Patchwork Chainmaille Bracelet

Over the holidays I was perusing Mom's collection of beading magazines and came across the article "Patchwork Principle" in the April 2008 issue of Bead & Button.  It featured a bracelet made of patchwork rounds based on the Celtic star pattern designed by Amanda Shero.  I loved how different and colorful it was and chose it to be my first chainmaille project.  I put this bracelet together before I ever even thought about starting this blog, so this post is a show and tell.  If you want to know more about it, you can find the instructions and pre-made kits at the designer's website or by tracking down the magazine.

Collecting my supplies was probably the hardest part of making this bracelet since I knew nothing about chainmaille.  I expected to walk into my local craft store and pick up everything I needed, but they didn't carry most of the rings sizes.  I ended up ordering from the retailer listed in the article, Blue Buddha Boutique.


  • 50 orange 18-gauge 6.4mm ID anodized aluminum rings
  • 150 orange 18-gauge 4mm ID anodized aluminum rings
  • 100 blue 18-gauge 6.4mm ID anodized aluminum rings
  • 50 18-gauge 3.2mm ID aluminum rings
  • 50 18-gauge 4mm ID aluminum rings
  • 50 18-gauge 4.8mm ID aluminum rings

When my rings arrived and I was ready to get started, I realized I had no idea how to work with the jump rings.  Thankfully, I had checked out Chained by Rebeca Mojica(founder of Blue Buddha Boutique) from the library.  It had great instructions and illustrations on the tools I needed, opening and closing rings, and lots more.  As I was working on my first round, I kept scratching the rings with my pliers.  I found this was easily avoided with a plier coating available at my local craft store.

To create the bracelet, you construct 7 rounds.  Each round took me less than an hour to put together.  Making each round was pretty straightforward:  you create the base, add the inside large orange rings, then add the outside large blue rings.  After you link them all together, you connect 3 6.4 mm rings with a small 3.2 mm ring.  This was where I ran into trouble.  I found the 3.2mm rings to be difficult to open and close and very hard to get through the small space they needed to go through.  There was a lot of frustration and a little yelling, but I made it through.  I added a clasp and chain tomake it adjustable and called it done.  In the end, I came out with a decent looking piece.  It is by no means perfect and may one day fall apart, but what matters the most is that I discovered chainmaille is fun!  Practice makes perfect, right?