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Corrugated knot chain bracelet

Combine basic wireworking skills with a traditional Byzantine chain mail pattern

It’s no secret that jewelry makers are, quite often, tool junkies. We get positively giddy over good tools — with “good” defined not just as high-quality tools from manufacturers, but also as those inventive little devices that our fellow jewelry makers cook up and make themselves.

This project involves two such wonderful homemade devices: a wire feeder and a jump ring opener. The raw ingredients to make these tools aren’t expensive — a wooden spring clothespin for one, and an old broom handle for the other.

Learn how to assemble the bracelet by reading the instructions below. For the complete project, with instructions on making the jump rings and your own tools, click here for the free project PDF.


  • Fine-silver wire: 18-gauge (1.0 mm) round, 5 in. (12.7 cm)
  • Sterling silver wire: 20-gauge (0.8 mm), round, 4 ft. (1.2 m)
  • Sterling silver jump rings: 16-gauge (1.3 mm), 4 mm inside diameter, 2
  • Crab-claw clasp

Additional tools & supplies

  • Wooden spring clothespin
  • Jump-ring-opening tool; or 3–4-in. (76–102 mm) wooden dowel, slotted screw (optional)
  • Coil winder
  • V-block tool (optional)
  • Shears
  • Tweezers
  • Ring stretcher (or snap ring pliers) (optional)
  • Felt-tip pen
  • Corrugator (choose from): paper crimper or tube wringer



Corrugated knot chain bracelet 1
Photo 1
Corrugated knot chain bracelet 2
Photo 2

(These instructions are for Part 2 of this project, assembling the bracelet. For complete instructions, download the free project PDF here).

Weave the chain. Pick up a corrugated ring. (If desired, you can thread a paper clip or twist tie through this ring for a better grip.) Thread a 3.6 mm sterling silver jump ring through the corrugated ring and close it; repeat with a second 3.6 mm ring. Thread a third 3.6 mm ring through the first pair of rings and close it; repeat to add a fourth 3.6 mm ring [1].

Grasp the corrugated ring and the first pair of 3.6 mm rings between your thumb and forefinger. Separate the second pair of 3.6 mm rings and flip them back, one to each side of the first pair [2].

Corrugated knot chain bracelet 3
Photo 3

Grasp the corrugated ring and the second pair of 3.6 mm rings between your thumb and forefinger, and push up on the second pair of rings. Insert a scribe or needle tool above the corrugated ring to hold the first pair of rings open and expose the second pair of rings [3].

Thread a fifth 3.6 mm ring through the V-shaped opening in the knot, then through a second corrugated ring, and close it. Repeat to add a second 3.6 mm ring through the same path, going through the two 3.6 mm rings and the corrugated ring.

You have just completed a Byzantine knot at the end of the first corrugated ring and added a second corrugated ring to your chain.

Each corrugated ring and Byzantine knot is slightly under 1 in. (25.5 mm) long; you can estimate the length of the chain by counting the corrugated rings.

Continue adding corrugated rings and Byzantine knots until your chain reaches the desired length. End the chain with a Byzantine knot (rather than a single ring).

Add the clasp and finish the chain. Open two 4 mm inside diameter (ID) sterling silver jump rings. Thread a single 4 mm jump ring through the Byzantine knot at the end of the chain; add the clasp to this jump ring and then close the ring.

Thread a second 4 mm jump ring through the corrugated ring at the end of the chain, then close the ring. This ring will form the other half of the clasp. Alternately, you can skip this second jump ring and close the bracelet by closing the clasp through the final elongated corrugated link.

Place the chain in a tumbler with mixed stainless steel shot and burnishing compound. Tumble the chain for 1–2 hours. Remove the chain from the tumbler, rinse it with running water, and then dry it. Pull the chain through your hand. If the chain feels rough, put it back in the tumbler, and tumble it until the chain feels smooth. Additional tumbling will not harm the chain.

Photos by Herb Halpern.

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