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Crystal chain mail bracelet

Incorporate a strand of crystals in a chain mail bracelet and choker

Combine two classic chain mail techniques – Japanese Overlay and Corduroy Weave – to make an unusual chain with layers and a flat base. Add color to the chain with crystals, as shown here, or substitute glass beads, semiprecious stones, or freshwater pearls.


Both projects

  • chainnose pliers
  • bentnose pliers
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters

Bracelet 8 in. (20cm)

  • 11 6mm round crystals
  • 1⁄2 troy oz. (16g) sterling silver jump rings, 10mm inside diameter, 15-gauge wire (, code WW)
  • 3⁄4 troy oz. (24g) sterling silver jump rings, 5.5mm inside diameter, 17-gauge wire (, code QQ)
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 2 crimp beads
  • flexible beading wire, .014

Choker 14 in. (36cm)

  • 22 6mm round crystals
  • 1 troy oz. (32g) sterling silver jump rings, 10mm inside diameter, 15-gauge wire (, code WW)
  • 1 1⁄2 troy oz. (48g) sterling silver jump rings, 5.5mm inside diameter, 17-gauge wire (, code QQ)
  • lobster claw clasp
  • 2 crimp beads
  • flexible beading wire, .014



Connect the jump rings

Always open and close jump rings using two pairs of pliers. Hold the jump ring with one pair, and open or close it with the second pair.

Crystal chain mail bracelet a
Photo a
1. Close 44 and open 11 5.5mm jump rings. 

2. Slide four closed 5.5mm rings on an open 5.5mm ring (PHOTO A). Close the jump ring. Repeat with the remaining rings to make 11 four-in-one sets.
Crystal chain mail bracelet b
Photo b
3. Open 12 10mm rings.  

4. Separate the four rings in a four-in-one set into two pairs. Flip one pair of rings so they are side by side on your work surface (PHOTO B).
Crystal chain mail bracelet c
Photo c
Slide a 10mm ring through the two side-by-side 5.5mm rings (PHOTO C).
Crystal chain mail bracelet d
Photo d
5. Close the 10mm ring, and tape it to your work surface so the rings are easier to position. Flip the other pair of 5.5mm rings toward each other. The inside edge of the rings will touch, and the rings will not lie flat (PHOTO D).
Crystal chain mail bracelet e2
Photo e
6. Repeat step 4. Connect the new 10mm ring to the available pair of 5.5mm rings on the previous four-in-one set. Remove the tape, close the 10mm ring, and flip the next pair of 5.5mm rings as in step 5 (PHOTO E).
Crystal chain mail bracelet f
Photo f
7. Continue connecting four-in-one sets with the remaining 10mm rings from step 3 (PHOTO F). You won’t need to secure the chain to your work surface. Connect the last 10mm ring to the end pair of 5.5mm rings.

8. Open 20 5.5mm rings.
Crystal chain mail bracelet g
Photo g
9. Starting at the second 10mm ring on the chain, slide a 5.5mm ring through the top two 5.5mm rings within the 10mm ring (PHOTO G).
Crystal chain mail bracelet gh
Photo h
Close the 5.5mm ring, and repeat with the bottom two 5.5mm rings (PHOTO H). Continue along the length of the chain.

10. Close one 5.5mm ring, and open 10 5.5mm rings.
Crystal chain mail bracelet hi
Photo i
11. Working on one end of the chain, connect two 5.5mm rings to the end 10mm ring. Flip the rings as shown, and connect the lobster claw clasp to the two 5.5mm rings using a third ring (PHOTO I).
Crystal chain mail bracelet ij
Photo j
Connect two rings to the 5.5mm rings within the end 10mm ring, as in step 9 (PHOTO J). 

12. Repeat step 11 at the other end of the chain, substituting the closed 5.5mm ring for the lobster claw clasp.

13. Open 11 10mm rings.
Crystal chain mail bracelet jk
Photo k
14. Starting at one end, slide a 10mm ring through the vertical 5.5mm rings in the centers of the first two10mm rings (PHOTO K).
Crystal chain mail bracelet k
Photo l
Close the ring. Repeat along the chain (PHOTO L).
Crystal chain mail bracelet m
Photo m
PHOTO M shows the side view of the finished chain.
Crystal chain mail bracelet n
Photo n
String the crystals

 Cut a 1-ft. (30cm) length of flexible beading wire, and string a crimp bead. Starting at one end of the chain, slide the end of the wire between the two vertical 5.5mm rings and up through the center of the 10mm ring. Bring the wire back through the crimp bead. Position the crimp bead next to the 10mm ring, crimp the crimp bead, and trim the wire tail as close to the crimp bead as possible (PHOTO N).
Crystal chain mail bracelet o
Photo o
2. String a crystal, and bring the end of the wire under the other side of the 10mm ring, between the next two vertical 5.5mm rings, and out through the center of the next 10mm ring (PHOTO O).
Crystal chain mail bracelet p
Photo p
3. Pull on the wire, popping the crystal into the center of the first 10mm ring (PHOTO P).  

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 along the chain. String a crimp bead after the last crystal, and crimp the wire to the other end as in step 1.

Editor’s note: To keep the crystals from sliding inside the chain and to hide the beading wire between the crystals, adapt the instructions as follows:

Work steps 1–3 of “String the crystals.”

String a 2mm round silver bead, a 4mm crystal, and a 2mm bead. Position the crystal under the two 5.5mm jump rings.

Repeat this pattern, ending with a crimp bead instead of a 2mm bead. The photos below show the crystals’ placement on the top, side, and bottom of the chain. 



Follow the directions for the bracelet, using the number of jump rings necessary to reach your desired length. When stringing the crystals, use a length of flexible beading wire 4 in. (10cm) longer than the chain length.

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