Chain Maille Supplies from Blue Buddha Boutique
Back in March, I made my first-ever chain maille jewelry project from a free set of project instructions here on Beading Daily. I was a little nervous when I set out to try it, since wire work has never been my strength in jewelry-making, and I was more than a little intimidated by the thought of opening and closing all those jump rings. But what I found was that once I got started, there's a lovely, Zen-like rhythm to making chain maille jewelry, and I was eager to try more.
So when the owners of Blue Buddha Boutique approached me about participating in a chain maille blog hop and giveaway here on Beading Daily, I used it as an excuse to try some new chain maille weaves and learn a little more about chain maille in general!
I took advantage of the free chain maille projects available on the Blue Buddha Boutique website, and chose three projects: Shaggy Loops, Wiggle (Mobius), and the Double Spiral weave. Not only were the instructions easy to follow, they worked up much faster than I ever could have imagined. It took me about two hours one evening to whip up two bracelets and a pair of earrings, and then another hour the next morning to finish my third bracelet. Once I got started, it was hard to tear myself away from my bead mat and those shiny little jump rings.
Chain Maille Tip #1: Use a jump ring opener. The rhythmic linking and closing of the jump rings was made much easier by my new favorite chain maille tool: this little jump ring opener that slips over your finger. With it on the forefinger of my left hand, and holding my flat nose pliers in my right hand, I could open an entire bag of jump rings in just a few minutes. For just a few dollars, this chain maille tool is probably going to be one of my new favorite beading tools.
Chain Maille Tip #2: If you're a beginner, buy your jump rings. I know, there are purists out there who insist on making their own jump rings, and those that do add an extra special touch to their work. But for those of us who are wire work-impaired, buying your jump rings is so much easier and makes the whole process much more enjoyable! Don't get me wrong — I aspire to being able to make my own jump rings one day. For now, however, while I'm learning the ins and outs of all the different chain maille weaves, I'll stick to buying my jump rings pre-made and just focus on opening and closing them properly.
Chain Maille Tip #3: Stick to base metals for your first projects. Sure, I love the look of sterling silver chain maille, but while I'm still just getting started, I'm going to stick to buying high-quality base metal jump rings. Another plus to using base metal jump rings is that you can add a pop of color to your chain maille jewelry projects with those anodized aluminum, niobium, or enameled copper jump rings.
|Head on over to the Blue Buddha Boutique blog for a chance to win this easy starter chain maille kit.|
|Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a customized Shaggy Loops chain maille kit!|
Are you ready to get started with some chain maille jewelry? Our friends at Blue Buddha Boutique are here to help with a cool giveaway! Simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us either why you love chain maille jewelry, or why you want to get started with it, and someone will win a free Shaggy Loops chain maille pack! You have until 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, November 18, 2012 to leave your comments and be entered to win.
Once you've left your comment here, head on over to Blue Buddha Boutique and leave another comment on their blog to be entered to win an All-in-One Easy-to-Start Chain Maille Pack. Make sure you leave your comment before November 28, 2012, and you could find yourself the lucky recipient of a very cool chain maille kit! (Both contests are open to international entries, too!)
What's next? I've made up a list of new chain maille projects I want to try, including the fabulous Japanese Cross bracelet and Mesh and Rosettes. When I need a break from the bead-weaving (because we all need a creative break now and then), chain maille has given me something new to do with my hands while my beady brain takes a rest. A big thanks to the wonderful ladies over at Blue Buddha Boutique for all the inspiration!
|Japanese Cross chain maille bracelet project available from Blue Buddha Boutique||Mesh and Rosettes chain maille projects available from Blue Buddha Boutique|