Simple (ish) chainmaille weave to make a bracelet or necklace.
This is an adaptation of the traditional byzantine weave, but it only requires one size of chainmaille link, not 2 sizes.
Step 1: You Will Need
You need some simple supplies to make this chainmaille weave:
- 2 pair pliers - I like the flat ones, but some prefer the rounded ones. Whichever works.
- chainmaille links - I used the 'sky' mix from Blue Buddha Boutique. (Size L18). I like the iodized aluminum ones because they are shiny and pretty.... but the plain aluminum ones are also lovely. An 8" bracelet needs 48 pale blue, 30 dark blue and 30 silver.
- small jewelry jump rings You will want 4 slightly larger ones... and 6 smaller ones. I am not sure what size I used, as I lost the bag label but they are no wider than 4mm for the larger of the 2, and 3mm for the smaller ones.
- felt mat (optional) but this stops the rings rolling away.
You need to know how to twist open a chainmaille or jump ring link. This should be a twist, not a pull. Then a twist to close them again.
Step 2: Begin the Bracelet (or Necklace)
Link a small ring to a pale blue ring. For this bracelet I used dark blue, pale blue and silver jump rings. I will refer to the colours this way, but you can make the bracelet in one colour, or other combinations. I just think this colour way makes it easier to see what to do.
To that pale blue ring, link 2 silver rings as shown.
Link 2 more pale blue rings through the same pathway as the first one.
Join 2 dark blue rings to the silver ones.
The little ring will have the clasp attached to this end later. For now it helps to stabilise the weave and remind you wear to thread the next rings.
Step 3: Flipping Rings to Create the Pattern
In this step, you will feel like you need to be an octopus.
Open 3 pale blue rings in advance. You will need to pick these up and thread them with the pliers. Think of the pliers as your own arm extensions.... like Edward Scissorhands, only way cooler.
Hold the silver rings, and flip the dark blue ones backwards onto the silver ones. Pinch to hold the rings in the position shown in the picture.
Carefully thread the pale blue rings one by one through the dark blue ring bit visible between each of the silver rings you are pinching. Close all the rings as you go.
Step 4: Rinse and Repeat
It gets a lot easier now, and the bracelet will grow quite quickly.
Open a silver link, and thread 2 dark blue links onto it. Make sure each of these rings is closed properly.
Thread the silver link (with the dark blue links dangling) through the 3 pale blue rings. Close the silver ring.
Thread a second silver ring through the same links as the first. Close the link.
This brings you to the fold and pinch again. So, pre-open 3 pale blue links, flip the dark blue rings over the silver, pinch them as shown previously, and link the 3 pale blue rings as shown before.
Repeat these steps until you reach the length you want. For a bracelet, make this one inch shorter than the circumference of your wrist. Make sure the last links you place are the 3 pale blue ones.
Step 5: Making the Chain Closable
The last bit is to make a wee chain to attach the clasp to the chain.
At the end of your chain, add one small link through the last 3 pale blue links. Add a couple of tiny links and then join the clasp on.
On the other end of the chain add a couple of tiny links and one small link for the clasp to close onto.
And you are done. Do make sure to wear publicly, and show off that you made this yourself.