How to Make a Chain Mail Costume

Updated November 21, 2016

Making a chain mail costume is a creative way to dress up as a knight in shining armour. Traditional chain mail is made from small 16 gauge metal rings, hooked together, to form a coat of armour. The coat of armour remained flexible over a knight's appendages and prevented cuts and slices into the skin as a result of swiping swords. The trick to constructing a chain mail costume is to employ large plastic rings and metallic spray paint. Large plastic rings allow you to avoid the painstaking and time consuming mess of dealing with countless tiny and dangerous metal pieces.

Assemble the plastic chain mail pieces by using a four-in-one pattern. Connect four clear rings to one black ring. Hold the black ring so two clear rings are above and two are below your hand. Connect a fresh black ring to the top two clear rings and add two more clear rings to fresh black ring. Continue with this pattern to extend the linkages vertically to the length you desire. Differentiating black from clear helps you visualise centre and side rings.

Extend the pattern horizontally. Lay the pattern of rings onto a flat surface. Connect a black ring down through the top two clear rings to the far right and up through its neighbouring two clear rings at left. Continue with this pattern to create an additional row of black rings. Connect a single clear ring to the far right black ring. Connect another single clear ring to the far right black ring and its neighbouring black ring. Continue with this pattern to add a row of clear rings. Carry on moving the pattern in a horizontal fashion to the width you desire.

Connect chain mail body pieces -- midsection, back and arms, for instance -- using twine. Spray paint the chain mail and twine with metallic paint to give it an authentic, shimmering look.

Detach the mask from a hockey helmet. Spray the helmet in metallic colour. Measure and cut a sharp edged cardboard piece to act as the chain mail face mask. Slice eye slits and punch holes near the mouth so you can breathe. Spray paint the cardboard in metallic colour and attach it to the front of the helmet with permanent epoxy.

Make armour hand coverings. Measure and cut cardboard pieces to fit overtop your hands. Spray paint the pieces in metallic colour. Attach a piece of twine to the underside of the coverings with permanent epoxy for a grip to hold the coverings on while in costume. Complete your look by wearing grey trousers and shoes. Spray paint the paints and shoes in metallic paint, if possible, to give your entire body a coat-of-armour look.

Things You'll Need

  • Black shower curtain rings
  • Clear shower curtain rings
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Twine
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight knife
  • Cardboard
  • Hockey Helmet
  • Screwdriver
  • Permanent epoxy
  • Grey trousers
  • Grey shoes
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About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.