Quick Japanese 12-in-2 Chain Maille Jewelry Tutorial

Photos by Michael Richardson.

One of our most popular posts in all of 2011 was this Japanese 12-in-2 chain maille tutorial from Sara Richardson. I see snowflakes when I see her finished piece–but I'm always wishing for snow this time of year! It also makes a very stylish pendant, or link several together into a bold bracelet. A pair would make wonderful earrings, and can you imagine a necklace made of these designs all the way around? Fabulous!

Quick Japanese 12-in-2 Chain Maille Tutorial
Sara used fourteen 18-gauge 3/16" (4.8mm) ID bright aluminum rings and twenty-four 20-gauge 1/8" (3.2mm) ID purple anodized aluminum rings for this quick tutorial. (These jump rings are from Blue Buddha Boutique.)


1. Open a large jump ring. Thread 8 closed smaller rings onto the open large ring. Close the large ring. Thread another open large jump ring through the same path. Close the second large ring.

2. Add 4 small open jump rings to the larger rings from Step 1. Close the smaller rings. You should now have a total of 12 smaller rings on the two larger rings.

3. Thread a new large jump ring through two of the small rings from Steps 1 and 2. Before closing, add 4 closed small jump rings. Weave on another open large jump ring, making sure it goes through all 6 small rings in this step. Close the second large jump ring.

4. With another open large jump ring, weave through 2 small rings from the middle (Steps 1 and 2). Also weave through 2 of the small jump rings added in the previous step. Then add 2 more closed small jump rings before closing the large ring. Weave a second large ring through the same path and close.

5. Repeat Step 4 three times. As you go along, you'll see a flower pattern begin to emerge.

6. Weave an open large jump ring through the 6 remaining small rings left hanging: 2 from the middle (Steps 1-2) , 2 from Step 3, and 2 from repeating Step 4 the third time. Close the ring. Weave another open large jump ring through the same path, and close that ring.

That's it, you're done!


Want more chain maille? Expand your jewelry-making skills in chain maille and other wire jewelry techniques with our brand new Step by Step Wire Jewelry 2010 collection CD, including seven project- and tip-packed issues from 2010, all in one convenient digital format.

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