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- Featured Tool: Bracelet Bending Plier
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Free Pattern: Copper Braided Chain Maille Bracelet
by Judy Ellis, Wirejewelry.com
Wire Jewelry Pattern for May 15th, 2017
Copper Braided Chain Maille Bracelet
by Kylie Jones
This bracelet uses the 4 in 1 chain maille weave in a thin band with a decorative plaited chain center. The copper is darkened with liver of sulfur for a modern street style look.
- 18 gauge AWG Copper Jump Rings 4.1mm ID (Pattern Quantity – 2 Pieces)
- 11mm Copper Lobster Clasp (Pattern Quantity – 1 Pieces)
- 18 gauge AWG Copper Jump Rings 3.2mm ID (Pattern Quantity – 170 Pieces)
- Flat Nose Wire Plier (Pattern Quantity – 2 Pieces, Product ID: G2-506)
- Liver of Sulfur 4 oz (Pattern Quantity – 1 Piece, Product ID: SOL-600.04)
Step 1: Place 4 closed rings on an open ring and close the ring.
Step 2: Arrange the rings into 3 columns by splitting the 4 rings into the 2 outside columns and having the single ring as the inside column. For the following instructions the raised edge of the rings in the outside columns (1 and 3) are on the left hand side of the ring (red dots) and the inside column (2) has the raised edge of the ring on the right hand side (blue dots).
Step 3: To add a row take an open ring and go down into the bottom front ring in column 1 and up through the top front ring in column 3. Place 2 closed rings on the open ring and close the ring. Arrange the rings so that the new rings are split between columns 1 and 3 and the raised edge of the rings conform to the pattern set out in step 2.
Step 4: Keep adding rows until you have a strip of chain maille with 17 rows in total. Make 2 pieces like this.
Step 5: Make 3 lengths of 1-in-1 chain. Two should be 20 rings long and one 22 rings long. To make a 1-in-1 chain simply add a ring to a ring. Then add another ring until you have the desired length.
Step 6: Position one of your chain maille pieces so the raised ring edges are as before (see step 2). Take an open ring and as if you are adding another row go down into the bottom front ring and up through the top front ring. Place one end ring from the longest chain onto this open ring and close the ring.
Step 7: Take an open ring and go through the bottom front ring, place one end ring from one of the shorter chains on the open ring and close the ring.
Step 8: Join the last chain to the front top ring in the same way as step 7.
Step 9: Braid the chains by first taking the top chain over the middle chain, this top chain now becomes the middle chain. Take the bottom chain over the middle chain, the bottom chain now becomes the middle chain. Take the top chain over the middle chain and now the longest of the 3 chains is back in the middle.
Step 10: To attach the chains to the other chain maille piece position the chain maille strip so that it is a mirror image of the other strip. This means the raised ring edges are the opposite to before in step 2 with the top of the middle column ring on the left (blue dot). Take an open ring and go down through the bottom front ring and up through the top front ring, place the end ring from the middle chain on the open ring and close the ring.
Step 11: Attach the 2 outer chains in the same way as steps 7 and 8.
Step 12: To finish off the bracelet position one end of the bracelet so the raised ring edge pattern is the same as before as set out in step 2, you may need to flip it over. Take an open ring and as before go down into the bottom front ring and up through the top front ring, place a closed 5/32″ ring on the open ring and close the ring.
Step 13: Do the same with the other end and attach the clasp to the 5/32″ ring.
Step 14: To darken the copper I used liver of sulfur (LOS) gel and water. I don’t put the clasp in the LOS water mix I use a paintbrush to paint it on, this just protects the inner workings of the clasp. Make sure your copper is clean (I use Penny Brite which is biodegradable, and a toothbrush to clean the entire chain). I use the LOS mix cold to avoid fumes but it works much faster if the piece or the water are warm. My mix is about 1/2 cup of water and a few drops of LOS gel. Once you have the color you like, rinse it in a cup of cold water with 1 tbsp of baking soda. This will neutralize the LOS on the chain. To dispose of the LOS add the cup of baking soda/water to the LOS mix.
Step 15: To turn the matte finish into a soft reflective finish you can use a beeswax polish or other wax, which will help to protect the color. Make sure the piece is completely dry from the LOS before you polish.