Chain Maille Projects

Chain maille was originally used to protect warriors in combat. Many metal rings were painstakingly put together to create full-body suits of armor that would resist sword and arrow attacks. We can only imagine how heavy these must have been. However, they were undoubtedly a lot more flexible than armor made of solid metal plates, because combining rings creates a slinky, luxuriously-textured fabric that moves with the wearer.

Various areas of the world had their own styles of combining rings to create these garments. We have chain maille "weaves" that come from & are named for European & Japanese techniques, for example. They achieve a similar effect, but are based on different ring-combining concepts.

Now that we rarely engage in hand-to-hand combat, chain maille weaves have evolved into beautiful techniques for a wide range of jewelry pieces. I teach projects that use chain maille to make bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Almost any weave I teach as a bracelet can be expanded to necklace length. See some of the many chain maille techniques you can use for jewelry below, in this list of chain maille classes I offer.

3 in 3 Chain Maille Bracelet
3-in-3 Chain Maille

Learn the most basic chain maille pattern, which is the perfect beginning point for learning more complex weaves. You will also learn how to open and close jump rings and attach a toggle clasp.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose

Project Number(s): 55

 

 

Sample
Byzantine Chain

This weave is a favorite with all chain-maillers. It looks complicated, but it's actually easy once you learn to make "the knot". I teach it with various sizes of rings and various looks - as a loose, lacy weave or a tight, well-defined weave.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose

Project Number(s): 64

Sample
Box Chain

A beautiful variation of the Byzantine weave, it takes on a completely different, very solid look.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 102

Sample
3-in-3 Chain with Rubber O-Rings

Takes the basic chain to a new level! Incorporate your choice of colored rubber rings into the basic jump ring pattern.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose

Project Number(s): 199

Sample
2-in-2 Chain Maille with Leather Cord

Create a basic chain maille necklace or wrap bracelet and learn to weave it through with leather cord for a completely different look!

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 172

 

Sample
Orbital Chain

Looser rings orbit around a central chain maille core.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 65

Sample
Parallel Chain

Two layers of rings intersect to create a multi-level look.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 83

 

Parallel Chain Triangular Pendant
Parallel Chain Triangular Pendant Necklace on Leather Cord

Work the basic parallel chain into a triangular pendant while learning to connect rows of chain maille to create various shapes.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 118

Sample
Half Persian 3-in-1

One of the most difficult weaves, the Half-Persian creates a beautiful, classic-looking chain.

Level: Advanced

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 81

 

Chain Maille and Seed Bead Necklace
Jump Ring and Seed Bead Chain

A fun and youthful way to combine rings and beads.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 110

Spiral Chain
Spiral Chain

A loose-looking weave transforms into an unexpected tight spiral.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 82

Sample
Japanese 8-in-4 Chain Maille Bracelet with Metal Jump Rings

The most basic use of Japanese-style chain maille, this is what you might intuitively expect to do with jump rings. You can use this weave to make all sorts of shapes. In this class, we practice the basic Japanese chain maille concept to make an elegant, slinky bracelet.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose

(All tools will be available for purchase in class at a reduced price)

Project Number(s): 92

Rubber & Metal Ring Bracelet
Japanese 8-in-4 Chain Maille Bracelet with Metal Jump Rings & Rubber O-Rings

Combine the basic Japanese chain maille approach with rubber rings to create a solid, stylish bracelet.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 129

 

Sample
Japanese Chain Maille with Crystals

Combine crystals or other round or bicone beads with jump rings to create a colorful, elegant bracelet.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 96

Diamond Chain Maille Earrings
Japanese Chain Maille Diamond-Shaped Earrings

Take Japanese-style chain maille to the next level by creating this elegant diamond shape, and adding your choice of dangling beads.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 165

Sample
Japanese Chain Maille Bib Necklace

Another level of Japanese chain maille: Combine jump rings and beads to create this trendy necklace.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 148

Sample
Free-Form Japanese Chain Maille Necklace with Rubber O-Rings

Get creative with many sizes of rubber rings, combined using the Japanese chain maille concept.

Level: Advanced

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 139

 

Sample
Japanese Chain Maille Flower-Shaped Earrings & Bracelet

Create chain maille flowers to make this charming set of bracelet and earrings.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 91

Delicate Points Necklace
Japanese Chain Maille Necklace with Delicate Points

Use tiny jump rings to create this elegant and delicate necklace.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 123

 

Chain Maille Bracelet with Enclosed Beads
Triangle Chain Maille Bracelet with Enclosed Beads

A completely different way to put rings together, capturing beads inside triangular segments to create a combination of color and metal.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 184

O-Ring Byzantine Bracelet
Byzantine Weave Chain Maille with Rubber O-Rings

Combine the classic Byzantine weave with rubber rings for an updated, trendy look.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 198

 

Sample
Single Row European 4-in-1 Necklace or Bracelet

Introduction to the classic European 4-in-1 weave - one of the most popular and ubiquitous chain maille patterns.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 207

 

European 4-in-1 earrings
European 4-in-1 Earrings with Small Hoops and Hanging Beads

Learn to increase and decrease in European 4-in-1 weave and make these stunning and slinky earrings. Add color with dangling beads.

Level: Advanced

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 215

 

Byzantine Chain Earrings
Byzantine Chain Maille Earrings, with & without Beads

Use the Byzantine weave to create these stylish earrings. There are so many ways you can vary them with color and length.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 217

 

 
Celtic Flower Chain Maille Necklace

Combine a few different sizes of jump rings to create this unusual pendant, with or without bead dangles. It could also be made into a pair of earrings.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 235

 

 
Parallel Chain Maille Necklace with Triangle Centerpiece

Work the basic parallel chain into a triangular pendant while learning to connect rows of chain maille to create various shapes. Add a long chain in Parallel weave to complete the necklace.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 242

 

European 4-in-1 Diamond Earrings
European 4-in-1 Diamond-Shaped Earrings, Various Sizes, Single or Multiple, with or without Beads

Learn to increase and decrease in European 4-in-1 weave and make these stunning, slinky earrings. Add bead dangles for color, or leave them plain for a simple and elegant style.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 245

 

Sample
European 4-in-1 Multi-Row Bracelet

This slinky bracelet is a stunner! Use a single color or combine colors as you practice using the well-known European 4-in-1 weave.

Level: Advanced

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 246

 

European 4-in-1 Necklace
European 4-in-1 necklace with Beads or Charms & Chain Closure

Create a basic European 4-in-1 strip necklace and adorn with with beads and/or charms.

Level: Advanced

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 262

 

Rubber Ring Bib Necklace
Rubber O-Ring Bib Necklace

Another trendy bib necklace - this time with rubber rings.

Level: Beginner

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 268

 

Captured Bead Bracelet
Captured Bead Triangular Chain Maille Bracelet

Another completely different way to put rings together, capturing beads inside triangular segments to create a combination of color and metal.

Level: Advanced

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 277

 

Mobius Chain Bracelet
Mobius Flower Chain Maille

Learn to make these cute, little flowers and then link them together to make a bracelet or necklace.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: Two pairs of chain-nose pliers or other smooth-jawed pliers such as flat-nose or bent-nose.

Project Number(s): 278

 

Sample
Twisted Wire Jump Ring & Optional Rubber O-Rings Chain

Learn to twist wire together, make jump rings and combine with optional rubber o-rings to make this chain necklace.

Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed: 2 pairs of chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, wire flush-cutters, bailing pliers, nylon-jaw pliers, knitting needles, wire twister.

Project number(s): 197