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Chain of command copper bracelet

Forge a chain mail bracelet with copper jump rings and a burst of colorful beads.

SUPPLIES

bracelet 8 1⁄2 in. (21.6 cm)

  • 9 8 mm beads
  • 127 4.8 mm inside-diameter (ID) copper jump rings, 17-gauge
  • 3 in. (7.6 cm) 16-gauge copper wire
  • 6 in. (15 cm) 17-gauge copper wire
  • 2 yd. (1.8 m) 21-gauge copper wire
  • liver of sulfur (optional)
  • chainnose pliers
  • flatnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

BEAD LINKS

1. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 21-gauge copper wire, and make a wrapped loop. String an 8 mm bead, and make another wrapped loop.

2. Repeat step 1 for a total of nine bead links, and set them aside.

CHAIN MAIL

1. Open 123 4.8 mm jump rings, and close four.

2. Slide an open jump ring through the four closed jump rings, and close it.

Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo A
PHOTO A
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo B
PHOTO B

3. Position the five-ring chain so the first and last pair of jump rings are parallel to the work surface on either side of the single jump ring (PHOTO A).

4. Slide an open jump ring through the last two closed jump rings in the chain, and close it (PHOTO B). 

Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo C
PHOTO C

 

Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo D
PHOTO D

 

5. Slide two open jump rings through the jump ring added in step 4, and close them.

6. Slide an open jump ring through the first two jump rings and the last two jump rings in the chain, and close it to form a ring (PHOTO C).

7. Position the single jump rings on top. Cut a 6-in. (15 cm) piece of 21-gauge wire, and weave it through the remaining six jump rings to stabilize your work.

8. Slide an open jump ring through two of the adjacent single jump rings, and close it (PHOTO D). Repeat twice to connect the second and third single jump rings and the third and first single jump rings. 

9. Repeat step 8 seven times.

10. Slide an open jump ring through two adjacent rings and a loop of a bead link, and close it. Repeat twice for a total of three bead links.

11. Slide an open jump ring through the remaining loop of a bead link, and close it. Repeat for the remaining two bead links.

12. Repeat steps 8–11 twice.

13. Repeat step 8 eight times.

CLASP
You can always use a ready-made clasp, but if you would like to make a handmade clasp like the designer’s, follow these steps. 
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo E
PHOTO E
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo F
PHOTO F

1. Cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of 17-gauge wire. Using roundnose pliers, turn up one end. Using chainnose or flatnose pliers, press the end to the wire (PHOTO E).

2. About 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) from the first bend, use roundnose pliers to bend the wire back toward the first bend, making a small hook as shown (PHOTO F).

Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo G
PHOTO G
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo H
PHOTO H

3. About 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) from the curve of the hook, use flatnose pliers to bend the wire straight back toward the hook, and squeeze it together to make a tongue (PHOTO G).

4. Using your fingers, form the wire into a 1⁄2-in. (1.3 cm) loop (PHOTO H), leaving a 3-in. (7.6 cm) tail. 

Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo I
PHOTO I
5. Cut a 3-in. (7.6 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire and a 1-yd. (.9 m) piece of 21-gauge wire. Center the 21-gauge wire on the 16-gauge wire, and coil half of the 21-gauge wire around it, keeping the coils straight and snugging them right next to each other. Repeat with the other half of the 21-gauge wire until the coil is 2 in. (5 cm) long (PHOTO I).
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo J
PHOTO J
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo K
PHOTO K

6. Slide the coil off the 16-gauge wire, and slide it onto the 1⁄2-in. (1.3 cm) loop (PHOTO J). Trim the coil if it extends past the 1⁄2-in. (1.3 cm) loop.

7. Using roundnose pliers, make a decorative spiral with the tail of the wire (PHOTO K).

Chain of command copper bracelet hero Photo L
PHOTO L
Chain of command copper bracelet hero Clasp detail
THE FINISHED, OXIDIZED CLASP

8. Cut a 2 1⁄2-in. (6.4 cm) piece of 17-gauge wire. With roundnose pliers, form a decorative spiral on one end of the wire. Place the roundnose pliers 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) from the coil, and bend the wire back toward the coil. Place the roundnose pliers on the wire below the coil, and make a gentle right-angle bend back toward the coil. Make a plain loop (PHOTO L). 

To patinate your wire and jump rings, you can submerge them in liver of sulfur, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Polish the surface to bring out more of the copper color.

FINISHING

1. Remove the scrap wire from the chain mail portion of the bracelet.

2. Open and remove a jump ring from each pair of jump rings added in steps 1–6.

3. Slide an open jump ring through two adjacent jump rings on one end of the bracelet and through the coiled loop of the first half of the clasp, and close the jump ring. Repeat to connect a different pair of adjacent jump rings to the coiled loop.

4. Repeat step 3 on the other end of the bracelet with the other half of the clasp.

FIND MORE: chain mail , bracelets , wirework , wire

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