain mail by hand. They also made all of the armour by hand, and each suit of orc armour was different. Just a little fun nerd fact!

    1 reply

    Partially true. It was not "real chain mail" but PVC rings chain mail. Only the "hero" costumes intended to be filmed on medium shots and close ups were the "real metal thing". And for the armor, yes it was "handmade" but with a little help of electric power tools LOL

    This is awesome! How well does it hold up to repeated wear?

    Simple and brilliant, this just might be what I'll do. It could be pretty warm though, that's a bit of a shame. But the only parts showing would be the sleeves and the hem, so I don't really even need a full shirt... Yees, this could work.

    1 reply

    i don't know how feasible this would be but if you knitted it your self or got a friend to knit it you could use a less insulative material

    For an added effect, you can carry some change around in your pocket to make a realistic clang sound to go with your fake chainmail. Heh.

    1 reply

    Very great job!
    I'm looking for somebody who could realize some knitting chainmail costume (pants + vest), like this one:
    Are you interested?

    If you can knit, you could make the sweater from scratch using grey yarn.