Monday, August 26, 2013

Chainmaille Jewelry

Since we started eating organic the money goes so fast, especially with two teen age boys. I have been thinking of ways to make money from home seeing as they are both being homeschooled. I'm done with being a consultant with some other company, it just doesn't suit me.

I love the Steampunk style, for those who don't know what Steampunk is, it is Victorian meets sci fi. Below is a picture of a group of people dressed in Steampunk fashion at the Renaissance Fair last year.

The other day I was pinning some Steampunk jewelry, and thought hey why I can't I make some. So, I started watching videos on YouTube, and they were using chainmaille, how cool is that. While chainmaille is often associated with medieval armor it is also used to make jewelry, and clothing. You will also see it spelled various ways all are correct, go figure.

Chainmaille is the art of linking small metal rings (jump rings) together to form a pattern. Those who make jewelry and clothing with it call it a weave instead of a pattern.

I was so excited to get started with this ancient art I went out and purchased some items for my first attempt at making some Steampunk chainmaille jewelry. Because I have never done this before I decided to start simple, and with bigger jump rings.  I also decided to  use a key and was looking for some ribbon, but found some trim that went well with the rest of my items for the choker I wanted to make. So, here is the finished product.

Nope not a choker, I was going to use the trim to tie it around the neck, but there was the issue with the ends fraying. So, back to Hobby Lobby to get some ribbon crimps, and I also picked up this beautiful toggle to close it with.

I linked the jump rings together than wove the trim in and out of the jump rings. At the end of each ring I attached it by just including two weaves verses one. Also the key was not laying right attached to the bigger jump ring, so I bought 2mm jump rings and attached two of them to the bigger one, now that's better.

So, it went from being a choker to a necklace that measures 14 1/2 inches long. The jump rings were not easy to work with, I figure with some time it will get easier. Those on the videos made it look easy, but in reality it is harder than it looks especially when it comes to the smaller jump rings.

Gears are a big part of Steampunk, and I bought some to incorporate into my first piece, but was not happy with the look. Yes, I will be making more, and I already have an idea using just the gears.

Oh I almost forgot I wanted to show you a close up of the key I love the detail in it. I only wish it was on both sides. In the near future my daughter and I will be opening an Etsy store. We will have handmade Steampunk jewelry, along with my homemade salve, organic herbs, and whatever else we decided to create.

Our future store will also feature customized pieces. What that means is you pick the style and the materials to incorporate, and we will create it for you. 

Do you like Steampunk, or make chainmaille jewelry? I would love to hear about and see it.