Tutorial: Pop Tab Chainmail

Hello faithful readers! Today I am going to show you a cheap and easy way to make chain mail armor out of pop tabs! You know, the little things used to open up soda cans. The method is fairly simple but requires a lot of time and a lot of pop tabs. My recommendation is to grab the supplies, grab a good movie, and get to work as quickly as you can! The pictures might not be the best, but I think they do a decent job of illustrating the instructions.

First off, here’s a preview of the end results:


As for supplies you will need a lot of pop tabs, some pliers, and wire-cutters.


Step one:

Take a pop tab and clean it up a bit. Some of them leave a small circle of metal where the tab was attached to the can. You want to take the pliers and remove that piece.



You can also use the pliers to flatten out any metal that might be jagged or sticking out. I like to press down the metal where the circular thing was attached.


Step two:

Grab the pop tab in the middle with the pliers.


Hold it tight and press down on one side to bend the tab at a slight angle.



Step Three:

Take the wire cutters and cut a the thin part of the tab (the side opposite of where the circular thign was). Ideally in a straight line.


Once done, the tab should look like this (maybe a little prettier if you were more precise than I was about bending and cutting it in a straight line):


Step Four:

I like to prepare a big stack of tabs all at once so attaching them together goes quicker. The easiest way to attach them together is to measure how long you need the chain mail to be and make two rows of it in that length. After that you can add more rows to make it thicker.

The easiest way to explain this is just to show it:





Make a chain of them as long as you need the project to be.


Then start adding links along the bottom.



And from there the process just repeats until its as thick as you need it!

Step Five:

I don’t have pictures for this part, but when the chainmail is done you will notice that the tabs on the top and bottom only have one side attached to anything, meaning that they flop around a bit. I used a small bit of wire to attach the wiggly tabs to the tabs next to them.

One important thing to note is that sometimes the cut ends of the tabs will slip out of place, so make sure both ends of the cut side are pressed together and won’t come undone!

Thanks for reading and I hope this all makes sense. If not, feel free to send me questions! Oh, and if you use my tutorial please send pictures of your cool project!!


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