I recently bought a chainmaille kit from a friend at work. She had put together various rings, scales, and instructions for a newbie. This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while so I was really excited to give this a go.
Chainmaille is armour or jewelry made by connecting metal rings. Using pliers the rings are attached into a pattern. It’s almost like knitting but with metal, so naturally I’m interested. Since this kit came with scales I will be using those first.
The first project was to make a flower, which is just five scales held together with rings. The instructions were easy to follow, although at one point I went with the wrong size ring and didn’t think it would matter. Turns out it did, the thicker rings meant the ring that held the scales together wouldn’t close. So there was a bit of a restart.
Since the pieces are all small you definitely need two pairs of pliers and a certain level of calmness. Adding everything to the centre ring is a challenge, the scales tend to slide off until it’s closed. Also when you get the final tiny ring on the flower there isn’t have a lot of give, that is where you will spend the majority of your time. It can be extremely frustrating. You should note if you use coloured rings, you have to be somewhat gentle and not slide the pliers or it will scratch the ring. Once the final ring is added to the flower it’s pretty solid and the scales won’t move around, it keeps it’s form nicely.
Since ring sizes matter, organization is really key here. There are so many small rings that look almost the same. If you invest in this, well labelled containers are key.
In the end this looks really cool, so cool that I made twelve. I don’t really have a plan for what to do with these. Maybe add a chain and turn it into a necklace or keychain. I imagine you could add a hair clip or pin if you wanted. It was just kind of addictive to make, the first one took a while but by the third one I had found my rhythm, cut my time in half and just wanted to keep going. I started adding two scales to each petal and switching up some of the ring colours which added a lot of variety. In the end it built a lot of confidence working with the rings and scales before I start really branching out into other jewelry.
If you are looking for supplies, try The Ring Lord. Their flower kits are $25.30USD and make approximately 20 flowers and can be found here.