Double Spiral Earrings

By on February 14, 2014
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by Judy Ellis,

Live from Tucson 2014

Tip for February 14, 2014

Tip Guide to Tucson!

Today we feature a great tip and a pattern shared with us by one of our wonderful instructors, Marilyn Gardiner. Take a look as Marilyn shares an easy tip on how to Open and Close Jump Rings as well as a beautiful chainmail pattern – The Double Spiral Earring!


Use 2 pairs of pliers to hold the sides of a jump ring with the opening at the top (12 o’clock). To avoid warping the ring, cover most of the ring with the 2 sets of pliers.

Hold the ring steady with your one hand while you rotate the wrist of your other hand, twisting the pliers tip away from you.

Never open up the loop by pulling it side to side—you won’t get it back into a true circle.

To Close a Ring:

Use 2 pairs of pliers to hold the sides of a jump ring with the opening at the top (12 o’clock).

Pull the ring ends back together by rotating your wrists and exerting a bit of inward pressure. You may hear a “click” as the ends meet.

The goal is to have the two ends lined up exactly, with no space between them.

Move the ends back and forth by small amounts to adjust the fit. If you go a bit past where they are even, they will spring back and match exactly.

Spend the time to close each ring carefully—this will be the mark of a professional finish to your work.

Before starting your first chainmail project, practice opening and closing rings until you feel confident. After opening and closing a whole lot of rings you WILL find it easy, you WON’T leave marks on the rings, and you WILL find that the pliers become an extension of your hands.

Double Spiral Chainmail Weave

This weave is part of the Spiral family of chainmail weaves.

Supplies:The jump rings for the short earrings in the photo are made from 1.0 mm diameter (18 gauge) round sterling wire.The inside diameter (I.D) of the rings is 5 mm.Quantity: 28You also need 2 jump rings, 1.0 mm (18 gauge) wire, with I.D. of 3 mm. These rings are used to attach the earring finding to the earring itself.

1 pair of earring findings

• french wire, • post, • lever-back, • clip on


2 pairs of smooth-jawed jewelers’ pliers.

Twist tie or 3″ piece of wire


Overview:The Double Spiral chain mail weave has each pair of rings placed through the previous 2 pairs.Notice the third pair of rings from the beginning. This pair passes through the first and second pairs of rings.
Step 1: The First 4 RingsClose 2 rings (JR-1&2) and open several more.Put an open ring (JR-3) through the 2 closed rings & close it.Put another open ring (JR-4) through the first 2 rings, and close it too.Put a twist tie or piece of wire through the first two rings so you have a “handle” to hold onto.Your rings should look like this photo.
Step 2: Find the HoleHold the twist tie & the edges of JR-1&2.Flip JR-3&4 upwards, and notice the hole, marked with an X, where the two pairs overlap.See the photo.
Step 3: Add Ring 5Insert JR-5 into that “hole”.See the photo.Tip: Be sure to open the rings wide enough so that you can maneuver them into place easily.
Step 4:Arrange Ring 5Close the ring.Let it flop downwards so it’s out of the way.See the photo.
Step 5: Add Ring 6Insert JR-6 into the same “hole”, just above JR-5.See the photo.Close the ring.Tip: Be careful not to go through JR-5 by accident.
Step 6: Observe Rings 5 & 6Notice in this photo that JR-5&6 go through the previous two pairs of rings.
Step 7: Find the Hole & Add Ring 7Push JR-5&6 upwards against JR 3&4.You will see the hole through the center of these four rings.Insert JR-7 into this opening.See the photo.

Close the ring.

Step 8: Add Ring 8Insert JR-8 in the same hole, just above JR-7.See the photo.
Step 9: Observe the PatternThis photo shows the first 4 pairs of rings.You can see the spiral pattern developing
Step 10: Continue the PatternThis photo shows the first 5 pairs of rings. To keep the spiral pattern, always push the most recent pair upwards to expose the hole for the next 2 jump rings.Tip: The word “upwards” makes sense if the twist tie is in your left hand and the chain is horizontal. If you hold the chain and let it dangle, then you will be pushing the last pair of rings “to the right” or “clockwise”Continue this pattern (steps 7 & 8), always adding 2 rings through the previous 2 pairs.Stop when you have a total of 7 pairs. This is the first earring.Make a second earring identical to the first.
Step 11: Add the Ear WiresUse an 18 gauge, 3 mm jump ring to connect each earring to an earring finding.

Pattern created and provided by Marilyn Gardiner.

Now we want to hear from you! What great tips do you have to share with us from Tucson?

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One Comment

  1. avatar

    Christine Hicks

    November 13, 2014 at 4:42 am

    I have become very interested in the chain maille Jewelry. I have had alot of people that like the simple earrings I made a year ago.
    Now I am having a hard time picking pre-made jump rings and it is confusing to me with the pre made one.
    So I figured if I make my own rings I would know exactly what I need in size, but getting the correct wire is now my problem.
    I see alot of rings made in 18-20 ga wire.
    I also see that the wire is also thick and thin.
    So which would be the better wire, thick or thin? and in what gauge?