"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chainmail Making for Dummies, Part 1

In what may be a series of posts over some great amount of time, I give you Chainmail Making for Dummies. And for the record, until two weeks ago, I never had any intention of making chainmail in my life.

*** And I don't claim to be an expert at all, so if you are looking for expert chainmail instructions, you are totally in the wrong place! This is just a new hobby for me, nothing else. ***

So yes, I've started making my own chainmail. It's the perfect poolside activity while whiling away your last few days of summer, your Friday evenings, or your time on boring conference calls.

Anyway, here are just a few pics for how to get started. As my piece comes together, I'll post more on technique and the finished product, but this is just to show how much fun I've already been having!


Tools you will need:

(You probably have most of the required tools sitting in your garage.)

 Drill (that will fit the dowel), needle-nose pliers, nippers, gloves,
a wooden dowel (mine is just under 1/2")

 Wire - Available at Home Depot


How I'm going about doing this :)

Step (1) - Wind the wire around the dowel using your drill. These are not my best coils. I've already snipped most and these are what's left.

Step (2) - Snip each ring off the wound coil using the nippers. I recommend a second set of nippers and gloves, and an assistant with strong hands.


Step (3) - Close half the rings and open half the rings.

Step (4) - Attach 4 closed rings to 1 open ring and then close that ring. Do lots of these sets of 5.

Step (5) - Link the sets of 5 rings together using open rings (which you then close). You should now have long strands that look really cool!

Step (6) - Link the long strands together using open rings. Now you are really getting somewhere! (these are just short strands linked together, fyi.)


Okay, I'll post more pics and details as I get them, but this is about where I am so far. My goal is to make an awesome outfit for the Renaissance Festival in October, so I still have about 2 months to go.

Are you confused? Excited? Ready to make your own? I hope so!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

*mouth hanging open* Holy Time Consumption. That looks fantastic. I'm excited to see your whole ensemble when you finish. I might try for a chain mail choker or wrist cuff, yeah, I could get that far. :D

PJ Hoover said...

Yes, Tricia! But it's a good thing to do while chatting with friends. As long as they aren't afraid of hanging out with you while doing it.
You totally should do some!

Kris @Imaginary Reads said...

That's impressive! Your chainmail is looking awesome. Have fun with your project. I hope you're planning to show us the final result because I want to see it!!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Kris! I am really enjoying it and find it a nice way to take my mind off writing :) I will totally update with the finished project in what I dream will be all its awesomeness!

Leeanna said...

That looks like a lot of fun!

PJ Hoover said...

Definitely, Leeanna! It is a ton of fun!

Anonymous said...

I"m so impressed - AND I need to know when you are going to the Renaissance festival so I can SEE the OUTFIT! Chain ON!

Anonymous said...

I"m so impressed - AND I need to know when you are going to the Renaissance festival so I can SEE the OUTFIT! Chain ON!

PJ Hoover said...

Yes, Melissa! You should go the same time! October 13th weekend!