New scale construction

If you follow us on Facebook, you know we posted a new idea we wanted to share with you.  (If you don’t follow us, you should. )  If you saw our post, what you may not have noticed is that the construction of the scales was different than normal.  In working with designs that span multiple scales, we wanted more room.  We found when you stack scales with the normal European 4-1 construction, so much space is lost on everything but the front scale.  We wanted to change that.

Instead of  using the traditional Euro 4-1 construction, we used a gridlock construction.  It drops all the scales down further giving us more room to put designs on all the scales.  The one thing we have noted is that doing it this way tends to cup the scales back, the further (longer) you go with it.  We have made lots of earrings with this method, but haven’t gone any further, so we can’t tell you how it would work out for larger projects.

If you do something with it this way, drop us a note and let us know how it works out for you.


For the more visual among us, here is a picture of the “gridlock” construction.









We have had a lot of requests for pre-orders lately, and have decided to allow pre-orders on a trial basis.

Currently, we have Niobium in 20 gauge (rings and wire) and 18 gauge (rings) available for pre-order.

Unfortunately, not all of our items will be available for pre-order.  Anodized aluminum is one that comes to mind.  This is because we want to make sure you get a quality product in a timely manner from when you order.  If we have to reject a batch of anodized aluminum for whatever reason, we would fail in that aspect, and that is just unacceptable.

Some things you will notice on an item that is available for pre-order will be, a banner across the left corner of the item picture that says “pre-order.”  A red banner at the top of the page that declares “This product is a pre-order” followed by the approximate ship date.  Finally, the button where you would usually find “add to cart” or “click to be notified when back in stock” has been changed to “PREORDER.”

Any orders that have a pre-order item will be held until we can ship the entire order.  We highly suggest that if you need your other items sooner than the pre-order approximate ship date, to enter in two orders if possible (wholesale orders will still need to meet minimums on every order).  Pre-order on one, the rest of the items you need on the other.  As usual, all orders are packed and shipped on a first come first served basis.




Our own monthly subscription service is now live! We know we have been teasing with this since last year, and now you can finally see what it is! We have several options for you to choose from.

Giftmaille – one time order

Maillebag – recurring subscription

3 month Maillebag gift subscription

6 month Maillebag gift subscription

Maillebox – recurring subscription

3 month Maillebox gift subscription

6 month Maillebox gift subscription

For more in depth information about Mailleorder, please visit the Mailleorder page (you can find a link to this page at the bottom of every page on our website, in the big blue box on the left hand side, or in the drop down menu at the top of every page on the right hand side).


If you have been with us for any length of time, you know once in a while we work with Karen over at O Sebastian. And you should also know we have a big annual birthday sale.  This year, she has helped us out, and is giving us a new design to give away right here as a present to you.  So, without getting any wordier, here it is…….

Crosshairs Chainmaille Unit Tutorial
Created by: Karen Snyder of O. Sebastian Chainmaille Jewelry
In conjunction with Tania Schafer of C&T Designs

Crosshairs Materials List:  You will need two pairs of pliers with smooth jaws (no teeth or serrations) and a basic working knowledge of opening and closing jump rings.  Size in tutorial is the large round wire base metal.  Other material lists follow at the end of the tutorial.  Kits can be found here.

Large ring  12g (SWG) 1″  (1)
Medium ring  16g (SWG) 5/16  (12)
Small rings  16g (SWG) 3/16″  (24)


Step 1:  Assemble your materials. Close the large ring, open all of the medium rings, close 8 of the small rings and open the rest.

Step 1


Step 2: Using 8 medium rings and the 8 closed small rings, make an 8-section 2 in 2 chain. Close the ends together with the final pair of rings and you should have something that looks like the picture below.

Step 2

Step 3: Using the remaining small rings, attach the piece you just made to the inside of the large ring until you have used all of the remaining small rings.  (To adjust tightness of the pattern, additional rings can be added here)

Step 3d

Step 4: Using the remaining medium rings, capture two opposite pairs of rings.

Step 4

As you can see below, the center rings are doubled and pull the piece together at the center. When you are setting the second pair of rings in the center, these rings will capture two opposite pairs of ring while going through the center of the first pair of rings.Step 4b


This design can be done in a whole list of materials, including square, and AA.








Other size materials lists

Large units

Square wire: Large ring: 12g 1″ round wire, Medium rings: 16-K (12), Small rings: 16-A (20)
Round wire precious metals: Large ring: 10g (AWG)  1″, Medium rings: 14g (AWG) 5/16″ (12), Small rings: 14g (AWG)  3/16″ (24)

Small Unit:

Round wire base metals: Large ring: 16g (SWG) 1/2″, Medium rings: 20g (AWG)  5/32″ (12), Small rings: 20g (AWG)  3/32″ (20)

Round wire precious metals: Large ring: 14g (AWG)1/2″, Medium rings: 20g (AWG) 5/32″ (12), Small rings: 20g (AWG) 5/32″ (20)

Square wire:  Large ring  16g (SWG) 1/2″, Medium ring  20-C (10, you only have 2 rings for the middle, instead of four)  Small rings:  20-A

This tutorial is copyrighted material and all rights and design ownership remain with the author. The tutorial remains the intellectual property of Karen Snyder of O. Sebastian Chainmaille Creations, all rights reserved. Mass production of the finished product is prohibited.


***PLEASE NOTE*** All testing and finished Crosshairs units in Argentium, silver fill, stainless steel, niobium, brass, bronze, and bright and anodized aluminum were created using cut rings from C&T Designs, 4756 N. Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80907. You can find them on the web at: . Cut rings vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, regardless of the ID (internal diameter) quoted by said manufacturers. C&T products have proven the most reliable and consistent and that consistency is critical to the success of producing the Crosshairs unit. The rings sizes and specs given in this tutorial reflect only C&T rings and successful reproduction is not guaranteed if rings from other manufacturers are used. C&T Designs is the only authorized manufacturer of Crosshairs ring packs.




tsthing3We have a new design called vortex.  It can be done in several sizes, and  3 or 4 points.  “Fanned” rings can all be going the same way, or facing each other.  We see lots of possibilities with this one.  And since it’s been quite some time since we have done a free design, we have decided to do this as one.

We do have kits available on our site, here

Instructions will be for a small size 3 point version, and done in BA (with red brass rings to show the current step).  (More size options and 4 point lists will be at the end of the post.)

Supply list:

Base Metal – Small

Ring #1:  20 1/8” AWG – 24 rings

Ring #2:  20 11/64” AWG – 6 rings

Ring #3:  19 9/32” SWG – 1 ring


Precious Metal – Small

Ring #1:  20 1/8” AWG – 24 rings

Ring #2:  20 11/64” AWG – 6 rings

Ring #3:  18 9/32” AWG – 1 ring




Using six closed Ring #1s, and two Ring #2s, make a 2-1-2 chain.







Use a third Ring #2 to close the loop by going through the loose Ring #1s.






Using a closed ring #3, lay it on the Ring #2s as shown in picture.





Using an open Ring #2, go through two adjacent sets of Ring #1s.  Ensure Ring #3 is between the two Ring #2s capturing the ring #3 in the process.  Place a Ring #1 through both Ring #2s to lock Ring #3 in place.






Repeat step 3 two more times.








Add five Ring #1s to each point (totaling six per point), making sure they lay in the same direction.





Once all of the rings are on the points, GENTLY pull them into place.  They will click into place, you can both hear and feel it.  Once locked, they should not move from a locked position




This can be done in 3 or 4 points, with fan rings pointing in either direction.


4_butterfly tsthing2






Other ring sizes tested in BA for 3 point

Base Metal – Medium

Ring #1:  18 11/64” SWG – 24 rings

Ring #2:  18 17/64” SWG – 6 rings

Ring #3:  16 7/32” SWG – 1 ring


Base Metal – Large

Ring #1:  16 15/64” SWG – 24 rings

Ring #2:  16 11/32” SWG – 6 rings

Ring #3:  14 ½” SWG – 1 ring


4 point ring sizes
Base Metal – Small  

Ring #1:  20 9/64” AWG – 32 rings

Ring #2:  20 11/64” AWG – 8 rings

Ring #3:  18 3/8” SWG – 1 ring



Precious Metal – Small 

Ring #1:  20 9/64” AWG – 32 rings

Ring #2:  20 3/16” AWG – 8 rings

Ring #3:  16 3/8”  AWG – 1 ring


Base Metal – Medium

Ring #1:  18 3/16” SWG – 32 rings

Ring #2:  18 17/64” SWG – 8 rings

Ring #3:  16 ½”  SWG – 1 ring


Base Metal – Large

Ring #1:  16 7/32” SWG – 32 rings

Ring #2:  16 11/32” SWG – 8 rings

Ring #3:  14 5/8” SWG – 1 ring


This tutorial is copyrighted material and all rights and design ownership remain with the authors. You may produce and sell pieces made using this design tutorial. This tutorial may not be loaned, taught or reproduced, in part or in full, in any manner (electronic, photocopying, print, video/audio recording or otherwise) without prior written authorization of the author. This tutorial entitles  you to produce physical items for personal use, as gifts or for sale in small quantities under the name Vortex and credit must be given to the designers. The tutorial remains the intellectual property of C & T Designs, all rights reserved. Mass production of the finished product is prohibited.


We have hinted that we have a lot in store for you in the coming year.  There are a number of cool things on the horizon, spread throughout the year.  It’s time to let you in on one of the things that is going to happen quick.

We are changing our website.  Don’t worry too much, the core of it will be the same.  What we are doing though, is changing some navigation to make it easier to find the things that seem to be asked about the most.  For example, scales will get it’s own category.  We are also going to tweak the site search engine to also make it easier to find the things you are searching for.   We will be adding a feature or two that we are not ready to give away just yet, and we will improving some of the functionality for you.  Most of these changes will be slight and you will start to see them over the next week or two.  Sometime in January, we will do a big update, and that will require the site to be down for a short bit.  Not to worry, we will give you warning so we don’t scare you too much.

Sometime after that big update, we will start in with the big surprises.  😀

Holiday Shutdown

It’s that time of year again where we have to count all the little rings and findings.  We’ve been training the dogs to help, but that hasn’t gone very well.
If you have been with us for a while, you know we close down for a bit to count, and so everybody here can spend some time with family and get some rest before we hit the grindstone again. (And boy do we have a lot of plans for you next year)  If you are new to us, well, now you know.
This year we will close December 23rd at 3pm, and re-open January 3rd.

Also don’t forget inventory also means end of the year sale items.  Make sure you keep an eye out for them in January.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season, however you celebrate.

Don’t forget, It’s In The Maille!!!

Anodized aluminum

We get questions almost daily about AA.  Some are easy to answer, some are not.  Some we are not ready to answer.  This post will take care of some of all of those.
First, we want to remind you we have a page set up specifically to show what AA is out at the anodizer and being worked on.  You can find it here:

AA stock page

Now, what’s not on that list.  12g AA.  Have no fear, all the colors we don’t currently have in stock are out at the anodizer in addition to what is on that list.  All of the 12g rings, and most of what is on that list, we hope to have back in just over a week.  There are a couple that will take a week or so longer.

Also not on that list, but at the anodizer (and in the little longer category) is 20g 1/8″ Black.  That’s right, we have started making 20g AA.  This is a long term project.  The rings are so little, they take so long to make, so we have paced this project for the YEAR.  The listing for them is already up on our site, but only available colors are up. (Currently just red)  As we get colors back, we will add them.  We chose to do it this way so our “Notify when back in stock” feature doesn’t get flooded.

Can you handle a second surprise?
If not, stop reading now, if you think you can, read on.
We are also starting to make 16g 3/16″ AA.  They should start showing up in a little over a month.  These are a little faster to make, so we are likely to put up a block of colors at a time.

As always, we are happy to look at making other sizes, but we need to hear from you to do so.  So, if there is another size you would like to see us do, let us know.

And remember, It’s in the Maille!!



Holiday closing

As a reminder we will be closed December 24th through Jan 3rd, re-opening on January 4th.  We use this time to do our year end inventory, and allow our employees to spend some time with family.  While our physical store will be closed, you can still order online.  There will be VERY LIMITED shipping during this time.

We had a wonderful year again, and hope you did as well.  We have many new things in the works for you for next year, so be sure to keep an eye out.


If you have been around us any length of time, you know that we have a sale in November. (And if you didn’t, consider this your notice)  You also may or may not know we have been known to pull some shenanigans around said sale.  We are happy to say this year won’t be any different.
What can you expect?  Oh boy, we have a lot planned for you.  While we don’t want to give away all the fun just yet, we will tell you that a certain all niobium Maillstrom pendant is VERY likely to make a return, and there is a pretty good chance there will be a matching earring kit.