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Chainmail Cross – How To

I was constantly running out of crosses once I started making my own rosaries. So I thought figure out how to make some of my own handmade crosses (in 2011).  Here is a succinct how-to on making some chainmail crosses.

 

A. Handmade Crosses – Wire Wrapped and Chainmail Cross

Wire Wrapped and ChainMail Cross

I used Byzantine weave to first create the chainmail cross. I am not sure if I should still call it the Byzantine Weave as I modified it by making it a tight Byzantine weave.  It then has more solidity and rigidity. (For more information, see B. ChainMail Cross below).

I used both open and close jump rings. (Silver plated over brass. Lead free. Nickel free.)

First I made the tall upright section.  Then I “picked up” from the side to make the arms.

Once the cross is completed, I wire wrapped around it with beads.  The beads were Swarovski #5328 XILION bicone crystals (4mm – Crystal Silver Night, Crystal clear).

On three of the “arms”, I wire-sewed in Swarovski Chaton Montees (Crystal AB).

Wire Wrapped and Chain Mail Cross

Below, the cross is propped up.  It shows how solid and strong the body of the cross is.  It easily holds its shape.

Rigid Handmade Cross

Rigid Handmade Cross

 

From the pictures below, you can also quite clearly see the Swarovski Chaton Montee I “sewed” into the tips of the arms and foot of the cross.  You can also easily see the Byzantine Chainmail weave on the back of the cross.

 

The next detailed photo shows the top part of the cross. Because of the chain mail nature of this cross whereby you can insert wires anywhere into the spaces inherent in chainmail, there are many options available in creating a suitable bail for the cross.

Chain Mail Handmade Cross - Detail

ChainMail Handmade Cross – Detail

 


B. ChainMail Cross

This is what my tight Byzantine weave looks like.

Chain Mail Handmade Cross

Chain Mail Handmade Cross

Without the wire wrapping (as per above in A), the cross remains non-rigid and flexible.

(Note: this cross was used in the Handmade Hematite and Moonstone Rosary.)


How to make a Byzantine Chainmail Cross

Note: The photos below were taken with my iPhone so they are not very clear.  And yes, once again, it was in the middle of the night given my night owl timetable.  But hopefully they are more or less clear enough to illustrate this how-to.

Tip: As per normal, click the photos for more details.

How to make chain mail cross

Start Byzantine chainmail

1. Start the Byzantine chainmail weave.

Here I am using 2 different color jump rings so that it is easier to see.

  • Silver – closed jump rings
  • Gold – open jump rings

How to make chain mail cross

Initial loops held with copper wire

2. Loop the open gold rings onto the closed silver rings.
Here I am using a spare (copper) were to hold onto the weave. Makes it easier to work with.
You can also use a paperclip, safety-pin, etc.


How to make chain mail cross

Finish the vertical length of the cross

3. Carry on with the Byzantine chainmail weave until you have the (upright) length you want for your cross.
Optional: Add more open (gold) jump rings to fill up the last (silver) rings.


How to make chain mail cross

Determine where the arm of cross begins

4. Now determine where you want the “arm” of the cross to being. Use a headpin to isolate the 2 side rings.


5. Attach 2 open (gold) rings to each side.
Tip: It is a good idea to attach 2 closed (silver) rings at the same time as well. (See next photo.)


How to make chain mail cross

Finish when satisfied with length of arms

6. After you have the 2 open (gold) and 2 closed (silver) rings as the start of the arms, carry on with the Byzantine chain mail weave. Stop when you have the desired length per arm.


I know that this is not a full-blown tutorial on how to make a chainmail cross. However I hope there is enough information to either give you ideas and/or supplement some techniques you already know.
If you have found this useful and/or you have detected errors, do not be shy to let me know in the comments below. Your comments can only help the next reader who comes along. And as you know …

Sharing ideas helps the World Grow!


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