Chain Maille for Beginners

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.

Here’s my current teaching method:

  1. I will give you the basic principles.
  2. Then, I will show you some examples.
  3. Finally, I will show you how you can use the principles to design & create your own jewelry.



What you might need:

  1. Jump rings*
  2. A pair of pliers*
  3. Wirecutters (only if you plan to make your own jump rings)
  4. Pen & Paper

[* Notes & tips at the bottom of this post. To find out which jump ring size(s) you need, please read my tutorial below ]


Wanna make your own chainmaille jewelry but not sure which where to start?

In my opinion, the first chainmaille weave you might want to master is the Japanese Weave.

It’s easy to figure out & very versatile.

It’s the only chainmaille weave I used to construct this necklace:

Angelica Brigade Handmade Chain Maille Jewelry Steampunk Brass Copper Necklace ChainMailler Jewellery Skeleton Key Tim Holtz Sprocket

The basic principle of this weave is:

2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings.

2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings

Okay, now, let’s bring it onto the next level:

The principle is still the same: 2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings

Add a few more links here & there, and this is what you might come up with:

Angelica Brigade handmade chain maille jewelry AngelicaBrigade chainmaille jewellery ring Japanese Weave

And … if you mix the the jump rings with other materials such as Swarovksi crystal oval rings, the weave is  going to look like this:

AngelicaBrigade Handmade Chain Maille Necklace Jewelry Fashion Jewelry Angelica Brigade swarovski statement necklace

If you look at the picture closely, you can see that the same principle still applies:

2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings


Now, let me show you how you can use the principle to design your own jewelry:

Start by sketching you design (in 1:1 scale) on a piece of paper. That way, you can see what jump ring size(s) you need, & how many.

One of the ways to do it is by linking them one jump ring at a time, but … if you want to finish making the piece a little faster, here’s what you might wanna do:


Scoop 2 pre-closed jump rings (shown in black) with another jump ring (shown in gold):

and then close it (the gold jump ring).


Double the gold jump ring by weaving it onto the black jump ring:

then, close that gold jump ring.


Next, weave yet another gold ring through the black rings


Weave 2 pre-closed black jump rings onto the gold jump ring (in this case, gold ring #3) before you close it.

5. Then, repeat steps 2 – 4 till you come up with the number of links you want.

Remember: 2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … with 2 jump rings

All I need to do now is to get a pair of ear wires & link the ear wires onto this handmade chain using the small jump ring I already attached on the top of this short chain.

I know, the design of this earring is not very attractive. So, let’s turn it into a necklace instead, shall we?

Simply repeat steps 2 – 4 till you have the length you want, then attach a toggle clasp at the ends of the chain using small jump rings:


If you like, you can embellish the chain with ready-made pendants or other jewelry findings.

The ones I used to create this piece are Tim Holtz‘s idea-ology World Keys and Sprocket Gears by available in JoAnn, Michaels, and (of course)

Angelica Brigade handmade hair fascinator AngelicaBrigade hatinator for wedding bridal bride race racing festival party parties special occassion event lolita silk flower floral organza shantung headpiece hair fascinator unusual unique couture quality


Now, some notes on the jump rings & pliers.

If you are not sure that chainmailling is for you & don’t want to purchase some things you might never use again, you can start by making your own jump rings & borrowing a pair of flat-nose electrical pliers (not the huge ones, though) … or getting them from a hardware store with a good return policy.

Or … get a chance to WIN chainmaille starter packs [ courtesy of Blue Buddha Boutique ] via an online GIVEAWAY I will host on this blog ( this weekend (Friday, November 16, 2012). The giveaway is open to everyone (not just U.S. residents). So, please check back this Friday, or – to receive a reminder about the giveaway – please follow my blog via email.

Thanks, and have a great week~

@k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

*** UPDATE: Get a chance to WIN a jewelry-making kit or an All-in-One ChainMaille Starter Pack.  For more details, please read this blog post >>>


[ This blog post is a part of my Intro to ChainMaille Jewelry Making series ]


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