Chain maille jewelry designs can get rather boring to do after a while so a good chain maille artist strives to bring in different elements to make their jewelry distinctive. One artisan whom I stumbled upon in now called has great inspirational examples of how to step up chain maille designs.

MakintheBestOfIt or MBOI for short, is a wire wrap and chain maille enthuasist. She is multi-talented with not just one but TWO Etsy stores - one of jewelry designs and one for her lovely hand painted glass. I don't know how she does it all for she is a second time round full time student with two small boys. She has a deeply ingrained creative streak so much so her husband says she has a really bad case of crafters ADD!

Her chain maille designs show her versatility and talent for linking jump rings together. She combines coloured rings to highlight metals - her copper and sterling Byzantine ladder bracelet (above) combines silver with copper which is one of my favourite combinations. Yet I still see the occasional question on jewelry making forums - "Can I mix metals"? Of course you can! The jewelry will look gorgeous.

Another design element is using alternative structures rather than just a straight chain. One of her most stunning designs is her sterling silver chain maille encased Salvation pendant. This unique design has 7 Swarovski crystal bicones in rainbow colours all in a row and framed with inverted round maille. Another example is her bronze Persian Cross which features a full Persian cross pendant on a half Persian 3 in 1 chain.

But I've saved the best to last for this piece was a labour of love for one of her music obsessed sons. The chain maille guitar strap was truly an inspired choice as a gift for some one (often male) who isn't into jewelry or is too young to use key rings! Jewelry is usually just decorative but here MBOI has made chain maille into a functional piece of art!


For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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