Nov 4, 2012

Chain Mail Beaded Charm Bracelet

I have always been fascinated by chain mail jewelry, but I knew I would not have the patience to make a whole bracelet one link at a time. Then one day I saw a friend of mine, Natalie wearing a cute bracelet made with rows of  large chain and charms. It reminded me of chain mail, so this design was inspired by that bracelet. 


 Don't worry if you cannot find a slide clasp. I will show you how to improvise. You will also need a wire cutter, pliers and round nose pliers. 

First things first. Since this takes a lot of jump ring opening and closing, I want to make sure everyone knows how to properly open a jump ring. 

Measure your wrist and cut chain to length. Cut 3 or more strands of chain. (If the chain links open then you do not need to cut the chain.)

Use jump rings or the opened chain links to attach the strands of chains to one side of the slide bar.

Make sure to close the jump rings or the chain links. 

Start linking the different rows together with jump rings. I alternated and linked as follows:

Row 1 + Row 2:  started at the 2nd links from the clasp and every other until the end
Row 2 + Row 3:  started at the 1st links from the clasp and every other until the end. 

The hardest part is done. 

Next prepare some charms. 

Slide the loop on a link, using the pliers grab the link and the head pin loop firmly and wrap the head pin around itself a couple times. Cut off extra wire from head pin.

Done? Now you just need to attach the other side of the chains to the clasp. 


But what if you do not have a slide clasp? 
No problem. Grab 2 or 3 lobster claw clasps. Do not attach them yet! You will begin with linking the first chain link in each chain strand together with jump rings. So, link Row #1 to Row #2, Row #2 to Row #3 and so forth. Do this at both ends. Then you can start linking together the chain strands (Rows) with jump rings alternating in each row like I explained above. 

Attach the lobster claws when you are done and that's it. 

This is how it looks from the back.

I actually like this better than the slide clasp. The bracelet becomes adjustable in length this way!