www.CraftyCatJumpRings.com sells Colored Aluminum Jump Rings and Chainmaille Kits and Supplies

How to make chainmaille or how to make chain mail.

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How To Make Chainmaille

These sample instructions are provided here for FREE. All instructions for kits have a photo for each step just like the instructions below. To order kits, go to the Chainmaille Kits section.

Check out Crafty Cat's FREE Chainmaille Project Tutorials:

*How to Open Jump Rings (April 2009)

* Basic Spiral Tutorial and Jens Pind Earrings (March 2010)

Mobius Rose Chainmaille Element (September 2014)

*More online tutorials to come...

Crafty Cat Chainmaille Tutorials are also available in print:

April 2008: Bead & Button Magazine Article "Patchwork Principles" Chainmaille Bracelet
Summer 2009: Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine Article "Chainmaille Bobble Earrings"
June 2010: Bead & Button Magazine Article "Chainmaille Dahlia Ring"
April 2012: Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine Article "Fantastic Features(Creatures) Bracelet"
October 2013: Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry Magazine Article "Autumn Charm (Pinecone Pendant)"


Opening rings correctly is one of the first important skills a chainmaille artisan learns. Rings are created by winding wire around a dowel or mandrel and then cutting this coil down the length. Usually, when you receive them, rings are not open or closed but just as they were when they came off the mandrel (Figure A). To open and close rings you cannot just push or pull with the pliers, because that would deform their perfectly circular shape and make them into ovals.

1. First, hold two pairs of pliers, one in each of your hands. Pick up a ring and hold it just near the cut with the first pair of pliers. Grab the ring with the second pair of pliers on the other side of the cut.

How To Chainmaille.

2. Hold the ring firmly but gently and twist your pliers in opposite directions, towards you and away from you, and the ring will open. Rotate your wrists, not the pliers or your arms, so that the pliers are an extension of your hand. Only open the ring enough to fit about 3 of the same thickness of ring through the opening. Opening it too wide (or closing and re-opening too often) can put stress on the metal and possibly break the ring in half.

How To Chainmaille.

3. To close a ring, just do the reverse motion until the ring is closed and the two ends of the ring (where it was cut) are flush. On some rings, this is a vertical cut, on others it is angled, so just make sure the ends are as close to each other as they can be. The less you can see the cuts, the more attractive your chainmaille will be.

How To Chainmaille.

Have fun chainmailling!
~The Crafty Cat~
© 2010 Amanda Shero Granstrom

Crafty Cat Jump Rings
PO BOX #988
Sandy, Oregon 97055

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www.CraftyCatJumpRings.com for Chainmaille Kits and Jump Rings

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www.HowToTieDye.net to Learn How To Tie Dye
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