Constructing a genuine European 4 in 1 chainmaille weave using only pop tabs.
Turns out this is very easy and makes a really great looking piece of maille, and as an added bonus you don't have to worry about having a quarter mile of wire on hand to attach them together.
Non-mangled pop tabs (however many you need, 1000 is a good start)
You will need to prepare the tabs for the weaving. Bend the collar down from the "top" side of the tab using the tumbler side of the key. Then use the back of the key to continue bending it down against the side of the tab. Lay the tab face down and push the cupped part down flat.
Cut them in the very middle of the pull part of the tab, or for a stronger connection, on the rivet side, either way just be consistent.
Step 4: Bend
One note: If you are using cutters, you can bend the tabs first, if you are using scissors you have to cut them first.
Holding one tab by the back, with one hand, take another tab with your free hand.
Push the back of the second tab through the cut on the first tab from the bottom so that it is on one side.
After they are connected together do the same with a second tab, but on the opposite side.
The fourth tab you put on will connect the two "shoulder" tabs together.
Connect the fourth tab so that the second and third are laying one on each side.
The back of the tabs should always end up on the bottom side of the weave.
Step 7: Continue weaving
The first is the diamond geometry, each link is connected to 3 others
The second is the square, each link (except those on the edges) uses pattern's full 4 to 1 connection
As your swatch gets larger it might be easier to flip it over to continue weaving, because you will need to handle the main body less as you attach new links.
Step 8: Final thoughts