By Spider
SHARE IT
Pin this on Pinterest

Chain mail clusters

Intricate-looking chain mail focal points are easy to create

Learn how to form chain mail clusters to create front-and-center focal points. To maximize your creative time for cluster making, feel free to use premade chain to support your focal pieces. This design makes it easy to play around with variations — try using jump rings in different colors, as in the two- and four-color versions, or adding beads between the clusters, as in the pearl version. The step-by-step photos show the one-color version, with substitution instructions following for the other variations.

SUPPLIES 

One-color necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 3 top-drilled drop beads
  • 20-gauge jump rings
    • 29 3 mm inside diameter (ID)
    • 6 2.5 mm ID

Two-color necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 3 beads with loops at the top
  • 20-gauge jump rings
    • 24 4 mm ID sterling silver
    • 2 2.5 mm ID sterling silver
    • 5 4 mm ID contrasting color
    • 6 2.5 mm ID contrasting color

Four-color necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 3 beads with loops at the top
  • 20-gauge jump rings
    • 7 4 mm ID, color A
    • 10 4 mm ID, color B
    • 7 4 mm ID, color C
    • 5 4 mm ID, color D
    • 6 2.5 mm ID, sterling silver

Pearl necklace 18 in. (46 cm)

  • 7 4–6 mm rice pearls
  • 12 in. (30 cm) 24-gauge gold-filled wire
  • 3 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) 24-gauge decorative head pins
  • 20-gauge gold-filled jump rings
    • 4 2.5 mm ID
    • 29 4 mm ID
  • roundnose plier

All projects

  • 16 in. (41 cm) fine chain
  • small toggle clasp
  • 2 pairs of chainnose, bentnose, or flatnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
INSTRUCTIONS
 
One-color version
Chain mail clusters 1
Step 1
Cut two 8-in. (20 cm) pieces of chain. Open a 2.5 mm jump ring, attach one end of one chain and one half of a toggle clasp, and close the jump ring. Repeat with the second chain and the other half of the clasp.
Chain mail clusters 2
Step 2
Close seven 3 mm jump rings and four 2.5 mm jump rings. Open 22 3 mm jump rings. Using an open jump ring, attach the unused end of one chain and a closed 3 mm ring. Close the ring.
Chain mail clusters 3
Step 3
Thread a ring through the closed 3 mm ring you just added and through another closed 3 mm ring. Close the ring. Thread a ring through the closed 3 mm ring just added and through two closed 2.5 mm rings. Close the ring. This forms the first section containing five 3 mm rings.
Chain mail clusters 4
Step 4
To make the center section, link seven 3 mm rings, threading the first ring through the set of 2.5 mm rings. To the seventh 3 mm ring, add another pair of 2.5 mm rings. Repeat to build a third section, linking five 3 mm rings and joining the last ring to the unused end of the other chain.
Chain mail clusters 5
Step 5
Starting at the left end of the first 3 mm chain section, hold the first ring flat with your nondominant hand. Slide the second and third links into position, as shown; you will likely need to rotate each of them away from you to orient them properly. Thread an open 3 mm ring through the opening created between the first and third ring, and close the ring.
Chain mail clusters 6
Step 6
Repeat with the third, fourth, and fifth rings.
Chain mail clusters 7
Step 7
Skipping the 2.5 mm rings, repeat steps 5 and 6 for the second and third sections, adding three rings to the center section and two rings to the third section. Try to keep the overlap direction consistent in each section.
Chain mail clusters 8
Step 8
Thread a jump ring through the first two lower rings in the center section, and close the ring.
Chain mail clusters 8a
Step 8a
Thread a ring through the second and third lower rings, and close the ring.
Chain mail clusters 9
Step 9
Thread a ring through a bead and through the two lower rings in the center section. Close the ring.
Chain mail clusters 10
Step 10
Repeat step 9 on the two lower rings in the first and third sections.
Chain mail clusters v2
Two-color version
Chain mail clusters v2a
Step 3

Two-color version

To make this variation, you’ll substitute 4 mm jump rings for the one-color version’s 3 mm jump rings throughout.

1. Repeat step 1 of the one-color version, using 2.5 mm sterling silver jump rings.

2. Close five 4 mm sterling silver jump rings, two 4 mm contrasting jump rings, and four 2.5 mm contrasting jump rings. Open two 2.5 mm contrasting jump rings and 19 4 mm sterling jump rings. Using an open 2.5 mm contrasting ring, attach the unused end of one chain and a closed 4 mm sterling ring. Close the ring. 

3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 of the one-color version, placing a contrasting 4 mm jump ring as the third ring in the first and last sections and as the third and fifth rings in the center section (shown in red in the photo at right). Use contrasting 2.5 mm rings as the pairs between sections and to attach the last jump ring to the chain.

4. Repeat steps 5–7 of the one-color version, but when you add the second ring in the center section, use a contrasting 4 mm ring.

5. Repeat steps 8–10 of the one-color version to complete the necklace.
Chain mail clusters v4
Four-color version
Chain mail clusters v4a
Step 3

Four-color version

To make this variation, you’ll substitute 4 mm jump rings for the one-color version’s 3 mm jump rings throughout.

1. Repeat step 1 of the one-color version.

2. Close seven color A jump rings. Open the remaining 4 mm jump rings. Use a color B jump ring (shown in silver in the photo in step 3) to attach the chain to an A ring (shown in green in the photo in step 3).

3. To the A ring just added, attach a B ring, an A ring, a B ring, and two closed 2.5 mm rings; this is the first section. To make the center and third sections, attach rings in the following order: B, A, B, A, B, A, B, plus a pair of closed 2.5 mm rings for the center section; and B, A, B, A, B for the third section, attaching the chain with the final B.

4. Repeat steps 5–7 of the one-color version, using color C jump rings.

5. Repeat steps 8–10 of the one-color version, using color D jump rings to complete the necklace.

Chain mail clusters pearl
Pearl version

Pearl version

To make this variation, you’ll substitute 4 mm jump rings for the one-color version’s 3 mm jump rings throughout.

1. To make the pearl dangles, string a pearl on a head pin and make a wrapped loop above the bead. Repeat to make a total of three pearl dangles.

2. To make the pearl bead units, cut four 3-in. (7.6 cm) pieces of gold-filled wire. On one end of a wire, make a small wrapped loop. String a pearl on the wire, and make a small wrapped loop on the other end of the wire. Repeat to make a total of four pearl bead units. 

3. Repeat step 1 of the one-color version.

4. Close seven 4 mm jump rings and two 2.5 mm jump rings. Open 22 4 mm jump rings. Use a 2.5 mm ring to attach the unused end of one chain and one loop of a bead unit. Close the ring. Thread a 4 mm ring through the bead unit’s other loop and through a closed 4 mm ring. Close the ring.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 of the one-color version, substituting a bead unit for each pair of 2.5 mm rings. Attach the last 4 mm jump ring to a bead unit, and use a 2.5 mm ring to attach the bead unit to the chain.

6. Repeat steps 5–8 of the one-color version to complete the necklace.

7. Thread a jump ring through a dangle and through the two lower jump rings in the center section. Close the ring. Repeat on the two lower rings in the first and third sections.

FIND MORE: chain mail , earrings

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FacetJewelry.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
PRODUCTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
BOOK
$19.99
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
$3.95
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!