Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review - Absolute Beginner's Guide Making Chain Mail Jewelry

By on Thursday, October 17, 2013 4 Comments

I absolutely love the Absolute Beginner Guide series to jewelry making.  These are the books which I can heartedly recommend for people who are just starting out.  The guides are always there for you to go over again and again should you need to. They cover all the basic information - the kind that will take you ages to get if you were learning on your own and have no real life instructor to hep you. 

I just received the latest one in the series, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Chain Mail Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started by Lauren Andersen, for review. Like all the other books in the series, the book covers the topic without being overwhelming.  The instructor did a great job of introducing the newbie to chain mail but also includes innovative but simple projects guaranteed to wow others.

Crystal Parallel Bracelet
It's also an efficient book considering the author covered several beginner weaves such as the European 4-in 1 and 6-1, Byzantine, Möbius, spiral, Japanese, Shaggy Loop and the Parallel or Helm's weaves. The basic weaves are taught as complete but simple projects. She then gets the reader to spread their chain mail wings in 18 other projects, adding beads, using unusual components such as hardware washers and so on. 

Crystal Cross Bracelet (Byzantine)
Her instructions and step by pictures were very clear, especially with the use of colored rings.  She is an advocate of using paperclips to aid the start of weaves - especially useful for the European and Byzantine weaves.  I must say, her approach of getting the Byzantine going is different and a quick one.

Lauren also teaches readers to combine multiple weaves such as the Caterpillar bracelet below.

The leather and lace bracelet project was one of my favorites as the chain mail element really made a simple leather cuff pop!

Also noteworthy is how Lauren combined a rhinestone connector with chain mail for an awesome hand flower or "panja" bracelet.

I really wish the whole series was around when I was learning!


Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. What a great looking book. I've only done one chainmaille piece. Will have to check out this book for some knowledge and inspiration. thanks.

  2. This book sounds interesting and directed toward the beginner or novice and just up my alley. About the only chain work I've attempted has been simple 1 in 1 or 2 in 1 chains.
    Years ago I purchased a gorgeous hardcover book called "Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains", it was a spiral bound beauty (so the pages would lay flat) and cost $34.95. The directions were extremely entailed and the instructions kept requesting that the piece be annealed after each procedure. Among a vast list of tools required were soldering torches and a small kiln. I soon realized that this was a book for a professional and not a dabbler.

    The book is still in my library of instructional literature but I seldom, if ever, peruse it. Now I'm thinking I might just place it on my coffee table as a coffee table book, it does have a lovely cover.

  3. This sounds like an awesome book that I need to pick up! I have some books that just go over my head.

  4. Love doing chain maille, and totally agree this book is perfect for those starting out!!